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Cider biographies

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Our selection of ciders, just right to go with fresh home-made pasties and scones!

Cider biographies

MG’s biography

Early cider memories: Drinking white cider in a tent with a friend along with 3-packets-for-a-pound of chocolate cookies and throwing up in his garden… cut to… end of 1st year at university. So depressed, felt I had no friends and drunk two litres of white cider in an hour on my own. I stayed awake all night, too drunk to sleep. MG

KT’s biography

I don’t remember when I was introduced to cider, though I can remember being allowed it with a meal occasionally from the age of around 12. My cider drinking didn’t properly start until I was 17, but I’d drink any alcohol, whenever possible, not just cider. This was a mild flirtation with alcohol - the affair started properly when I was a university student (at college I was relatively restrained.)

In my first year I’m told I was bought home by the police after my first beer festival, where I’d treated the cider list as a personal challenge. I was 23 and decided to avoid beer and cider festivals until I went to another aged 34. Apparently I proposed to my boyfriend then threw up in a taxi. I will probably go to another cider festival in a few more years.

I think cider should be made of apples without any unnecessary flavouring. Pear cider is OK, but not silly ‘alcopop’ flavoured ciders.

I will make an exception for Aspell’s Blush: their usual gorgeous appley cider with a touch of blackbery juice, more for colour than for overriding flavour. Thatchers produces a fine range of delicious ciders, though I’m not keen on Katy cider, despite my name. My favourite is Cox.

Healey’s ciders are good too. Their Rattler and Pear Rattler have a limited distribution and I will seek more of it out. Sheppy’s ciders are also good, with many varieties.

There are a lot of ciders produced in Herefordshire. Why can’t it be Hertfordshire where I live? The one local cider I’ve found tasted grim.

I always look out for interesting cider when I go on a rare pub trip. Other times I peruse supermarket and corner shop shelves to feed my craving. KT

PU’s biography

“I am a cyder drinker…” I didn’t really start drinking until I was 18 or 19, so I have no traumatic teenage tales of excesses of White Lightening and Ribena. I was introduced to cider as a more pleasant alternative to beer on pub trips with friends.

I spent a few years brewing cider from kits until an unfortunate mixup of bags caused me to pour a kiolgram of sea salt into the apple mixture.

I now brew wine instead, but cider is still my pub drink of choice. My favourite is Old Rosie, especially with a veggie pasty or a cheese roll. I tend to go for medium dry, but will try any yellow cider. White cider should go straight down the plughole, and pear ciders are so not perry, so they’re always disappointing.

The reviews

Sheppy’s cider with honey

Very appley and I can taste the honey. KT

Yum! I like this! Very drinkable, and somehow sweet and dry. PU

My scores out of 5 Alcoholness: 3, Appleness: 2, Fizzyness: 2, Sweetness: 3, Dryness: 2, Refreshingness: 2, Drinkability: 3. MG

Thatcher’s Gold

An appley medium cider. Nice. KT

More ‘proper cider’ taste. The plastic 2 litre bottle suggests a bland (or even dodgy) cider, but it’s actually quite nice with a distinctive flavour. PU

My scores out of 5 Alcoholness: 2, Appleness: 2, Fizzyness: 2, Sweetness: 3, Dryness: 1, Refreshingness: 4, Drinkability: 4. MG


I’ve drunk plenty of this in my time, often at social events, with fish and chips or pizzas. We used to nickname it “brainstormer”, but it’s a perfectly adequate cheap mid-strength cider - you’ll only suffer if you drink to much (with some ciders, you’ll suffer if you drink any!) PU

My scores out of 5 Alcoholness: 3, Appleness: 1, Fizzyness: 2, Sweetness: 3, Dryness: 3, Refreshingness: 2, Drinkability: 2. MG

Green Goblin

Slightly watery. Drinkable and refreshing. Can’t really taste any alcohol in it. Alcoholness: a puny ½. Appleness: ½ (not very). Fizzyness: 3. KT

A nice tangy taste, but my taste buds didn’t “dance with joy” like the label said they would. Nor did they complain. It has that apple-juicy taste that makes it easy to swig back, which at 6% could be dangerous. So sorry, Green Goblin, but I’ve not really got anything to say, good or bad about you. PU

My scores out of 5 Alcoholness: 3, Appleness: 3, Fizzyness: 3, Sweetness: 3, Dryness: 2, Refreshingness: 4, Drinkability: 4. MG

Black Dragon

Nice appley slightly bitter cider. More of a scrumpy than a timid cider. Can taste the alcohol. KT

That’s more like it! It has the taste of an “interesting cider” in my book. A dry cider, and one I could happily get drunk on! PU

My scores out of 5 Alcoholness: 4, Appleness: 1, Fizzyness: 2, Sweetness: 2, Dryness: 4, Refreshingness: 2, Drinkability: 2. MG

Tricky Cider

A quite dry cider. Drinkable but definitely not sweet. KT

Is this named for our famous Bristol DJ? It has a nice smell, but oh is it dry! Not dry to the extent of being undrinkable, but left a bit of a dry aftertaste that I wasn’t so keen on. I might have a half of this to show I was a “proper cider drinker” to the trendy pear and blackberry swiggers, but it’s probably my least favourite of the bunch on test. PU

My scores out of 5 Alcoholness: 4, Appleness: 2, Fizzyness: 1, Sweetness: 1, Dryness: 5, Refreshingness: 1, Drinkability: 2. MG

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