Craft Cider, 1946

1905 illustration: Siberian Red crab apples.

While we’ve lost the will to debate the meaning of ‘craft’ in relation to beer we remain on the look out for evidence of how the term took hold.

In 1946, Bats­ford (as in the pub guides) pub­lished a book called Eng­lish Coun­try Crafts by Nor­man Wymer. Most of it con­cerns, e.g., wood­work­ing but there is a brief men­tion of cider-mak­ing:

Maybe it can hard­ly be called a craft in the strict sense, but cider-mak­ing is an inter­est­ing old coun­try work… and is, I think, worth a men­tion… Mod­ern meth­ods of pro­cess­ing and bot­tling have caused cider, as sold in most parts, to dep­re­cate in taste, while the large firms now buy up the farm­ers’ apples in such huge quan­ti­ties that the old-style cider-mak­ing has almost died out… There is as much dif­fer­ence between the machine- and the home-made cider as between mass-pro­duced and hand-made arti­cles. If you doubt it, try a glass of each and judge for your­self. Then you will see why cider-mak­ing is regard­ed as a coun­try craft.

Craft, mod­ern meth­ods, old-style, machine-made, home-made,hand-made, mass-pro­duced… How do you like them apples? (Ahem… sor­ry…)

On the oth­er side of the coin, Paul Jen­nings’s The Local (2007) quotes Charles Bar­clay of Bar­clay Perkins describ­ing him­self and his peers, in 1830, rather won­der­ful­ly, as ‘pow­er-loom brew­ers’.

Main image source.