Cider & Perry
CAMRA is not exclusively about beer, many members prefer to drink apple or pear based products, and the Nottingham Cider Team is proud to promote these wonderful drinks. We appreciate the heritage and skill of our many cider and perry makers throughout the country and we are lucky enough to have a large number of makers within the East Midlands.
We organise The Cider Barn at the Nottingham Beer & Cider Festival and in 2021 had nearly 200 different ciders and perries to sample.
A bit of history:
Ciders and Perries are very ancient and traditional drinks of the British Isles, as well as our European neighbours. As long as apples and pears have been grown in Britain, it is very likely that some form of alcoholic drink would have been made from them. The Romans certainly crushed and pressed apples to make an alcoholic drink from the juice and they also introduced a number of apple varieties into Britain during their conquests; however there is great evidence that the Celts, who were great traders and seafarers, also introduced apple varieties into these lands and islands.
Cider as we know it today – real cider at any rate – developed on the continent and migrated to Britain via the Spanish, Gauls and Normans. Prior to the Norman Conquest, the Spanish of the Asturias and Basque areas had developed the technologies of crushing and pressing apples to quite a high degree, and the Normans brought this technology to the Auge valley region of France. Here the technology was further refined and apple varieties selected and developed to produce higher quality ciders. Following the activities of William and his barons in 1066, it naturally follows that they would want to bring parts of their culture, including the quite highly developed wine and cider making practices, with them. Of course there is also a strong link between the Britons of south-west England and Wales, and the Bretons of north-west France, both having a long history of cider and perry making; however this is less well documented.