Latest Blog Posts

Support small cider makers

New EU laws could force small cider producers to pay duty.   See the FT article here:

We need to ensure that small cider producers are supported and given as much publicity as small breweries.

Craft beer boom…more is less?

The UK has about 1,300 breweries, the highest since the 1930s according to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), even though people are drinking less. A fifth of adults now say they are teetotal and the proportion of young adults who drink frequently fell two-thirds between 2005 and 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics.  People are drinking less volume but better quality drinks.

Brewing is booming in the UK, spurred by growing sales of craft beer and ales, with applications to start breweries tripling in the past five years.
Small brewers in the UK are helped by a tax measure introduced in 2002, which gives a 50 per cent beer duty discount for brewers producing less than 5,000 hectolitres, about 900,000 pints, a year, and campaigners are still pushing George Osbourne to make further cuts in duty to both beer and cider (which doesn’t get as much publicity).

The surge in beer duty applications, a legal requirement for starting a brewery, comes despite falling alcohol consumption and the continuing closure of pubs. Last year, 304 applications were submitted, up 42 per cent on 2013 and 189 per cent higher than in 2010, according to UHY Hacker Young, the accountancy firm.  Craft beers and ales, typically brewed locally and distinguished by strong flavours that are less common in mainstream beers, are a small but fast-growing segment of the beer market, and you can buy mixed cases from many different brewers on our website. Sales in this area grew at 30.3 per cent to £404m last year, according to GCA Peach.

With thanks to the FT.


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…?!


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

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

Sixpenny Brewery

Vibrant Forest (a bit different!)

Little Valley Brewery

Gyle 59


Cider drinkers growing – but not in height


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

Or Tutts Clump with a rum cask cider

and Thistly Cross with strawberry, elderberry, ginger and whisky cask in their range!


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


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!