We’ve often wondered what might replace ‘craft beer’ in the affections of the trend-chasing young folk. and, though there is now ‘craft gin’, and we’ve joked about when we can expect ‘craft mead’, it was always cider which looked most likely to lure their attention. And it looks as if that change is underway.
Let’s look at the omens.
- Pete Brown has a book about cider on the way. (His first book on beer came out in 2003, just before the current boom began…)
- Fuller’s has just announced the purchase of a Cornish cider maker.
- As we and commenters noted yesterday, some supermarket beer sections have shrunk while their cider ranges have grown.
- There are already several ‘craft cider bars’, not least the Euston Tap’s twin Cider Tap on the other side of the road.
Attempting to trace the progress of this trend it looks very similar to what’s happened in beer, with some slight differences in timing:
- 1950: a working person’s day-to-day drink.
- 1965: a commercial commodity dominated by national brands.
- 1970s: rediscovered by the middle-classes in its ‘real’ form.
- 2000s: ‘premiumised’ by big producers. (Magner’s.)
Next? Perhaps ‘craft’ connoisseurism, experimentation and ‘extremifying’; yeast experiments, barrel-aging and new ‘styles’; craft keg’? We certainly look forward to trying a blackened, imperialised scrumpy… (Someone who knows about cider will no doubt tell us all of this is already happening.)
We’ve been saying for ages that certain lambic beers share flavours with the more rough-and-ready ciders — ‘barnyard’, ‘horse blanket’, ‘old wellies’, etc.. — and it won’t be much of a leap from beer to cider for those who’ve trained their tastebuds on hip ‘sours’ from breweries such as Brodie’s.
Don’t worry — this won’t be becoming Boak and Bailey’s Cider Blog, but then we wouldn’t be surprised to see a rash of them soon.