While half of the cider produced and consumed globally is in the UK, popularity in
North America is on the rise.
Though the industry is small, it is the fastest growing segment of the beverage market.
Amongst cidermakers there is definitely a feeling that we are at the start of a cider boom.
With a young market there is a huge opportunity to educate consumers about ‘real cider’ and what makes it so special. There are many definitions of what makes a ‘real cider’ but for us at Left Field Cider Co. it’s all about the apples.
If it’s made out of fermented apples, it’s ‘real cider’, if it’s made with artificial flavours, fruit juice concentrate and who knows what else, it simply is not ‘real cider’.
Cider apples are a group of apple varieties that are grown particularly for their use in cider production.
Besides having funny names like Balls Bittersweet and Harry Master’s Jersey, they also have several characteristics that make them important for cider production.
Like wine grapes, they are often not particularly nice to eat. It is generally acknowledged that the best ciders come from a blend of apples.
Cider apples are grouped into one of four categories:
low in both acidity and tannins are the blandest types of cider apples. While they do not impart much flavor or aroma on their own, they can be very useful when blending ciders to balance strongly flavoured varieties.
are high in acidity and low in tannins. These apples are often less sought after as the low tannin, high acid characteristic is also found in dessert apples which can be used as a substitute.
low in acidity and high in tannins are responsible for imparting the bitterness and astringency that characterize English cider.
are high in acidity and high in tannins. Like bittersweet cider apples they give bitterness and astringency to ciders, while also adding the acidity that is important for a clean fermentation.
Tannins are also found in tea and red wine and give ciders a full-bodied flavour.
They can add both bitterness and astringency – a drying of the mouth.
Dessert apples are typically very low in tannins and very high in acidity but by blending them with the right cider apples we are able to cut down the acidity and give our cider more depth and body.
How should Left Field Cider be enjoyed? In a wine glass? A pint? Over ice? With food? At Left Field Cider we are about making delicious quality cider to be enjoyed, not making up a bunch of rules about how it should be consumed.
If you want to sip it from a wine glass while watching the sunset, great. If you want to have a pint in the pub, fantastic. If you prefer it over ice on a hot day, go for it. If you want to pair it with a cheese plate or an outdoor bbq, we’re sure it will taste great. Straight from the bottle, heck ya.
Our one and only cider rule – all cider is best enjoyed with a friend!