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September 2021

All change on the Cider Front?

If you are a cider or perry fan, you probably know what you like and CAMRA isn't trying to put a stop to that! However, we have been looking at how ciders and perries are made and packaged and have now issued a list of those that actually match an official definition of the drink. Worth a read and certainly worth tracking down any of these to give them a try.

First a bit of an obvious description:
Cider is a fermented alcoholic drink made from apples and is produced in much the same way as wine; it is not brewed like beer.
Perry is made from pears, usually from specialised perry pear varieties. Unpalatable for eating, and used only for perry, they have varying levels of astringency and tannins. Some modern perry (sometimes marketed as pear cider) can additionally be produced from dessert pears which will have no tannins and little bitterness.

As you can see, you don't actually need the description "apple cider" or "pear cider" (in fact "pear cider" is just plain wrong!)

Now for the bit that has been updated recently: This is CAMRA’s definition of how we identify ‘real’ cider/perry. CAMRA defines real Cider or Perry as being fermented from the whole juice of fresh pressed apples or pears, without the use of concentrated or chaptalised juices. The word ‘chaptalised’ as used in the definition refers to a process where the alcohol level in a cider or perry is increased by the addition of sugar to an unnatural level for storage, before it is diluted with water to the desired alcohol content for sale.

As you can see from the above, this is meant to define what we regard as 'real' cider/perry but not what it should taste like as that depends on what you.
This does not mean that CAMRA is trying to force everyone to only drink cider/perry that conforms to the above definition - people drink what they enjoy and nothing wrong with that. However, just as in Real Ale (or cask-conditioned ale if you like) it is our aim to educate and to promote those products that we identify as ‘real’. In the food world, we see ‘no artificial additives, etc.’ as a positive so why not the same for ales, ciders and perries? For more information and details of our ‘real cider’ producers, go to the CAMRA real cider page.

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