The Apples & Pears Page          


Mid Chilterns Cider Pub Guide


What is real Cider and Perry?



The History of Cider & Perry


Strong Cider

Drink strong cider as much as yer please

Loses yer teeth and bows yer knees

Sours yer guts and makes yer wheeze

Turns yer words to the stings o' bees

Thins yer blood and kills yer fleas

Drink strong cider as much as yer please

Anon. (source: New Forest Cider, Burley)



The history of cider dates back to Celtic times (2000 BC) long before that new-fangled beer.

Cider is made from the juice of crushed apples. Cider apples consist of four main types: sharps, sweets, bittersharps & bittersweets - which as you can guess from their type-names provide

acidity, sweetness (fermented to alcohol) and tannin. Sharps and sweets are similar to cooking and dessert apples.

Cider is considered to derive from the West-country, from
Cornwall to Hereford, but it in fact it is a national drink. Different regions have different styles of cider - cider producers in the East of England often use cookers or eaters.

Cider is usually made from the juice of several or many apple varieties. Varietal ciders made from the juice of single apple varieties are often unbalanced in some way, but occasionally a quite drinkable cider can be made from apple varieties such as Kingston Black, Yarlington Mill or Dabinett.

Cider can vary from cloudy to clear and the colour can vary from straw-coloured through yellow and gold to red.

Perry is a different thing altogether. It is much rarer because perry has to be made from special perry pears, which are hard to come by. Not enough trees have been planted to produce sufficient perry pears, although once they begin to bear they produce for 300-400 years.

There is a limit of 25% to the proportion of apples which can be used in perry, and of pears which can be used in cider. Sometimes a batch of apples and pears is used which exceeds those limits (being nearer 50-50) which has no legal name, and accordingly we call that "pider" (better than "cerry").


If you have any information you wish to share please contact the Webmaster by email.


. APPLE (Apple & Pear Product Liaison Executive) is CAMRA's cider & perry committee.


For more information:

Andrea Briers (RCC East Anglia) - 01553 766904 (evenings and weekends)

Ian White (RCC London).