About Real Cider & Perry
What is Real Cider & Perry?
Real cider is a long-established traditional drink which is produced naturally from apples and is neither carbonated or pasteurised.
With the number of outlets for real cider diminishing, even in the West Country, and the situation with perry (which is made from pears) even worse, CAMRA set up a cider and perry committee to inform consumers about the choice of real cider and perry available and to encourage the producers to continue production.
CAMRA would like to encourage all pubs to stock at least one real cider or perry preferably if possible from a local stockist. There are now cider producers all round the country and not just the traditional cider counties of Devon, Somerset and Herefordshire.
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. 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.
Cider Alive in SE London
London hasn’t been a great place for cider in recent decades, but more recently a rise interest in Cider has seen many pubs retailing real cider rather than the fizzy stuff made from concentrate.
SE London pubs like the Blythe Hill Tavern (our SE London CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year 2015) have been stocking real cider for a few years with a good following. Other long term stockists include the Market Porter and the Royal Oak in Borough, along with newer premises who are doing well such as Late Knights’ Beer Rebellion in Gipsy Hill and the London Beer Dispensary in Brockley. A number of local Antic pubs also sell real cider such as the Catford Constitutional.
The rise of the micro pub has seen other real cider outlets opening such as the Long Pond in Eltham.
The Miller in Snowsfields, SE1 has a number of cider handpumps and puts on its own large one day cider & perry festival in July each year. Of course Weatherspoon has been stocking real cider for some time and hold a cider festival of their own – of the local outlets, the Capitol in Forest Hill does well.
Cider making itself is alive and well in our Branch area with an award winner produced in Eltham and also an allotment based operation in Honor Oak Park, both sourcing apples from local back gardens that would otherwise go to waste. These ciders are usually to be found at our Branch beer festival.