Connect with us
Blog Menu
Celebrating cider: A history of this summer favourite
  • Home  › 
  • Brew Shed  › 
  • Celebrating cider: A history of this summer favourite

Celebrating cider: A history of this summer favourite

With summer well and truly here, it's cider's time to shine. The alcoholic apple beverage is a warm-weather favourite, and for good reason. Sweet, refreshing and a little bit bubbly, cider rides a fine line between fruit juice, beer and champagne. We run through the history of this sensational summer drink and give a shout out to a few choice drops.

Ancient apples

The origins of cider date back to the ancient Greeks and Romans (and possibly even further). It’s hard to place the exact birth of cider, as apples were widespread in Europe and the process of fermenting apple juice into cider is relatively simple.

When the Romans arrived in England in 55BC, they found the locals were already happily sipping on cider. One of the main reasons cider consumption was so prevalent is because water consumption was potentially hazardous at the time, whereas the alcoholic cider was a safe option.

For a long time, the English championed cider production, with Kent becoming a commercial hub for the drink. Regional variations included scrumpy and pear cider (known as perry). If you want to try an old English-style cider, Westons Old Rosie Cloudy Scrumpy is a great choice.

Cider spreads to the New World

Cider was typically made from apples grown from seed. Growing apples from seed is an unpredictable practice and often results in sour fruit, which is fine for turning into cider but not so great to eat.

Legend has it that Johnny Appleseed is such a prominent figure in North American lore because he travelled the country planting the seeds that gave the gift of cider to the frontiers!

Modern ciders are often made with cultivated apple varieties which come from trees that have been grafted to produce consistent fruit (like Granny Smith and Fuji apples).

The history of cider in Australia takes us to the fair state of Tasmania, which is renowned for its apples. Mercury Cider is one of the oldest Australian varieties around, having been established in 1911. Try their Draught and Hard Cider varieties to sample a tradition that dates back over 100 years.

Cider with a modern twist

From humble origins as a replacement for drinking water, cider has gone on to become a trendy drink. In 2008 cider drinkers in Australia were an average of one in 25 people, and in 2013 that jumped to one in five! That number continues to rise, as many are cottoning on to the fact that cider is the perfect warm weather beverage.

With both traditional and modern ciders on the market, there’s more choice than ever. One of the more popular brands in recent years has been Rekorderlig.

This manufacturer calls Sweden home and adds various fruits and spices into the mix for bold flavours. Aside from their Premium Apple Cider, Rekorderlig makes Strawberry & Lime and Wild Berry variations. These fruity sensations have pushed the expectations of what the humble apple can produce, with new flavours and cocktails inspired by cider popping up every year.

So, pick up a bottle of cider this summer and raise your glass to the rich history that gives us this tasty drink.