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Sir Walter Scott back in stock

Hard Cider

Mr_OMr_O Member
edited May 2012 in The Pub (Off Topic)
Wondering who else has a taste for the cider. Just beginning myself, but finding a pint of a certain domestic Scrumpy rather nice, and just tried William's Perry(if I got the name right), tasty!


  • My favourite alcoholic drink. I have been going to Cornwall since I was a boy and I love the various scrumpys. I went to Callestock farm where they make 'legless but smiling' and was surprised how simple the manufacturing process was. Normandy and Breton cider is wonderful stuff and despite my patriotism probably the best in my view. Perry, made with pears of course, is a bit too sweet for me.
  • AllanHAllanH Member
    I like cider too, but is more like seasonal and occasional drink for me and I like dry apple variations. As @snuffster said, Normandy and Breton ciders are probably the best but scrumpys are really good too.
  • jpsksjpsks Member
    edited May 2012 PM


  • WhalenWhalen Member
    The English ciders are very very good, and of course there are standout examples. The ciders have been on my list of to do's, and I have begun making some of my own now. A batch of Juice based cider was used to see if a bottle conditioned cider could be attenuated with heat. Much to my surprise it can be heated to 150 degrees without exploding. This will allow me to control just how dry it can get. I am fortunate to be able to get large quantities of fresh pressed locally from the groves. Now for a nice cezanne yeast batch.
  • Am I right in saying Cider in the US is usually non-alcoholic?
  • Sheppy's Kingston Black.... mmmmmmmmm!
  • You can get Hard cider is avalible in the states, but most cider sold here is fresh or bottled and non-alcoholic.


  • Ah, I get it; 'hard cider' is not a term used over here.
  • khalidkhalid Member
    Chucklehead Dry Cider, bought by the gallon at Lambeth Country Fair, Brixton London. First rate, and I see they have a web shop. Highly recommended.
  • @Snuffster I was in my late teens before I learned that there even was an alcoholic cider, and it just sounded strange. In most cases in the US, it's nothing more than spiced unfiltered applejuice.
  • @Snuffster we don't have a large selection of hard cider over here; we're teeming with cider, but a good hard cider is hard to come by.
  • WhalenWhalen Member
    In the US we refer to Hard Cider as containing alcohol. There are several good ciders available from the US, and the English ciders are well represented. My favorite US cider is Crispen, and they make quite a few artisan ciders too. I recently have begun to sample as wide a range as possible in order to replicate a favorite.
  • AbraxasAbraxas Member
    edited May 2012 PM
    I don't know what you can obtain over the pond, but some decent entry level ones are Merrydown, Aspall and Strongbow silver - these are just supermarket ones but pretty good. Traditional Cornish scrumpies: Legless but smiling - and the last time I was at the Callestock farm they were exporting, they also make some beautiful limited addition ones and also a calvados type spirit. When I was there a couple of years ago, they had just got a gorgeous old copper still working. Cripplecock is another genuine one that is very good.

    When I went on the above tour, they told me that the old farmers would chuck a dead rat in the brew to add nitrogen - I think that was a good few years ago. The very best I ever had was when I was driving down a country lane in Cornwall and saw a sign; 'Farm cider available', went in and the farmers wife was brewing it for the family and any passing trade, that stuff was the real deal.
  • bobbob Member
    woodchuck that's all I've seen here. Though if you get the amish not hard cider and let it ferment that shit is good.
  • Mr_OMr_O Member
    It's cool to hear about what you all can find and try! Locally one can find Woodchuck, Crispin, Hardcore, Fox Barrel, JK's and at least a couple more. The only scrumpy I've had is from JK- but it is so good, just kind of expensive. I'm wondering, what's the name of that well known British mixed drink made with scrumpy, and what are the other ingredients?
  • I recall my late grandfather making his own, he was a farmer in my home county of Somerset. It is said cider flows through our veins!
  • Mr_OMr_O Member

    To clarify a bit perhaps, I don't know if you in GB have the term "soft-drinks"? Here it's a blanket term for non-alcoholic beverages, but it usually refers to soda or iced tea perhaps sometimes to fizzy mineral water, not so much to hot tea, coffee, or water. Hard usually refers to a drink that most commonly doesn't contain alcohol, but does in it's particular case. We have a somewhat popular product "Mike's Hard Lemonade", essentially lemonade spiked with some kind of colorless distilled spirit. Maybe it's not so different on your side of the pond, I don't know.

  • edited May 2012 PM
    never had it.
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • Mr_OMr_O Member
    edited May 2012 PM
    I consider myself lucky not to have a drinking problems. Which is kind of wierd because there are other things with which I find moderation difficult, including food and sometimes even sleep. If you can drink without negative consequences I say more power to you. There are other things in life with which you may be better off, but this isn't the place to discuss all of that. I'll just wish for folks to find a little corner of happiness in thier day.
  • We use the term 'soft drink' for the stuff you would call soda. I have never heard of a British drink made with scrumpy - nothing that's available nationally fits that description at least not that I know of. Maybe a regional thing from the one of the three cider making counties; Cornwall, Devon or Somerset? Sounds nice whatever it is.

    There is a Stella Artois cider now, mass produced but good.

    I got to within spitting distance of full blown alcoholism. When I woke up in a corn field instead of my bed, after a series of similar experiences, which were getting closer together, I just stopped drinking for six months. I love good wine with good food and the occasional cider etc and not having it in my life was a real pain - you only need to stop for a few days to understand how much drink is apart of life, especially if you are a detective, sad to say with that side of the police being institutionally boozey. So I re-introduced it cautiously and have never been drunk since and that was fifteen years ago. My wife never has more than two glasses of anything so I just follow her and, for me, its worked out.
  • JustinJustin Moderator
    I'm lucky enough to live a few miles away from Middle Farm in Sussex. Not only do they brew their own cider (including a particularly fine one fermented in rum casks) but they have a staggering array of brews from all over the country which you can buy straight from the barrel.
    "Reality," sa molesworth 2, "is so unspeakably sordid it make me shudder."
  • bobbob Member
    alcohol is actualy better when done mildly. The problem is the perfect place makes it harder to not have another drink or two.
  • Drink triggers something, when you have got to a pleasant state, that urges you to drink more, maybe you are getting closer and closer to your uninhibited self, which, clearly, has no inhibitions about drinking more. I now have what almost feels like a pre-programmed shut off, past the second drink and thats it, stop. I think I created a kind of aversion therapy thing sub-conscioulsy.
  • bobbob Member
     I think for myself part of my brain still measures things by when I used to drink alot. It has problems understanding that another beer is a lot more beer.
  • Mr_OMr_O Member
    Luckily I simply get to a point of optimal tipsiness, maybe a bit overwhelmed,  and I feel like "Yeah, I don't need another. I'll enjoy this while it lasts." I don't like the thought of losing control.
  • MrNemoMrNemo Member
    I'm a big fan of cider. I can't drink beer (coeliac) or red wine (other gut problems) so I just go through litres of the stuff. I really like French ciders, but the easiest available here that I like are Magners/Bulmers, or Rekorderlieg.

    Great stuff. ;-)
  • We use the term 'soft drink' for the stuff you would call soda. I have never heard of a British drink made with scrumpy - nothing that's available nationally fits that description at least not that I know of. Maybe a regional thing from the one of the three cider making counties; Cornwall, Devon or Somerset? Sounds nice whatever it is.
    I wonder if he means snakebite (cider and beer mixed in equal proportions)?
  • Mr_OMr_O Member

    MrNemo- I'll have to look for some French ones around here, haven't seen any yet but here's hoping. So where are you located? I ask to make the search for those others easier.

    I wish my memory was a bit clearer, but it might be snakebite then. If so, what type of beer would they use?

    I've noticed that a lot of the domestic ciders are pretty tart, probably because of the citric acid etc they add. So many are not something I'd buy very often. Also some have a distinct vineger(sp?) taste which I dislike, unless it's a very faint trace. One time I tried a Crispin and it had that taste, probably not worth buying again-for me. So far my fave is a domestic scrumpy, no offensive characteristics. From looking at the labels of many bottles, they are often only partially cider, mixed with a few other ingredients. Must keep up the search, I guess...

  • Its typically made with lager of some sort.
  • Mr_OMr_O Member

    Ah, makes sense. A heavy ale might not mix so well, now as I think about it, maybe an IPA could work (I crave hops).

    My only disappointment with the ciders is that it seems the good ones are pretty expensive, at least around here. Are they really that costly to produce?

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