Real cider is essentially the fermented juice of the apple with nothing added and nothing taken away. At the moment the majority of the cider sold in the UK is mostly made from imported apple concentrate, is full of artificial colourings, sweeteners, and preservatives, is filtered, is pasteurised to render it inert and is kept and served under carbon dioxide pressure. Don't assume that if it is served through a hand pump that it is real cider.
To protect traditional English varieties of cider and perry, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) set up a sub-group, the Apple and Pear Produce Liason Executive (APPLE). APPLE publish the Good Cider Guide which lists pubs in Britain where real cider and perry are available. APPLE have defined two categories of real cider (and perry), anything which does not fall within these categories is not considered to be real cider (or perry).
A definition agreed by APPLE to denote the very best of cider and perry, with nothing added or taken away.
Category A - must:
- not be pasteurised before or after fermentation
- not be filtered
- not receive enzyme treatment
- not contain preservatives or colouring
- not have the natural yeast replaced by a cultured yeast
- not have a nitrogen source added unless essential to start fermentation
- not be diluted
- only contain sweetners if labelled Medium or Sweet, and then only if they are shown to be safe and do not affect the taste
- be produced from only freshly-pressed fruit, and
- not contain concentrate
- not contain extraneous carbon dioxde
Category A covers the majority of cider makers but only a small proportion of the total amount of cider made. A larger number of real ciders differ in some small respect from Category A ciders but are sufficiently authentic to be designated real cider since the taste and character of the cider is unaffected. These are Category B ciders.
Category B - must:
- not be entirely made from concentrate
- not contain extraneous carbon dioxide
Pubs in St Helens Selling Real Cider: Why not download our cider pubs map?
- Turks Head, Town Centre (2012 Cider Pub of the Year)
- Glasshouse Town Centre (2011 2014 Cider Pub of the Year)
- George Inn Town Centre
- Phoenix Town Centre (2013 Cider Pub of the Year)
- Olde England Town Centre
- Market Tavern Town Centre
- Cricketers Arms Town Centre (2015 2016 Branch 2015 Regional Cider Pub of the Year)
- Talbot Ale House Town Centre
- Watchmaker Prescot
- Royal Oak Prescot
- Ship Inn Rainhill
- Skew Bridge Alehouse Rainhill
- Beer EnGin Whiston
- Junction Inn Rainford (Beacon Pub for Real Cider2012)
- Haresfinch Sports and Social Club