Cider is an alcoholic drink made from fermented apple juice. The making and drinking of cider can be dated back to the Normans who introduced cider making to the UK, but there is evidence that Celts in Britain were making cider from apples as far back as 3000 BCE.
Britons are the world’s biggest consumer of cider per capita with fifty-six per cent of apples grown in the UK going to make cider. The West Country and Somerset is the most well-known region for growing apples and making all types of cider, including the still, strong tasting, cloudy traditional dry cider to the more popular bright, sparkling refreshing easy drinking ciders preferred by many. Apple and Pear Ciders have long been mixed with other fruits to provide a wide range of flavoured ciders.
Cider making is a proud tradition within our family with the first documented evidence of Gabriel Showering, our uncle 14 generations back. With Brothers Cider we are constantly exploring new recipes and love being creators of curious flavours.
How is cider made?
Cider is made from apple juice pressed from freshly harvested apples when in season. The fresh juice is slowly fermented and aged at the direction of the Cidermaker to give each cider its unique complexity and character, it is only ready to drink when the Cidermaker is happy with the quality of the batch. Still cider is served as it is but will always contain a level of natural level of residual carbon dioxide from the fermentation. Sparkling Ciders contain higher levels to give it a pleasurable fizz. Bottle conditioned ciders contain the highest levels of carbonation similar to sparkling wines.
However, making cider is an incredibly considered process. Unlike beer making, the fermentation takes advantage of the natural sugars found in the apple. Beer relies on the conversion of starch from cereals such as barley a process that is undertaken in the brewery before the fermentation of beer. With apples the sugars are formed as the fruit ripens outside in the sunshine of the orchard. Our team at Brothers will make decisions that will determine the type of cider we create, including what kind of apples we will use.
Cider apples are not like the apples you buy from the supermarket. The apple varieties we use to make our cider have special strains high in acids and tannins. They are exclusively grown for us in award winning Somerset Orchards less than 8 miles from our Cider Mill. The family regularly visit the orchards to ensure the crop is in tip top condition and is harvested to their exact desires.
We also believe our ciders should be good in every way. This is why we have long term agreement with the grower to ensure our supply is responsibly sourced and is sustainable. Well-kept Cider Orchards are great for the environment and in particular our orchards are home to many species of wildlife, flora and fauna. Our family are very proud of these credentials, and we will continue to support local production and environmental initiatives. We chose apple varieties that will give us a great balance of tannins and acidity to make exceptional ciders. Such varieties you will find in the orchards include Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Harry Masters, Somerset Redstreak and Browns Apple. All well respected cider making apples.
What's the difference between cider & beer?
Apple Cider is naturally gluten-free and made from fermenting apple juice in a similar way to white wine, whereas beer is brewed from grains which are a source of gluten, hops and yeast. When choosing between beer or cider, for those with gluten sensitivity, Apple cider can be a better option.
Cider and beer taste very different to each other. Cider is made from apple juice which has its own characteristic flavour without the added bitterness from the hops. Beer derives its flavour more from the brewing process than the grains used and its some may find this less palatable than the crisp refreshment of a good cider.
Cider ingredients benefit from levels of vitamin C and antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids, which gives cider its distinctive taste & colour. These compounds are also found in red wine but are mainly absent in Beers.
Is cider alcoholic?
Cider is an alcoholic drink, and the average alcohol content is 4% to 5% ABV. You can check how the alcohol content and the cider is by checking its ABV (alcohol by volume). The ABV tells you what percentage of the cider is made up of alcohol. The higher the ABV, the more alcohol is in your drink.
While the alcohol content of cider and beer can be similar, if you are looking for a refreshing alcohol-free cider, then you should try our Toffee Apple alcohol-free cider.
Types of cider
Cider comes in different varieties, including still, naturally sparkling, bottle-fermented, carbonated, dry, medium, and sweet cider, and it can be made from dessert and eating apples. Pears may also be used to produce Perry or Pear Cider as it is more commonly known these days. Vintage ciders and special reserves made from single orchards or single varieties are also popular. Cider is as diverse in its nature as grapes and Wine.
In America, cider is simply pressed apple juice, but once it has been fermented similar to British ciders it is then called hard cider, meaning it contains alcohol and is only sold to adults.
Why not have a browse through our Brothers Cider range to see the variety of curious flavours we have on offer. Did we mention that all of our ciders are Gluten Free and Vegan-Friendly!
Being an innovative cider maker, we at Brothers Cider like to think outside the bottle. We have compiled a range of amazingly tasty food and cocktail recipes that will delight your taste buds, enjoy!