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The West Country tends to think of cider as its own, but it is brewed around the world in many different styles. It’s an ancient beverage and no one knows for sure when or where it was first made because its main ingredient, the apple, is so widespread.
Cloudy, unfiltered ciders made here in the West Country are often called ‘scrumpy’, from people ‘scrumping’ (stealing!) apples from neighbouring orchards.
Here are a few facts you probably didn’t know about cider:
• In the 14th Century children were baptised in cider, it was cleaner than the water!
• Farmworkers’ wages in earlier times included four pints of cider a day.
• Captain Cook carried cider on his ships to treat his crew for scurvy.
• Over two million new cider apple trees have been planted between 1995 and 2006.
• The volume of cider produced annually in the UK is over 130 million gallons.
• 45% of all the apples grown in the UK are now used for cider making
• The value of UK cider sales doubled between 2004 and 2008.
Cider has become really popular in the past decade with a more modern and fun image and the introduction of fruit flavours such as the Cornish Rattler range that features Berry, Pineapple, Peach and Strawberry & Lime. You’ll also find cider popping up on the cocktail circuit!