Cider and perry | festival 2023


Welcome to the world of cider and perry, two iconic and beloved traditional British drinks that have been enjoyed for centuries. Bursting with flavor and crafted with care, cider and perry showcase the rich agricultural heritage of Britain and offer a refreshing escape from everyday life. Join us as we delve into the origins, production methods, and diverse varieties of these quintessential British libations.

The Origins of Cider and Perry

1. Cider: The Essence of Apple Orchards

Cider, also known as “cyder” in some regions, traces its roots back to ancient times. In Britain, cider has a long and storied history, with apple orchards dotting the countryside for generations. The temperate climate, fertile soil, and abundant apple varieties have made Britain an ideal region for cider production.

2. Perry: Pear Perfection

Perry, often referred to as “pear cider,” is a close relative of cider. It is crafted using pears instead of apples, imparting a distinct flavor and aroma. The tradition of perry-making has deep roots in the western regions of England, particularly in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, where ancient pear orchards have thrived for centuries.

Production Methods

1. Pressing the Fruit

The first step in crafting cider and perry is the careful selection and pressing of the fruit. In traditional methods, ripe apples or pears are hand-picked and sorted before being crushed or pressed to extract the juice. This juice serves as the foundation for the fermentation process, where the sugars present in the fruit are transformed into alcohol.

2. Fermentation and Maturation

Once the juice is extracted, it is left to ferment naturally or with the addition of yeast. Fermentation can take place in wooden barrels, stainless steel tanks, or even in the bottle. This process allows the sugars to convert into alcohol, resulting in a beverage with varying levels of sweetness, dryness, and complexity. After fermentation, the cider or perry is aged and matured, allowing its flavors to develop and harmonize.

Varieties of Cider and Perry

1. Traditional Cider

Traditional British cider offers a wide range of flavors and styles, each reflecting the unique characteristics of the apple varieties used. From crisp and tart to sweet and aromatic, traditional cider can be still (non-sparkling) or naturally sparkling. Varieties such as “scrumpy” cider, made from traditional cider apple varieties, or “farmhouse” cider, crafted using apples from local orchards, showcase the diversity and regional nuances of British cider.

2. Perry Variations

Perry comes in a range of styles, each capturing the essence of pears in its own way. From light and delicate to rich and full-bodied, perry offers a spectrum of flavors and aromas. Whether it’s a refreshing “perry pétillant” with gentle effervescence or a “perry reserve” with complex tannins, perry lovers can explore a world of pear-inspired delights.

Serving and Enjoyment

1. Temperature and Glassware

Cider and perry are best enjoyed chilled. Serve them in appropriate glassware, such as a pint glass or a tulip-shaped glass, to allow the aromas to concentrate and the flavors to unfold. The right serving temperature enhances the drinking experience, offering a refreshing and invigorating sensation.

2. Food Pairings

Pairing cider and perry with food can elevate both the drink and the dining experience. The crisp acidity of cider cuts through rich and fatty dishes, making it a wonderful companion for roast pork, creamy cheeses, or traditional English pub fare. Perry, with its delicate and aromatic nature, pairs well with lighter dishes, salads, seafood, or fruity desserts.


Cider and perry represent the essence of British craftsmanship and the celebration of the country’s rich agricultural heritage. From the orchards of Britain to the glasses of cider and perry enthusiasts worldwide, these traditional drinks offer a taste of tradition, craftsmanship, and the bountiful flavors of apples and pears. Raise a glass, savor the crispness, and embrace the refreshing world of cider and perry.

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