Tuesday, October 11, 2005

CAMRA's About Serving Real Cider And Perry

Depending on facilities and turnover in the licences premises, real cider is usually served from a polycask or similar container on or behind the bar.

Lately there has been an innovative marketing of real cider from Manucubes or a bag in a box system to extend the shelf life to 3 months. These are available from specialist off licence shops & are increasingly being used by Weston's. Both Manucubes or the bag in a box system are similar to the well accepted Australian wine box & prevent the spoiling of the cider by excluding air, thus preventing airborne anerobic bacteria infecting the drink, or if present, growing in the container thus making the cider "hard" (or infected) once opened.

(c) CAMRA, The Campaign for Real Ale.

Monday, October 10, 2005

CAMRA All About Perry (Yes It's Made From Pears)

CAMRA's Cider LadyPerry is a drink so difficult to find that most people don't even know of its existence.

* This drink is made exactly the same way as cider is from apples, perry is from perry pears.

* Like cider apples, perry pears are grown specifically for perry production.

Believe it or not more perry is made now than has been made in a century, but it is difficult to market because of its low production volumes. Perry is traditionally a speciality of the Three Counties and Welsh Borders, as perry pears were said to only thrive 'in sight of May Hill'. Now however perry pears are also grown in other areas e.g. Somerset & Norfolk.

The demand is there for perry but Producers cannot make enough of it, as there is not enough quality fruit available. It takes only three years for a perry pear planted in the right conditions to bear fruit, but up to thirty years before it is at full maturity.

* Perry is a drink rarely found in pubs.

* However at most CAMRA beer festivals you can usually sample a range of Perry.

Yearly CAMRA run a National Cider & Perry Competition and present Gold, Silver & Bronze Awards for both cider & perry.

(c) CAMRA, The Campaign for Real Ale.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

CAMRA's Cider And Perry Policy Continued...

Time Of The Year
Producing or making cider this takes place from late August to early in the New Year and depending on ambient temperatures, fermentation can take until the following spring.

* There is a flat rate of duty on cider up to 7.4%abv;

* You pay on the quantity made.

* A higher rate is paid for ciders between 7.4 and 8.5%abv.

* A higher rate of duty is levied on cider using mushroom closures, mainly made using the champagne method.

* A duty exempt limit of 70 hectolitres per year (about 1500 gallons) helps the very small, local producers.

* Duty is controlled by HM Customs & Excise and it should be noted that a new Notice 162 came out in March 2002, this can be obtained by contacting http://www.hmce.gov.uk/forms/notices/162.htm

(c) CAMRA, The Campaign for Real Ale.