It’s not just about real ale – we’re on the side of real cider and perry too
MOST people know the main purpose of CAMRA is to promote real ale, but many don’t realise that the Campaign also supports real cider and real perry, writes Neville Grundy.
Real cider is a long-established traditional drink which is produced naturally from apples and is neither carbonated or pasteurised.
It is in a similar situation to that which faced real ale more than 30 years ago, with the number of outlets diminishing, even in the West Country.
Perry is made in a similar way to cider but with pears, and is not to be confused with pear cider, which isn’t real and is usually just a keg cider with pear flavouring.
It is in an even more endangered situation than cider and is sometimes only available directly from the producer.
Many well-known ciders in the UK are not produced naturally from apples, but are cold, fizzy keg products which have been produced artificially.
As a result of the difficulties facing real cider, CAMRA set up a dedicated cider and perry committee which is tasked with informing consumers about the choice of real cider and perry available and encouraging producers to continue production.
In order to help people identify good local cider pubs, CAMRA has developed a “Real Cider Sold Here” window sticker for pubs which regularly sell real cider.
Each pub is checked out by one of CAMRA’s cider coordinators to confirm that real cider is being served.
To date there are over 780 pubs awarded the accreditation window sticker.
CAMRA encourages pubs to stock at least one real cider or perry, preferably from a local stockist.
There are now cider producers all round the country, not just in the traditional cider counties of Devon, Somerset and Herefordshire.
You can find more info on cider and perry on the CAMRA national website: www.camra.org.uk.
To find local pubs selling real cider and perry (as well as real ale), go to the What Pub website: whatpub.com.
The Southport and West Lancs CAMRA website is at www.southport. camra.org.uk. Some previous articles are at: tinyurl.com/vis-pubs.
More than 780 pubs have been awarded the CAMRA real cider sticker