Cider producers Weston’s have recently launched Caple Rd Dry, Blend No.5, after their successful launch of Caple Rd Cider last year. Their Caple Rd Cider range is the Uk’s first craft cider in a can, a move from Weston’s that follows the increasingly popular interest in craft cider/beer over the last couple of years.
Big brands such as Weston’s are already predominant in the cider market place, but their movement into the craft cider sector shows a shift in the consumers pursuit of a more traditional product, with focus of ingredients, quality and method becoming important factors.
Caple Rd Dry is their second variant; it is double-filtered from fresh English apple juice to give a dry, crisp taste with a tart finish. Lighter than its previous variant it is 5% opposed to the 5.2% of the No.3 blend .
The new edition lives up to its name, a much drier, lighter palate with some good acidity. With fresh green apple tasting notes too. Launched at the Craft Beer Rising event in February, it is set to hit shelves over the coming weeks.
— Caple Rd Cider (@caplerdcider) February 26, 2016
The Caple Rd Dry Cider is named after the road which approaches the Weston’s site, in the Herefordshire village of Much Marcle where it has been making cider since 1880.. It is produced in small batches, to create its unique craft characteristics and premium quality. Both Caple Rd ciders are slowly fermented for up to 18 months, which is what gives the ciders their highly complex, full-bodied flavours.
It is not surprising that Weston’s has taken advantage of this craft cider boom, capitalising on consumers increasing preference for craft producers, with this sector steadily increasing it will be interesting to see how the larger brands such as Weston’s approach this opportunity.
Heineken are another example of big brands seeing the opportunity that craft cider brings. Heineken launched a new brand based around the heritage of its producer Familie Stassen, which the brewer acquired in 2012.
With the cider market expanding they clearly saw the opportunity to enter the market, following the lead of Stella Artois who launched its premium cider Cidre in 2011.
It isn’t just Craft Cider that is seeing this transition of branding; the same can also be said about Craft Beer. Guinness have recently been rebranding to try and make their Dublin brewery look like a ‘craft’ beer maker.
The large brands of both the beer and cider market are taking notice of the fascination and preference of “craft” products that is increasingly becoming apparent. Consumers are willing to spend more on products with a story, or offering something unique, moving away from the commercial market that comparably might be viewed as more artificial, or lacking in personality. It is only fitting that these brands respond to this, a move that might be beneficial for both consumer and brands.
With brands understanding and responding to this demand the range of craft products is set to increase, from both independent and larger commercial brands, increasing selection and availability, which can only be a step in the right direction for cider lovers everywhere.