Don Kavanagh is the editor of Hospitality magazine.

In-cider information

By Don Kavanagh


Don is the editor of Thirst magazine.

Kingston Fat Ass Scrumpy $9.99. Photo / Natalie Slade
Kingston Fat Ass Scrumpy $9.99. Photo / Natalie Slade

It's well and truly spring and, as we head towards summer, I've been thinking a lot about cider.

Cider has been a sorely abused drink over the years, but it's making a brilliant comeback.

Much is down to the resurgence overseas, especially in Ireland and the UK, where it has emerged, blinking, into the spotlight with new brands and a new appeal to drinkers.

And what appeals are crisp, fresh flavours, balanced acidity and - most importantly - a taste of apples.

The "original" cider people most associate with New Zealand is Nelson's Rochdale brand, which was around for many years before Terry McCashin took over the business and began producing Mac's beers.

The McCashins have restarted production of Rochdale, with crisp apple cider, a lime and ginger-infused cider and a perry.

Gisborne's Harvest brand (now owned by British cider giant HP Bulmer) is still flying the flag as well.

Hawke's Bay's Kingston cider started life as Ballydooley and is now available in bars and off-licences in a variety of styles. Steve Nally at the ever-reliable Invercargill Brewery has put one out under his own name and it is a genuine West Country cider, with a biting acidity and cooking-apple palate.

The big boys have climbed aboard too, with Monteith's releasing its Crushed Apple Cider and Lion has the more restrained Isaac's.

Monteith's Crushed Pear Cider 4.5 per cent alc/vol
4-pack $14.99

A pear cider (perry) with lovely pear-skin and yeast characters on the nose, while the palate is full of ripe pear notes. Mouthfilling, but balanced by a lovely crisp finish. Lovely perry and likely to be very popular this summer.

Kingston Fat Ass Scrumpy 9 per cent alc/vol
1 litre bottle $9.99

Kingston's tribute to an overweight donkey, this certainly has quite a kick. Green-apple nose with a touch of sweetness, it explodes with fat apple flavours, from sour to stewed-apple sweet, balanced by firm acidity and a hint of bitterness. One to watch.

- NZ Herald

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