Cider - a fermented beverage produced from apples, and perry - an equivalent product from pears, have been made for centuries across the world. Although the fermentation of fruit juice is recorded in Ancient Eygptian, Greek and Roman writings, historically the main places in which cider and perry have been produced on any large scale are England, France, Spain and other European countries. England is the largest cider making country in the world, and has the largest market for the product.
It should not be forgotten that cider and perry played a significant role in shaping the countryside, and in helping to make fruit growing one of the most important sectors of European agriculture.
Most of the research work associated with cider production originated from the Long Ashton research Station (LARS) near Bristol in the UK, where the National Fruit and Cider Institute was based from its opening in 1903. Cider related work at LARS ceased in 1986, however much of the success of the UK and world industry can be attributed to the research, led by Dr. Fred Beech, carried out during the years of operation. Also in the UK specialist training in cider making and research was carried out at a college in Worcestershire between 1985 and 2003. Additional work has, and still is being carried out in France, at the INRA station near Rennes, and in universities and wine research institutes based in Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
In Europe the Cider Industry is represented by L'Association des Industries des Cidres et Vins de fruits de l'U.E. (AICV).The lead organisation in the United Kingdom is the National association of Cider Makers (NACM), which was formally constituted on 28th January 1920.
Over the past 10 years or so, cider and pery drinking and production has had a significant resurgence of interest across the world, particularly where apples and pears are widely grown.
Cider and perry are refreshing beverages of high value, good flavour and general broad appeal. The products are very versatile, have a marvellous and interesting heritage and, above all are made from two of the most elemental and widely consumed foodstuffs - apples and pears. Cheers!