Latest Blog Posts

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!

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…


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

Orchards of Husthwaite: Blush (strawberry, raspberry and cherry) and Ruby (blackcurrant)

Dorset Nectar: Elderflower and Honey Bubble

Tutts Clump: Rum Cask

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


  • 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


  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.

Mulled cider packing a punch?

Warm cider punch

Making an appearance on bar menus up and down the country, mulled cider – or warm cider punch – is definitely the drink of the festive season this year. Make it in exactly the same way as you would mulled wine, by combining cider, sugar and your spices in a pan and heating gently for about 15 minutes. Cinnamon and star anise work wonderfully with cider, along with a bit of citrus zest to cut through the sweetness.

Which country drinks the most beer…?


Well it may not be a league table we should be overly proud of, but surely we Brits can do better than this…?!

The country that consumes the most beer per head is the Czech Republic with 143 litres of the stuff consumed per person.

In total – not surprisingly some would say – China consumed the most beer this year with 54bn litres consumed, but this is only 38 litres per person.

That compares to Germany, where an estimated 110 litres were consumed per person totalling nearly 9bn litres.

Top 10: Countries listed in order of highest beer consumption per head (total consumed in brackets)

1. Czech Republic: 143 litres (1.5bn litres)

2. Germany: 110 litres (8.9bn litres)

3. Austria: 108 litres (920m litres)

4. Estonia: 104 litres (135m litres)

5. Poland: 100 litres (3.8bn litres)

6. Ireland: 93 litres (430m litres)

7. Romania: 90 litres (1.8bn litres)

8. Lithuania: 89 litres (260m litres)

9. Croatia: 82 litres (346 litres)

10. Belgium: 81 litres (900m litres)

The UK drank 4.3bn litres of beer- 67 litres per capita which leaves us languishing well outside the   top 10!

But it’s not all negative – cider sale are growing in  the UK.  So come on…drink up!  (and there’s a great selection of craft beers and ciders to choose from on my website).

“Landmark victory for beer drinkers, pub goers and licensees.”


MPs voted today to end stiff rules that force their pub tenants to pay higher prices than non-tenants through a “market rent only” option for tied pubco tenants. Companies with more than 500 pubs must offer a market rent only (MRO) option.

Non-tied pubs often pay considerably lower prices for their beverages while tenants of “tied” pubs pay lower rents than non-tied pubs, but higher prices for their beer and other drinks. 20,800 of Britain’s 48,000 pubs that are subject to beer “ties” with a majority of those publicans earning less than the minimum wage.

Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) research found a pub company may charge £150 for an 11 gallon keg of Fosters, for example, compared with a wholesale price of £84. It welcomes the change saying this is “a landmark victory for beer drinkers, pub goers and licensees”.

How much more do tied pubs pay?

Product Wholesale Price Pub Company Price Percentage difference
Fosters Keg (11 Gallons) £84.99 £150.22 77%
Heineken Keg (11 Gallons) £114.99 £177.98 55%
San Miguel Keg (11 Gallons) £106.99 £178.75 67%
Guinness (11 Gallons) £108.99 £162.46 49%
Courage Best Cask (9 Gallons) £69.99 £104.21 49%
Source: CAMRA, 2013

But the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said the move was “hugely damaging” and spoiled a practice that had done well for 400 years.  A spokesman said that the tie model was the most popular model and allowed tenants and owners – pub companies and brewers – to share the risk.

The association said that the Government’s own research found that 1,400 pubs would close and 7,000 jobs would be lost if the tie model was abandoned.  There are a further 7,500 pubs that are managed by pub companies and brewers, and almost 20,000 independents, according to the BBPA. The number of pubs has fallen by almost 13,000 since 2000.

Chief executive of CAMRA, Tim Page, says: “Today’s parliamentary vote helps secure the future of pubs. CAMRA is delighted that, after 10 years of our campaigning, MPs have today voted to introduce a market rent only option for licensees tied to the large pub companies – a move that will secure the future of the Great British Pub.”

Tim Page added: “Allowing more than 13,000 pub tenants tied to large pub companies the option of buying beer on the open market at competitive prices will keep pubs open and ensure the cost of a pint to consumers remains affordable. The large pub companies will no longer be able to charge their tenants prices up to 60 pence a pint higher than open market prices”.

284 MPs voted for the amendment moved by Greg Mulholland, LibDem MP for Leeds North West and chairman of the Parliamentary Save the Pubs Group. 269 MPs backed the government.