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What’s The Difference Between Cider And Beer?

It is no surprise to learn that cider and beer are the two most popular alcoholic drinks in the world. While beer is consumed more than cider and may be oldest of the two drinks, both cider and beer date back to thousands of years B.C. in Britain. There is no denying that the popularity of cider drinking has been on the rise in recent years, across all age groups and especially among the younger 18 to 34 generations and those who are looking for gluten-free options.

The major difference between cider and beer is what they are made from. Cider is made from pressed apple juice which contains natural sugars, and beer is made from starch based malted cereals, which is why cider is the drink of choice for those avoiding grain-based drinks.

How cider and beer are made

Cider is made from fermenting the apple juice, the fermentation process converts the natural sugars to alcohol However, you can get alcohol-free cider, which is a nice option for those wanting to cut down on their alcohol intake, or is the designated driver at parties and events and doesn't want to miss out on the enjoyment of drinking cider. 

The majority of Beer is created by the brewing and fermenting of malted barley and hops, which gives beer its classic flavour. The alcohol level of beer can vary and you can also get alcohol-free beer.

Pints of beer and hops on a tablePhoto by Missy Fant on Unsplash

Flavour and varieties

Apple and Pear Ciders are very versatile drinks and while it is normally classified by the apple and pear varieties used and level of dryness, its natural flavour lends itself perfectly to being combined with other mouth-watering fruits and flavours, such as what you can find in the Brothers Cider range.

Beer is generally classified into two categories – lager or Ale. Ales are usually darker and heavier than lagers and served at warmer temperatures. Lagers in general have less flavour and are best served cold. Different fermentation processes are used for each and the type of yeast used will make a difference to the end product.

Cider can come in a wide variety of colours and clarity. For example, it can be completely clear to very cloudy. The colour of cider can also vary from pale yellow to rich hues of orange and brown. Flavoured ciders benefit from the fruit colours.

Brothers Red Apple and Cloudy Lemon cider cans
The difference in cider clarity is to do with the level of filtering between the pressing and fermentation stages. The colour of apple cider is from the apple varieties used and the intensity of colour in the apple pulp and skin. However, the colour of beer is mostly determined by the roasting/heating of the malt used in the brewing process. Beer colours vary from light amber from using pale malt to rich brown from using a mix of dark malt. Sometimes beer makers will use caramel to darken their beer.

Versatility and flexibility

To put it simply, beer is made from brewing malted barley and hops, where cider is made from fermenting pressed apple juice. But of the two drinks, cider offers drinkers far more flexibility and versatility.

You only need to take a look at our range of curious cider flavours to see the advantages of drinking cider over beer. With mouth-watering flavours such as Toffee Apple, Rhubarb & Custard, Pink Grapefruit, Honeycomb, Marshmallow – and more, you can see why Brothers Fruit Cider has such huge appeal.

A selection of Brothers fruit cider

Recipes & Cocktails

Did you know that you can combine some of our Brothers Cider flavours in recipes and cocktails? We have lots of cocktail and food recipes for you to try, so why not stock up on your favourite cider flavours and have fun experimenting in the kitchen!

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