There’s no knowing which you’d prefer, so Wetherspoon has introduced three diverse examples into its craft cider range which represent the best.
Hazy Hog cloudy English cider
Origin: Tongham, UK
ABV: 5.0% 500ml
Appearance: Light golden (cloudy)
Taste: Gently sparkling, full flavoured
Hogs Back was founded in 1992 in old farm buildings near the village of Tongham. Ale-lovers will know it best for the pleasure of ordering ‘a pint of TEA’ (or Traditional English Ale), its first brew and one which has made regular appearances in Wetherspoon’s pubs ever since.
“You might argue we’re barking mad,” says Rupert Thompson, the owner of Hogs Back Brewery. “We’re trying things which may be a little eccentric, things which take us in directions other brewers don’t travel in.”
This gently sparkling bottle is a refreshing choice for anyone who wants a traditional cloudy English cider.
Origin: Cincinnati, USA
ABV: 5.0% 500ml
Taste: Crisp, fresh, slightly sweet
The people at Angry Orchard started out in the 1990s by experimenting with different types of apple and different techniques from all over the world, before coming up with something different and special.
Today, they select bittersweet apples from France (making the cider ‘angry’) and culinary apples from Italy – fermenting them with a white wine yeast and ageing the results in wood to add subtle notes of spice and vanilla.
This is a balanced cider, with sweet, ripe apple notes up front and a dryness in the finish.
Aspall Suffolk Cyder
Origin: Stowmarket, UK
ABV: 5.5% 500ml
Appearance: Light golden
Taste: Medium dry, delicate, fresh
The Chevallier family, which still owns the brand today, moved from Jersey into Aspall Hall (in the Suffolk countryside) way back in 1702, where Clement Chevallier started making his own cider in 1728.
Now the eighth generation, Henry and Barry Chevallier-Guild preside over the modern revival of cider-making at Aspall Hall which, in 2003, saw the launch of Aspall Draft Suffolk Cyder, in its elegant signature bottle – found in your local Wetherspoon.
Henry describes the style of the medium-dry cider as ‘very much east coast’, meaning that, unlike traditional West Country ciders, the emphasis is on appley flavours, rather than cider-like flavours.
“It has a nice balance and a racy acidity, giving it a clean, lingering finish – and it matches well with sweet and sour dishes and curries.”