How have the mass market brands reacted?
The brand and product innovation around cider has been interesting. Do you go for pastoral, olde-Englishey tradition or reinvent cider as modern, healthy, feminine?
And how do you make your product unique?
Well, as far as I know, the Scandinavians have been making cider out of all kinds of fruits forever, and even the English have had perry (pear cider) since the beginning of time. Swedish cider Rekorderlig seemed to be the brand shaking up the mass market with the different fruit flavours in summer 2011/12. But now our local beer producers have jumped on the bandwagon.
The latest new flavour: Monteith’s Crushed Summer Berry Cider
So, has Monteith’s created something new and interesting with its Crushed Summer Berries cider?
I was pleasantly surprised. Its mild, not-over-sweet flavour is easy on the palate. This is a cider for people who don’t normally drink cider, and probably won’t appeal to those who love that electrifying zing of traditional cider.
Would I buy it again? Possibly. This would be good for a picnic with the girls or a barbecue. Although it’s 4.5%, it tastes like about half that, light and breezy, which will make it popular on hot afternoons. On the other hand, I’m not really sure who this is aimed at. It’s rather feminine for boys, but I don’t know many girls it will appeal to.
Some other options
Having been tempted onto one cider for the first time since my teens, I’m now curious about some of the other innovation out there. And there are a lot of passionate cider producers in New Zealand. Good magazine has a great ‘top picks’ selection, which I might just have to work my way through.