Organic ciders are becoming increasingly available in the UK. To be organic the apples must come from orchards in which no pesticides have been used. One major producer has launched a scheme to have as much as 1,000 acres of old traditional orchards registered as organic with the Soil Association.
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Interesting Facts

  • Over two million new cider apple trees have been planted since 1995 (to 2006).
  • In the 14th Century children were baptised in cider, it was cleaner than the water!
  • Farm workers’ wages in earlier times included four pints of cider a day.
  • Captain Cook carried cider on his ships to treat his crew for scurvy.
  • At one time, 365 different varieties of cider apples were grown.
  • In the 19th Century cider was advertised as a cure for the gout and other illnesses.
  • The first listing of cider presses as a source of income appears in 1230 in a Royal Charter granted to Jocelin Bishop of Bath.
  • One of the earliest written references to Cider can be found in the Wycliffe ‘Cider’ Bible, printed in the early 15th Century. The Bible gets its name from the translation of the verse ‘For he (John the Baptist) shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink...’. The Cider Bible uses the word ‘cider’ (sidir) for strong drink and it can be viewed today in Hereford Cathedral’s Chained Library.
  • In 1664 John Evelyn wrote ‘Generally all strong and pleasant cider excites and cleanses the Stomach, strengthens Digestion, and infallibly frees the Kidneys and Bladder from breeding the Gravel Stone’.
  • Around 13% of UK adults drink cider at least once a month while 49% drink wine and 51% drink beer.
  • Cider is equally enjoyed by men and women, but women drink half the volume of men.
  • The volume of cider produced annually in the UK is in excess of 6 million hectolitres or 130 million UK gallons.
  • Several commercial cider makers now make single varietal ciders using individual cider apple and other varieties. These include Kingston Black, Tremlett’s Bitter, Dabinett, Cox and Katy.
  • Organic ciders are becoming increasingly available in the UK. To be organic the apples must come from orchards in which no pesticides have been used. One major producer has launched a scheme to have as much as 1,000 acres of old traditional orchards registered as organic with the Soil Association.
  • 45% of all the apples grown in the UK are now used here for cider making. A reducing amount of apple juice concentrate from central European countries like Austria, Germany and Italy is required to make up the shortfall and to blend to produce certain styles of cider.
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THE NACM PROMOTES REPONSIBLE DRINKING AND SUPPORTS THE DRINKAWARE TRUST –   drink aware

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