What is Cider?

What is Cider?


Cider at its core is fermented apple juice

There are a lot of strong opinions on what cider is / should /must be. All can be respected or laughed at, respected or shunned. Opinions are like brains, we all have one, some just differ. 

The UK Government’s idea of cider is that it can be made from as little as 35% apple content, of which can come from concentrated apple juice, which, when diluted at a rate of four parts water to one part concentrate, actually renders the apple content in your glass as 7%. A frankly scary thought to the mind of a “full juice” cider maker. There is also a myriad of ingredients that can be added, a list of which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/permitted-ingredients-for-cider-duty

Any diversion from these allowed ingredients renders the cider a “Made Wine” which incurs over double the duty tax rate, which, unfortunately, renders some of the wild mixed fermentation and experiments that take place at Matt’s home unviable for public sale. A great shame, as most of them, are quite delicious.


Here are Matt’s thoughts on what cider is

To me, cider is a spectrum. I don’t think it needs a definition and I don’t think it should really have to have one. There are so many styles and variations within those styles, that I think it’s ridiculous to try and pin it down, write a sentence and say “Cider should be this”, because it can, inevitably, be something different. 

Yes, the thought that someone may think that Cider starts and ends with the clear, fizzy, minimal-apple-content liquids dispensed from fonts, is sad, but this can and is being, remedied by corners of the Cider community coming together and making education on cider more readily available and accessible. A friendly and open approach to Cider is what is needed. Long gone should the days of pointing a finger at something and declaring it “inferior” or “NOT CIDER”, as this merely… Cider drinkers and Cider as a whole.

In Cider, you will have the traditionalists, with their, very valid, old school ideals about what cider should be, but I like to think of myself as someone who is a bit more open-minded, having seen the vast and wild spectrum of what beer has now become, I believe cider should happily follow suit in becoming something that can be explored to the nth degree. It may be far removed from its original incarnation, but if this cider has been made with integrity and honest, natural ingredients, chosen solely for the purpose of improving enjoyment and not for economical reasons, I believe it should be respected and enjoyed. The additions of other fruits, spices, weird and wonderful bacteria, barrel aging and co-fermentation should be something to be explored and held in high regard, as long as it’s done with the intention of making it the best possible reflection of that cider makers expertise.


Now you are up to speed on what cider is, why not take a look at our online shop and eclectic range of cans and bottles – www.ascensioncider.co.uk/shop


Ian Fry

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