Latest Blog Posts

A canny idea…?

The beer can turned 80 years old last week but still, for many, the very thought of beer in a can conjures up images of listless lagers favoured by lairy lads or super strength brews consumed by a less than discerning park bench crowd – miles away from the suave sophistication of continental bottled beers or the warm reassurance of real ale. The continued rise of craft breweries however, and their championing of the can, could see all this about to change.

It was the early 1900s when American brewers first hit on the idea of canning beers, but the challenge of creating a metal container that could withstand the pasteurisation process, as well as the pressures of carbonisation, proved problematic. And then of course came prohibition.
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Know your history of IPA? Want to drink some IPA…?!

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Good article from The Guardian explaining the history of IPA and photo of ship docking in India.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jan/30/brief-history-of-ipa-india-pale-ale-empire-drinks

IPA’s available from Fetch the Drinks include the following:

Sixpenny Brewery http://fetchthedrinks.com/product/sixpenny-brewery-ipa-5-2-case-of-12-x-500-ml/

Vibrant Forest (a bit different!) http://fetchthedrinks.com/product/vibrant-forest-metropolis-6-case-of-12-x-500-ml/

Little Valley Brewery  http://fetchthedrinks.com/product/little-valley-brewery-python-ipa-6-case-of-12-x-500-ml/

Gyle 59 http://fetchthedrinks.com/product/gyle-59-ipa-5-3-case-of-12-x-500-ml/

 

Cider drinkers growing – but not in height

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According to a Canadean survey of 2,000 UK-based adults, conducted in November 2014, a total of 19% of UK consumers have drunk cider in the last six months, but 57% of those cider drinkers only do so occasionally.. The key challenge for manufacturers is to enhance the premium and experiential credentials of cider to make the beverage more compelling. The survey shows that, despite the UK cider market being worth £4.0 billion in 2014 (up from £3.2 billion in 2010), more can be done to further increase sales by offering artisanal or mixed ciders.

Well as you will have seen from my blog yesterday Fetch The Drinks have many mixed ciders for sale and all our ciders are produced by artisans…

Two-thirds (62%) of cider drinkers say that they would be interested in craft ciders, with the desire for such products highest among younger adults. The concept of craft cider refers to artisanal brands that are positioned around purity, high quality ingredients and extra care in the production process.

Attributes such as authenticity, craftsmanship and quality appeal to consumers who are looking for something extra in their beverages – funnily enough just what the range of cider at Fetch The Drinks offers…

Flavour innovations driving cider consumption

Cider is defined as a gluten-free alternative to strong alcohol drinks such as beer. Produced through the fermentation of apple juice or pear juice, cider continues to witness healthy growth in comparison to other alcoholic beverages, but innovation in flavours and fruit mixes represents a key growth driver in the cider market.

Other major factors driving growth in the market include an increase in over-ice consumption of cider (although from my perspective why dilute a product that is fantastic as itself?!), hybrid flavours and a growing demand for natural or organic beverages.  Furthermore, concern over the use of synthetic ingredients in ready-to-drink beverages is driving the shift towards cider consumption.

So if you want to try organic and fruity cider look at Dorset Nectar with their elderflower and honey flavoured ciders http://fetchthedrinks.com/shop-category/dorset/

Or Tutts Clump with a rum cask cider http://fetchthedrinks.com/shop-category/berkshire/

and Thistly Cross with strawberry, elderberry, ginger and whisky cask in their range!  http://fetchthedrinks.com/shop-category/scotland/

 

Magners cider issues profit warning – is this good news for craft cider?

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C&C, the maker of Magners cider, has warned that profits will fall below market expectations.  The Irish company said operating profit for the year ending next month would be about €115m (£89m), down from €127m the year before and €10m less than analysts were expecting.

C&C is advancing plans to significantly reduce costs, which will return the cider business to acceptable levels of profitability, expand margins and increase investment behind the brand portfolio.  However, that will no doubt mean a further detriment in quality which can only be good news for artisan producers of craft cider.

The company said prices were under pressure because of too much supply as new brands and suppliers entered the market.  Does this mean all the craft cider suppliers are finally making a small dent into the big boys?

Let’s hope so!

 

Is cider going political?

The Labour party is considering proposing a new cheap cider tax and increasing the minimum amount of apple juice required to be in cider.  That’s good news as far as I’m concerned as commercial cider often has only the 30% apple juice it is required to contain by law.  Craft cider makers use 100% juice.

Andy Burnham also wants to rid shops of “high strength, ultra-low priced white ciders” which often come in three litre bottles as health experts estimate that the harmful use of alcohol costs the NHS around £3.5 billion in England and crime related to alcohol is estimated to cost about £11 billion a year.

Good quality and, in the words of a famous retailer, ‘reassuringly expensive’ craft cider gets my vote!

New Years Eve at home…with Fetch the Drinks

The cheap local bar you frequent throughout the year is charging you extra to simply step over the threshold and sip a lukewarm glass of Prosecco as the countdown begins. Instead, why not buy some great craft beer or cider (and some naturally fizzy keeved cider complete with champagne corks for midnight!) and have a party at home adding in a load of good food and great cheese.  Meanwhile you will have avoided the crowds, inflated prices and grumpy servers who want to be on the ‘fun’ side of the bar, queues for taxis and have change to spare!?

We’ll be at home!  Cheers and Happy New Year!!

A fruity little number…

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Fruit cider is still driving growth in the cider market while pear and apple struggle, the latest Nielsen figures have revealed, which also stated that the off-trade cider market grew 3.3% in the year to September 2013.

That growth was fuelled by the fruit cider category which grew 35% to £245.7 million, boosting its share of the market from 6% to 26%.

Although traditionally enjoyed most in the summer months, where fruit ciders enjoy a 25% share of the overall cider market, fruit ciders are becoming an all-year round drink with warmer flavours such as ginger and blackcurrant cider now available. Ciders with a warming twist also include cider matured in old oak or rum casks.

Examples of these ciders available at Fetch the Drinks include:

Thistly Cross Cider: Whisky Cask, Ginger, Strawberry and Elderflower  http://fetchthedrinks.com/product-category/scotland/

Orchards of Husthwaite: Blush (strawberry, raspberry and cherry) and Ruby (blackcurrant) http://fetchthedrinks.com/product-category/yorkshire/page/2/

Dorset Nectar: Elderflower and Honey Bubble  http://fetchthedrinks.com/product-category/dorset/

Tutts Clump: Rum Cask http://fetchthedrinks.com/product/tutts-clump-cider/

Recipe ideas with cider?

Red Cabbage with cider

Thinly slice the red cabbage and add 1/3 cup of dried cranberries, add 1 thinly sliced cooking apple, add 1/3 bottle of apple cider and 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, add 1/4 cup light brown sugar, stir to combine and season with a small teaspoon each of crushed cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Put a lid on top and cook gently for several hours in a moderately heated oven.
Keep your eye on that and add a little more apple cider if you think it needs it!

Ham with pear and a Perry cider sauce with thanks to Gino D’Acampo

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 thick slices of ham
  • 1 shallot finely sliced
  • 100ml Perry cider – I recommend Tutts Clump perry
  • 150ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 450g King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 40g butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • A splash of milk
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Make the mash by boiling the potatoes in salted water, once tender, drain and leave to steam for two minutes to get rid off excess moisture.
  2. Use a mashers or ricer to mash the potatoes then stir in the mustard and butter adding a splash of milk if needed. You don’t want it to wet so that it can soak up the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and leave to one side.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the ham until golden brown on both sides then remove from the pan and set to one side and keep warm.
  4. Add the shallot to the pan and cook for 1 minute before deglazing the pan with the cider. Bring to the boil and simmer for a minute before pouring in the cream. Simmer gently for two minutes until slightly thickened then season with salt and pepper and stir in the chives.
  5. Serve the sauce over the warm ham with the mustard mash.