About cider and perry

Although CAMRA campaign mainly about beery issues, we also support the production of traditional cider and perry. As with real ale, real cider is a living, unpasteurised product, that offers far more flavour and character that its keg equivalent.

But unlike real ale production, which can happen at any time of the year, real cider & perry can only be made when the fruit is ripe. Great skill goes into its production. It is a producer rather than a brewer, that makes cider & perry. They may use a mixture of bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples or sweet dessert apples, or a mixture of the two to make cider; but perry can only be made from specialized perry pears, which are high in natural tannin.

The choosing, pressing and blending of the fruit to make cider is just as much of a craft as making beer and produces a vast range of tastes, styles and aromas, similar to those produced in fine wine. Like wine, each year’s fruit produces a unique vintage, so much so that cider and perry has been sometimes called ‘The Wine of the West’.

October is a very active time for producers, especially for those who make only a small amount of cider. Harvest time for cider fruit is roughly from September to November and by October production is in full flow. Consequently, CAMRA have designated October as National Cider and Perry month.

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Although real cider is rare in the Newark area, it can be found if you look hard enough. Real cider can be found regularly at the Bramley Apple, Southwell and Prince Rupert, Newark. In Newark, the Fox and Crown and Just Beer Micropub sell both real cider and perry, served from handpump or the cellar. The Vine also offers real cider from time to time.