Saturday, October 08, 2005

CAMRA's How To Make Real Cider

CAMRA's Cider And Perry Logo1. The apples are washed and checked for rot or mould. Apple which are rotting should be discarded.

2. The apples are crushed in a machine called a scratter which chops them up into small pieces. They are now called pulp.

3. The pulp is placed in layers on a press and then the juice is extracted.

4. If a traditional screw or hydraulic press is used the pulp is wrapped in fine mesh cloths, like parcels, and about eight of these are used to make one pressing - called a cheese.

The natural yeasts in the apples start the fermentation and several months later you have cider.

A number of the larger producers will add sugar at the fermentation stage, enabling the cider to reach 12-14%abv, and then it is diluted down before it is sold (the legal limit for cider is 8.5%abv). See definition to clarify acceptability of this practise by CAMRA (section A3).

The apples which are used in The West Country & other certain parts of the country are cider apples, which are grown specifically for the purpose of making cider. Cider apples are generically identified as bittersweets and bittersharps.

With most ciders the greater the variety of apples used, the better as they all have different characteristics. In recent years a number of Producers have starting making cider and perry from single varieties of fruit; these produce an interesting & sometimes surprising result from a tasting point of view.

Local Variations
In Somerset and other areas in the West Country, layers of straw were used instead of cloths. Some producers still use this method.

In Herefordshire it was the tradition to use horsehair, but there are no known producers who still do this in Herefordshire.

In the Eastern Counties - Sussex up to Norfolk (& including Kent) - the tradition for cider is to use a mixture of eating and cooking apples, although a number of producers in Norfolk are growing cider apples as well.

(c) CAMRA, The Campaign for Real Ale.

Friday, October 07, 2005

PUB NEWS: Construction Work Begins In A Former Robinsons Pub

I spotted yesterday that construction work has begun in a former Robinsons pub that has been closed for many years. Charlies Bar, as it was know, which forms part of the Grove Hotel, Spring Gardens Buxton.

At this stage it is not know if this is to be turned back in to a pub or not but this may be good news.

CAMRA's What Is Keg Cider? Plus Where It Is In Buxton

Keg Cider (This Is The Stuff To Find Avoid)
It is artificially carbonated, pasteurised, served under gas pressure. Most of today's keg cider is made from apple concentrate rather than real apples, some of which can be imported from almost anywhere. Keg cider is usually filtered and may also contain any of a long list of additives and colourings as defined permissible under Section 162 produced by HM Customs & Excise Department (see forward).

(c) CAMRA, The Campaign for Real Ale.

Where To Find Avoid Keg Cider In Buxton
If you know of any Keg Cider outlets in and around Buxton then please add a comment at the bottom.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

CAMRA's Definition Of Real Draught Cider And Perry

A) Ingredients
1. The liquid content before fermentation must consist entirely of non-pasteurized apple (Cider), or pear (Perry) juice.

2. No apple or pear juice concentrates to be used.

3. Normally, only the sugar naturally available in the fruit should be used to cause fermentation, but in years when the level of natural sugar in the fruit is low, the addition of extraneous sugar to aid fermentation is acceptable.

B) Process
1. No pasteurization to take place during the production process in relation to the cask product.

2. No added colourings to be used.

3. No added flavorings to be used.

4. There must be no artificial carbonation for draught products.

5. Sweetener may be added to fully fermented Cider/Perry to make it sweet or medium.

6. The addition of water is permitted to bring the alcoholic content of the Cider/Perry down to the level required by the producer. Ideally, however the minimum juice content should not be lower than 90% volume.

7. No micro filtration allowed (this takes all the yeast, leaving a "dead" product).

The above is item 5.2 as extracted from CAMRA's External Policy Document 2003 - 2004

(c) CAMRA, The Campaign for Real Ale.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

An Introduction To CAMRA's Cider And Perry Policy

CAMRA Supports Real Cider And PerryCAMRA set up a cider and perry committee within CAMRA to promote the consumers choice of real cider and perry.

* The worrying thing is that real cider is in a similar situation to that which faced beer some 25 years ago as the number of outlets for real cider is diminishing, even in the West Country.

* The situation with perry is even worse, as it is rarely available away from the farm gate.

* Recent reforms of The Common Agricultural Policy may result in landowners being paid for "grubbing up" their trees. In a worst case scenario without trees there will be no fruit & without the fruit there will be no cider or perry.

Over the years, CAMRA has given advice and technical help to producers, monitored the industry and advised beer festivals. Specifically CAMRA has:

* Instigated a National Champion Cider and Perry of the Year award

* In 2003 establish October as Camra's Cider and Perry Month

* In 2004 established the hunt for The National Cider & Perry Pub of the Year (which is to be announced in October 2005)

CAMRA also publishes CAMRA's Good Cider Guide, with the next edition being planned for 2005.

(c) CAMRA, The Campaign for Real Ale.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lets Enjoy Some Cider And Perry In Buxton This October

So, it's Cider and Perry Month in October! This seems too good an excuse to me to miss out on, and organise a day (or evening) in Buxton drinking 'Real' Cider and Perry.

So dust off your ‘Gusto’ and lets get out for a few pints, and enjoy the local Cider and Perry on offer. All suggestions for local venues and a date welcome.

I may even turn one of my planned trips to Nottingham (21st) or Stoke (22nd) Beer Festivals with Henry in to a Cider and Perry day, Now that would be interesting!

CAMRA Celebrates ‘REAL’ Cider And Perry In October

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, will be celebrating 'Real' cider and perry throughout October to boost the market for Britain's independent producers.

The main aim of CAMRA’s National Cider and Perry Month is to encourage pubs to offer their customers a real cider or perry during October to highlight how much more taste and quality you get from the real products compared to the keg products which are fizzy (carbonated), tasteless and pasteurised and widely available in large numbers of pubs across Britain.

Other National Cider Month plans

Launch of CAMRA’s new Good Cider Guide - Saturday 29th October at 12 noon at Dunkertons Cider Company, Pembridge, Leominster, this is the guide for real cider and perry-loving connoisseurs. Organised into counties, the guide contains maps, listings of producers and a selection of approximately 500 outlets.

Announcement of the CAMRA’s first ever National Cider & Perry Pub of the Year - Pub-goers have been encouraged throughout the year to nominate pubs that they think serve the best real cider and perry in Britain. Over 30 pubs have been entered into the competition and CAMRA will announce who the winner is and present the Award to the winning pub on Monday 31st October at 2pm.

Launch of the new Bottled Cider & Perry Competition 2005/6 – This competition is open to all bottled ciders and perries, the Producer needs to complete a simple form stating what processes their products have gone through ( and summit four bottles. Blind tastings will take place. The winners will be announced in May 2006 at the same time as the draught cider and perry Championships.

Pomona Award 2005 Winner - Each year CAMRA members nominate the person, place or thing who has done the most for cider and perry on an ongoing basis. In 2005 CAMRA has awarded the Pomona Award to Dunkertons Cider Company of Luntley, Pembridge, Leominster. The Pomona award is made for Dunkerton’s tireless work establishing cider and perry as a premium product since 1979; being the first producer in Herefordshire to be awarded soil association certification in 1988; and for their extensive orcharding work. This award will be presented on Saturday the 29th of October at 12 noon.

Promoting a list of 'Highly Recommended' ciders and perries to try throughout October – please visit

Organising different cider and perry events throughout the month - Please visit CAMRA Cider and Perry in October to view a number of events happening around Britain.

Gillian Williams, CAMRA's Director of Cider and Perry Campaigning said,
Real ciders and perries are natural living products made from many different types of apples and perry pears, grown in local orchards. It is the different areas of production and the varieties of fruit which gives each drink a unique, living and wonderful taste. CAMRA is asking Landlord’s to make space on their bar for some real cider and perry, and to give more choice to the public

Ms Williams added,
We want people to be able to try a real cider or perry in their local pub. We think they'll be bowled over by how good they taste and urge landlords to stock them on a regular basis. Small producers can't compete with the huge national producers and it's up to consumers to choose choice in their local. As someone once said, real cider and perry should be enjoyed ‘Gusto’, so dust off your ‘Gusto’, go out, and enjoy.