As with many other categories of alcoholic beverage cider has experienced a transition over the last few years and is growing in popularity and with that popularity sprouts new brands and new flavors and formats. As we get in to the top 10 cider brands UK we should also look at how cider is made and some of the options it can be enjoyed.
How is cider made?
Cider is basically produced from the sweet juice of apples which can also be used for vinegar and has been produced for around 8,000 years and all started in Europe and Asia. As things progressed Normandy became the dominant force in cider making and then England and colonial America.
The apples used in cider are varied in size but also in type but as they are the main ingredient for cider, the quality of the apples really have a huge bearing of the quality of cider. The apples should be juicy, sweet, ripened and with certain levels of natural acids and tannins. The skin of the apples are a large factor effecting the taste of the cider therefore they are not peeled for the production process. The seeds are also used in the process although they do not contribute to the taste. There are usually several different apples used for one cider as the differences in the different apples balance the taste of the cider and each brand has its distinct taste which is based on their exact recipe.
The apples are harvested and then washed and then crushed and pressed and then the cider is fermented. Other ingredients may be used such as natural acids, during the fermentation process as the yeast converts the apple’s sugar into alcohol. Although apples do contain their own yeast some producers add their own to the mix.
The cider can be bottled first before fermenting or alternatively after and this will depend on the producer. If bottled and then fermented some sediment will form at the bottom of the bottle.
Pears are replaced with apples to create perry however the process is the same as apple cider.
[Did you know that you need in-between 5Kg and 6.4KG of apples to produce 4.54 liters of cider?]
How to enjoy cider
I remember when I used to first drink cider there was only one way, well two actually, you visited a pub and purchased a pint or few which in the UK is 568ml and then enjoyed in a warm social area. If you were working outside or had a party to go to you would buy a number of liter bottles of cider and take those or there was one other way, you visited one of your local farms that produced cider and purchased a gallon (4.54 liters) of cider which was served in the plastic container sediment clearly seen in the bottom. I have to say the locally brewed cider was particularly potent and I never did finish a gallon to oneself!
When I travelled to Finland for the first time back in 2003 I was surprised and shocked that they served a pint of cider in a glass that firstly was not filled up to the brim and was 500ml of product and technically not a pint, but also they then added ice! Wow that was the first time I had drank cider with ice but have to say it tasted great and something that I certainly got used to and of course then the trend to drink Bulmers with ice started so it became a popular way to drink cider.
Top 10 Cider brands UK
Below is the list of the top 10 cider brands that are enjoyed in the UK.
- Bulmers – also known as Magners Original Irish cider when produced for Ireland owned by C&C group plc. Bulmers produce a huge range of different variants including pear, crushed apple, black cherry to name a few and also have a sub brand called orchard pioneers
- Strongbow dark fruits – Brewed by AbIn Bev
- Thatchers Gold – some other fantastic brands including Rose and Cloudy lemonade cider amongst others
- Strongbow – Brewed by ABIn Bev
- Koppaberg – very famous pear cider and the first to launch that took the market by storm
- Henry Weston’s vintage cider – Family owed and some wonderful other products including organic, Rose, old Rosie and perry
- Somersby – other flavor variants include cranberry, apple burst, blackberry, organic and pear cider
- Frosty Jack – they produce a white cider as well as the usual colors
- Bulmers Original – as detailed above
- Blackthorn – based in the South West of England
The above list is of course the large producers that are popular in the UK however there are several different brewers around the UK that produce cider on a small scale.
Top 30 Cider and Perry Brands worldwide
The world of cider does in fact include perry also, cider as mentioned is made from apples but perry is made from pears. So, what are the top selling brands of ciders and perry worldwide based on 2018 figures.
|Global Brand Name||Global Brand Owner|
|2||Hunter’s||Distell Group Ltd|
|4||Angry Orchard||Boston Beer Co Inc, The|
|5||Savanna||Distell Group Ltd|
|6||Kopparberg||Kopparbergs Bryggeri AB|
|7||Magners||C&C Group Plc|
|8||Thatchers||Thatchers Cider Co Ltd|
|9||Stella Artois||Anheuser-Busch InBev NV|
|10||Bulmers||C&C Group Plc|
|11||Rekorderlig Cider||Åbro Bryggeri AB|
|12||Weston||H Weston & Sons Ltd|
|13||Lambrini||Halewood International Ltd|
|14||Frosty Jack||Aston Manor Brewery Co Ltd|
|15||Strongbow||Anheuser-Busch InBev NV|
|17||El Gaitero||Valle, Ballina & Fernández SA|
|18||Réal||Cía Cervecerías Unidas SA|
|19||Growers||Arterra Wines Canada Inc|
|20||La Victoria||Cía Cervecerías Unidas SA|
|21||Del Valle||Bodegas Cuvillier SA|
|22||Old Mout Cider||Heineken NV|
|23||Toohey’s||Kirin Holdings Co Ltd|
|24||Bulmers Original||Heineken NV|
|25||Rekorderlig||Åbro Bryggeri AB|
|26||Loïc Raison||Agrial Groupe|
|28||Cereser||CRS Brands Indústria & Comércio Ltda|
|29||Orchard Thieves||Heineken NV|
|30||Blackthorn||C&C Group Plc|
Product Details per 100ml
- Calories: 45 calories
- ABV: 4%
- Sugar: 5.7g
- Carbohydrate: 5.7g
- Gluten-Free: Yes
- Vegetarian: Yes
- Vegan: Yes
Cranes brew the finest cranberries alongside apples to deliver this refreshingly crisp cider. To provide you with a fruity variety in three delicious flavours;
blueberries & Apples / Cranberries & Limes / Raspberries & Pomegranates
I hope that you get a chance to enjoy a number of these ciders over the summer as there is nothing better to quench your thirst on a hot day that a pint of refreshing cold crisp cider.
If as with any of the articles that appear on the website, you have any comments these are welcomed and indeed if there is any other article that you would like me to cover then please leave a comment below.
data supplied from statista