Cider - A Great Alternative to Beer

A lot of people are looking round for an alternative to beer and deciding that Cider is the Answer. And they are finding a lot of diversity, from traditional to sweet and fruity style, including premium, organic and imported varieties. Aussie girls in particular have found in cider their new favourite drink, as an alternative option to beer, with different tastes, mixed flavours and still with low alcohol and large serving-size.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies are starting to abuse this trend by producing "industrialised” ciders with flavourings and added sugar to hide their defects. Traditional cider lovers have reacted to this, suggesting legislation may be required to define what cider actually is. Tax is always a talking point in Australia and this categorisation may assist in defining how cider (and these pretend ciders) should be taxed.
Cider has had a long history in countries such as France, where it is traditionally produced in Bretagne and Normandie, where pure juice ciders ferment naturally and are bottled without any pasteurisation or carbonation - a perfect example of the ancestral cider-making process, guaranteeing optimum development of the aromas and truly exceptional flavours. French artisanal and organic ciders do not have any added sugar or any preservatives and offer great quality. 
At Grapes and Lager, we have some really interesting French and German ciders at 1919, the House of Ecusson has reinvented cider through their original creations. At Livarot in the heart of Normandy, Ecusson selects and assembles artful ciders with flavours of nearly 20 of the best varieties of cider apples from Normandy, to create refined and delicately fruity ciders. One of their really interesting ciders is their Ecusson Brut Rose Apple Cider. You won't get a cider like this anywhere else. It is the original and only naturally pink cider made anywhere in the world!
In Germany, they don't have an actual word for cider so they go with  Apfelwein (apple wine). Apfelwein didn't gain in popularity in Germany until the 16th century. The area around Hessen, at this time, experienced an extremely cold winter, damaging its grape vineyard so drastically that wine makers were forced to find other alternatives. Wine makers found that apple trees flourished from cold winters, so they abandoned their grape vineyards for apple fields.

The apple wine industry grew quickly and soon was offered in bars and pubs, with government approval of course. Those businesses that had permission to sell apple wine were required to hang a pine wreath outside the door to their establishment. This became the emblem of the apple wine industry.

Carden's Apple Cider is fermented out of superior cider apples in the long-established tradition of Ireland and Britain. With this process, they take our time, thus creating the remarkable flavour that turns Carden's into a refreshing, tasty and unique experience. So different to the sugar-laden-pseudo-ciders found so frequently. The aroma is dominated by apple juice. The flavor is sweet, leading to a lightly tart finish with an alcoholic volume of 4.9%.
So if you are looking for a great alternative to beer, why not try some cider. But please stay away from those sugar-laden-pseudo-ciders and go for a traditional cider - the way ciders are supposed to be drunk!

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