What’s better than a bottle of quality craft cider? A whole keg, of course! Because let’s be honest – there’s nothing worse than being in the mood for a nice cider, only to find out that you’re all out.
To help fellow cider enthusiasts navigate around this (honestly quite annoying) problem, we’ve created a guide of 8 ciders of different types that are leading the craft revolution in their own way. And naturally, all these are available in kegs, too!
West Country Cider on Keg
West Country Ciders are known for the classic cider apples which give a uniquely bold and complex flavour that we love. As we know, the West Country is rich with cider history, with some cideries that have been crafting this golden nectar for over a century, over generations.
With such a deep history, there are over two dozen cider producers in this region, so there really is a cider for everyone. Here are two cider kegs that are loved and are making the West Country proud!
- Perry’s Grey Heron: Perry’s is one of the oldest and most recognised cider producers. They brewed their first bottle of cider more than a century ago and have been fine-tuning the art of cider making ever since. The brand believes in adding nothing except the finest apples and they say “it hasn't seen a Somerset orchard it's not going in” which is a testament to their passion for high-quality cider. The perfect blend of Redstreak and Dabinett apples in the Heron makes for a very well-balanced fruity sweet taste. It’s a favourite even among those new to ciders!
- Crafty Nectar No. 7: the world’s tastiest cider, winner of the International Cider Challenge. This sparkling medium cider is wonderfully complex and flavourful. Created by cider experts and enthusiasts for the world to enjoy! We take great pride in our own brand ciders as we’ve worked tirelessly and collaborated with the industry’s very best to bring truly unique ciders to the market. Our mission is to bring quality cider to the people of the UK, and top-rated ciders like the No. 7 help us do just that!
Fruit Cider on Keg
Fruit ciders, especially real fruit ciders, are a refreshingly different experience compared to the traditional ciders many of us might be used to. The inclusion of fruit can do wonders for the flavour and feel of the cider. This is especially true for real fruit ciders, ones that don’t contain concentrates or artificial flavours – just the goodness of fruit and our beloved apples! Here are two top-notch fruit ciders leading the cider revolution :)
- Crafty Nectar No. 8: the harmonious combination of 100% Yorkshire triangle rhubarbs fresh-pressed cider from our own lineup! This easy-drinking real fruit cider has no additional flavourings and is “one of the best, if not the best" rhubarb ciders in the market, according to The Cider Critic. Just like the No. 7, we have worked very hard to really perfect the flavour profile of this cider. As we know, real fruit ciders tend to be a little too sweet or fruity for someone with a palate for traditional cider. The No. 8 aims to strike the right balance and make real fruit cider irresistible!
- Crafty Nectar No. 9: the tastiest co-ferment cider and the result of our collaboration with the king of co-ferments, Simon Day (Head Cider Maker at Once Upon a Tree). If rhubarb doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, perhaps the blackberry and hibiscus co-ferment is for you! As we know, co-ferments take real fruit ciders to the next level and are truly a different cider drinking experience. This cider is part of our mission to #ReThinkCider!
Eastern Counties Cider on Keg
Lighter bodied and clearer, ciders from Eastern counties are a different experience altogether. The use of culinary and dessert apples in the cider-making process really adds a unique edge to flavour that has to be experienced to be truly understood. Two ciders leading the revolution from the Eastern counties are:
- Nightingale Wild Disco: Nightingale makes ciders for the past 70 years in their family farm in Tenterden. The Wild Disco is a little wild in the best way possible. The 100% wild-fermented Kentish apple juice is the star of the show, with floral aromas. As you’d expect, it tastes quite fresh and the zinginess is definitely quite ‘wild’. They aim to make proper fine Kentish cider and deliver on that very well. Overall, a great medium-dry cider if you like your cider sharp and rustic
- Kentish Pip Dappler: Kentish Pip is a relatively newer cider maker, but their roots date back to over a hundred years! They are obsessed with quality and aim to spread the cider revolution far and wide, with availability even in places like Hong Kong! The Dappler is a wonderful dry cider with a flavour profile that strikes the right balance. It’s quite light and clear, a delightful experience if you’re into Eastern ciders ;)
Hopped Cider on Keg
Beer? Great. Cider? Fantastic. Beer + Cider? Yes, please! Hopped ciders are a delicious way to combine the smoothness of a beer and the versatility and freshness of a cider. The best of both worlds! And while the combination might seem a little unusual at first, hopped ciders feel like a match made in heaven. Here are two of the best:
- Beard and Sabre Dolores Hopped Cider: Beard and Sabre are also relatively newer cider maker and have been on the scene for half a decade now. But they have experimented and iterated until they struck gold (or in this case, golden nectar). Their efforts to find the perfect cider has led them to create innovative beverages like the Hopped Cider. It’s the perfect marriage of traditional cider and British hops. Drinks very smooth and has super refreshing tropical fruit notes.
- Nightingale Hopped Cider: a relatively newer launch from the heritage producer we spoke about earlier. The lightly-sparkling off-dry cider uses Earnest hops which are grown a stone’s throw away from where the cider’s made. It’s got a wonderful fruity flavour thanks to the hops and goes down very easy. It isn’t always common for a traditional cider maker to venture into hopped ciders and other styles, but Nightingale has taken the plunge and boy has it paid off! They have managed to elevate their traditional Kentish ciders to a whole new level which makes this a great beverage to sip on.
Wrapping it up
The cider scene has evolved multi-fold over the past years and it’s been phenomenal to see some fantastic ciders coming up. From century-old heritage producers to relatively newer cider-makers, we’re witnessing something beautiful – a cider revolution!
We have personally tried and tested these ciders and have found them to be wonderful experiences in their own right. So pick whichever one your taste buds fancy! And they’re all available in kegs, so drink up without worrying about the bottom of the bottle ;)