Cider Lore

Cider Lore

10,000BC +

10,000BC +

Wild apples originate in Central Asia and spread throughout Europe – our native crab apples

5000BC

5000BC

The ancestor of modern, domestic apples moves west from the Tien Shan mountains with traders along the Silk Road

1000BC

1000BC

Hebrews drink ‘shekar’ and Greeks drink ‘sikera’

1000BC – 50AD

1000BC – 50AD

Evidence suggests that Celtic Britons were making and drinking a primitive form of cider from crab apples

50 AD

50 AD

Romans invade Great Britain, bringing with them their domestic apple varieties and orchard techniques

400AD – 1066

400AD – 1066

The Middle Ages prove a quiet time for cider, with much knowledge and understanding of apples and cider lost

1066

1066

After the Invasion, the Normans brought over superior, high tannin cider apples, improved orcharding   and advanced  pressing technology

1120

1120

10 acres of orchards recorded in Nottingham

1270

1270

Cider making recorded in Yorkshire, Hampshire and Sussex

1320

1320

Reference to babies being baptised in cider in Sussex

1420

1420

The Wycliffe ‘Cider’ Bible is published. It gets its name owing to 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 cider’

1632

1632

Christopher Merret delivers a paper to the Royal Society detailing his experiments of fermenting cider in strengthened bottles, a method popularised in Champagne, but crucially, 6 years before pioneer Dom Perignon was even born!

1656

1656

King Charles I drank cider in preference to wine

1664

1664

John Evelyn’s Pomona is the first countrywide account of cidermaking practices.  He also noted,’ 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’

1763

1763

Lord Bute’s Government introduces a tax on cider leading to ‘cider riots’ in the West of England.  It also led to the phrase ‘an Englishman’s home is his castle’, coined by William Pitt the Elder, describing the layman’s right to protect his private property from entry by the tax man

1880s

1880s

True commercial cider production begins. Producers begin to purchase apples and make cider for sale, rather than for the farm

1887

1887

Truck, the practice of part payment of wages for farm labourers with cider, is officially deemed illegal, but continues well into the 20th century. Up to 8 pints a day were on offer for the best workers!

1920

1920

National Association of Cider Makers is founded

1945 – present

1945 – present

Cider making and orchard management techniques improved to increase yield and consistency to match increasing consumer demand

1976

1976

Cider Duty is reintroduced

2006

2006

Cider renaissance well underway, supported by new branding, advertising and changing consumer trends

2016

2016

Cider has a greater diversity of producers, brands and consumers than ever before!