It is no secret that the craft and flavoured cider market is on the up, the growth and depth of product is unrivalled by any other in the industry which is now representative of its stature on taps and in the fridges of all the best bars in town. Martin Wolstencroft (Arc Inspirations) describes the current state of flavoured cider as an ‘explosion’ in the market, it must now be considered as a permanent feature on any bar. At Fetch The Drinks, sales at a show, on-line or wholesale, it is the flavoured and innovative products that are proving the most popular. At the recent Dorset Chilli Festival, Martin’s ‘Lulworth Skipper Chili Cider’ proved extremely popular and flew out of the tap while Dorset Nectar’s Passion Fruit variety has been a massive hit at cider festivals all over the country. It is the intrigue and bewilderment from the customer “surely not”, that catches their attention, but yes we can confirm chilli and garlic cider (Orchard Pig, Maverick) does work and tastes fantastic.
Outside of the innovative range of cider products which is giving the market such a boom, the daring and adventurous taste of the drinker is also expanding and generating more followers than ever before. Jayson Perfect (Palmers tenanted trade director) has noted a variety of age groups now enjoying and experimenting with a range of different ciders. From your traditional dry cider drinker to your “I don’t drink cider” non-cider drinker, everybody is getting involved, they love the story, the development and the craftsmanship of each individual product. Many bars, including Wolstencroft’s, will now stock three to four flavoured, one mainstream and a classic/craft cider, due to its new found popularity.
Ciders diversity is also giving it the edge. Pubs and bars are always looking at ways to accommodate cider, not just as a drink but as a fine accompaniment with food, taking advantage of its full and extensive range of flavours. Furthermore, cooking with cider can also be a fantastic way to juice up your dish and give you the press on any competitors or just to try something different in your own kitchen.
Last week was the Great British Beer Festival, it is a fantastically well run event and this year was no different. What is exciting and notable though is the growing prominence and popularity of the cider bars. Seeing first hand the number of cider drinkers and the extensive range of ciders on offer was an extremely pleasing for cider lovers such as ourselves. Customers knowledge of cider has increased dramatically over the last ten years, which is where the demand for such a varied range of products has come from. Perfect believes that holding dedicated cider events can ‘develop customer interest in the category’, therefore cider becoming an increasingly important feature at beer festivals.