Cider Styles

Did you know that cider can have all of the elegance and finesse of a wine and all of the boldness and character of a beer? The truth is, cider has a multitude of different styles to suit a range of different palates and different occasions.

These styles can be based upon a range of factors:

  • geography (eg West Country and Eastern Counties)
  • use of specific apple varieties (eg those driven by tannin and those where acidity dominates)
  • made from pears not apples!
  • where a specific process has been used (eg keeving or méthode traditionelle)
  • where minimal intervention is key (eg wild or natural fermentation)
  • when something has been added (eg hopped or fruit flavoured)

Go and explore the range of styles today!

Cider with Food

Cider is incredibly versatile, diverse and food friendly.  It contains all of the requisite sensory characters shared with wine such that it is a worthy partner for many a dish in its own right – and often a better match – no seriously!

It’s crucial to point out that there are no rules.  If you think that a cider goes with a particular food, and enhances your enjoyment of the food and/or the cider, then go for it!  The trick is finding the right balance between the sweetness, tannin and acidity of the cider and the properties of the food.

Why not use the Three Cs as your guidelines:

Cut – use dry, crisp and/or tannic ciders to cut through rich foods and cleanse the palate.

Contrast – use ciders that differ in flavour and mouthfeel from the food to create balance.

Complement – use ciders that accentuate similar flavours or are well balanced to the strength or delicacy to the food.

Cidermaking is a Nationwide Pursuit

While the classic culture of the South West of England, from the Three Counties down through Somerset to Devon and Cornwall, is the most widely known cider area in Britain, this is just one region where cider has a strong presence.

The heritage of making cider in Kent, Suffolk and Sussex can be traced back a thousand years, and is just as rich and vibrant as the South West. And the English/Welsh border region produces more cider than any other place in the world!

Today, cider is made in the most unexpected of places and spaces in the UK. From the mountain tops of North Wales, to the Black Isle in Northern Scotland, from a railway arch in East London, to the rolling hills of the East Midlands, cidermaking has taken a hold.


Westons Cider Makers - Herefordshire

“I want as many people to Discover Cider. It really is a beautiful, sustainable, home-grown drink that also supports a rural economy and many nature-rich apple orchards. It’s a delicious drink to savour that compliments so many food dishes. Helping to grow awareness of the diverse range of ciders that are produced in the UK and how to best enjoy them is why we’re involved in the campaign.”

5th Generation Cider MakerGuy Lawrence


Although many ciders are presented like beer, there are many differences between the two drinks. Crucially, cider is make from fermented fruit rather than cereal, so naturally it does not contain any gluten. So if you're coeliac, or are intolerant to gluten, cider makers a great choice!
Cider is first recorded having been made over 2000 years ago and has an illustrious heritage. In the 17th century in the UK, the quality of cider was increasing, and was being placed into new strengthened glass bottles.
John Beale read a paper to the Royal Society on 10 December 1662, in which he describes putting a "walnut of sugar" into bottled cider. This is about 20g of sugar, roughly the amount of sugar added to modern dry Champagne, but crucially several years prior to Dom Pérignon’s pioneering work in Champagne!
In many beers and wines, animal-based agents, such as gelatine and isinglass, are used to help clarify the drinks and remove unwanted aroma characters. Thankfully, cider naturally contains a different composition of proteins and aromatic compounds that makes the use of these agents completely unnecessary. Check the label on a cider - most producers will happily tell you if it's a vegan-friendly cider!
Did you know that if you planted a apple pip into the ground, the resultant tree is guaranteed not to be the same variety? The reason is that the pip contains the genes not only of the tree it fell from, but also from the tree that pollinated it. The key to perpetuating the desired variety is to graft it onto a tree already rooted into the ground (aka a rootstock). This means, when you look at a tree in an orchard, you're looking at two varieties fused together!