Archive for August, 2010

Tax on alcohol should rise by ten per cent: charity – Telegraph

Secondary legislation has already been introduced to increase the tax on cheap, strong ciders. This legislation will change the definition of cider by introducing a minimum juice content to qualify to pay duty at the cider rates. Products with low juice content are now taxed at the more appropriate made-wine rate.

The government seem to have got the idea that introducing a minimum juice content will reduce the amount of cheap alcohol on sale, but medical charities are pointing out that the current tax bands are not sufficiently related to alcohol content at all and there remains some serious anomolies. A minimum juice content for cider is a good idea but at 35% this is laughable. It should be more like 85% which is the figure for real cider and anything less shouldn’t really be called cider at all

Watered Down Cider Definition backed by NACM

Watered Down Cider Definition
August 27, 2010 at 12:17 PM

The new definition of cider for customs and excise purposes is to allow cider and perry to be sold as such with as little as 35% juice content, and possibly even less if the original juice is high gravity.

The Statutory Instrument can be viewed from the Office of Public Sector Information site at


2. In section 1 of the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 (the alcoholic liquors dutiable under that Act), in subsection (6) (definition of “cider”)(b), for the words after “section 55B(1) below,” substitute— “cider (or perry)—
(a) which is of a strength exceeding 1.2 per cent but less than 8.5 per cent,
(b) which is obtained from the fermentation of apple or pear juice, without the addition at any time of—
(i) anyalcoholicliquor,or (ii) any liquor or substance which   communicates colour or flavour,
other than such as the Commissioners may allow as appearing to them to be necessary to make cider (or perry),
(c) the pre-fermentation mixture for which satisfies the pre-fermentation juice requirement, and
(d) which satisfies the final product juice requirement. For the purposes of this subsection—
(i) “the pre-fermentation mixture” for cider (or perry) means the mixture of juice and other ingredients in which the fermentation from which the cider (or perry) is obtained takes place, as that mixture exists immediately before the fermentation process commences,
(ii) if the cider (or perry) consists of a blend of two or more liquors constituting cider (or perry), references in this subsection to the pre-fermentation mixture are to the pre-fermentation mixtures for each of those liquors taken as a whole,
(iii) the pre-fermentation mixture for the cider (or perry) satisfies the pre- fermentation juice requirement if the volume of apple or pear juice of a gravity(a) of at least 1033 degrees included in the mixture is a volume not less than 35 per cent of the volume of the pre-fermentation mixture,
(iv) the cider (or perry) satisfies the final product juice requirement if the aggregate of the volume of apple or pear juice of a gravity of at least 1033 degrees included in the pre-fermentation mixture and the volume of any such apple or pear juice added after fermentation commences is a volume not less than 35 per cent of the volume of the cider (or perry), and
(v) the volume of any juice, the pre-fermentation mixture and the cider (or perry) is to be computed as at 20°C.”.

I don’t really care whether the exact interpretation of this means that Industrial cider makers can get away with making cider at only 35% juice content, or maybe even quite a bit less than that. The very idea of condoning such low juice industrial concoctions as genuine cider and perry for the purposes of profiting from the considerable tax advantages compared with other acoholic drinks is to be condemned.

Accepting the definition of cider with only 35% juice content can only be a setback for the real cider making movement, and anybody supporting it is deliberately conniving with big industrial cider makers to continue to deceive cider drinkers into believing the big brand ciders advertising lies.

About seven years ago, there was a prolonged and open discussion in the craft cider community to arrive at a definition of real cider which came out with the following:

Real cider is the product of fermenting fresh apple juice.

The amount of apple juice which went into the final product must be between 85 and 100% and should be clearly stated on the container it is sold in or dispensed from.

No artificial sweeteners, flavourings or colourings are permitted.

( For real perry substitute pear juice ) ukcider 30/11/2003

The new government definition of cider at 35% juice for tax purposes will permanently legitimise the practice of creating low quality, low juice drink concoctions in which most of the alcohol is derived from corn syrup, and then selling it with the image of unsullied natural orchard scenes.

The big question many real cider makers and drinkers will be asking is why is this legislation being supported by the NACM and their apologists within the craft cider movement?


Cider and Perry Tasting Part 1 (via Rhi’s Foodie World)

A nice rant from Rhiannon about the use of the term pear cider for a drink that isn’t really perry anyway. Then she goes on to review a bunch of products that are almost all examples of the industrial type of drink that are responsible for muddying the waters around the whole concept of cider and perry as we knew it. There’s promise of better lines to come in part 2.

Cider and Perry Tasting Part 1 Before I even begin I am going to have a short rant about the term “pear cider” which has become so popular of late.  I hate it.  There is already a term to describe a cider made from pears, it’s PERRY!!!!  The term perry seems to have got a bit of a bad reputation thanks to such classy beverages as Lambrini and Charlemange, but until the wonderful cider revival/revolution came along in the last few years cider didn’t have such a great reputation … Read More

via Rhi's Foodie World

BBC News – Poor pear harvest in Herefordshire for perry cider

There could be less Real Perry next year if this report comes true. Tom Oliver from Oliver’s Cider and Perry is experiencing smaller crops of perry pears this year, which is bad news for perry drinkers.

via Perry comes from perry pears which are smaller and more acidic than other types. Conventional pear cider comes from a sweeter variety.

I think they’ll get by using the old perry pear trees in people’s gardens and farms all over Herefordshire that haven’t been used for perry for years.

Mad Apple Czeck Cider

I suppose it’s only a matter of time before this Mad Apple Czech cider arrives in the UK and gets added to the so called Cider Festivals that some of the local pub chains organise. I bet they do a strawberry flavoured mad apple too.  

Real Cider and Perry Bar GBBF


Originally uploaded by ca1951rr

Real Cider and Perry Bar at the Great British Beer Festival, August 2010.