There has been much talk in recent years about the growth of cider. some well known brands very kindly spend a fortune on marketing and effectively rebranded the entire image of cider. in pubs, draught keg cider and bottled cider are well- established and are available in just about every pub in the country. The growth of their market share will have been noted by most landlords.

consistent product.

Traditional still cider however, is less common. There have always been a few traditional pubs that might have a poly pin of local cider on the bar, or a firkin connected to a hand pump, although this was rare even in the West Country. However, over the last seven or so years producers have caught on to the wonders of bag-in-box. Now, there are hundreds of cider farms using bag-in-box as a way to package their ciders.

So, why is bag-in-box becoming the preferred product for so many cider producers and publicans?

First, and most importantly, when you have made your cider how you want it (in terms of taste and strength), you can sterilise it using one or more different methods, such as pasteurization, so the cider should stay stable for over a year. This gives both the producers and publicans’ great peace of mind, as they can feel assured that they are giving their customers a stable and

The second advantage of bag-in-box cider is that producers don’t need to invest in expensive firkins or poly pins and don’t need to worry about getting their empties back. This makes the logistics of bag-in-box a great option for a wholesaler, keeps the price low and has an extremely long shelf life.

Third, serving traditional cider from a bag-in-box is simple and versatile. You can serve it straight out of the box on the back of the bar, from a fridge, from a back wall tap system or most popular - you can keep it in the cellar and serve from a hand pump with its own pump clip just like real ale.

There is now a vast range of cider available in bag-in-box form. Now, as with the craft ale boom, where ale producers experimented and sold all sorts of weird and wonderful ales, this has now happened in the bag-in-box cider market. There are, of course, straightforward 100% apple ciders which are given all sorts of fantastic names. There are also blends with culinary apples, and ‘perrys’ (made with pear), and blends of cider and perry (‘pyder’). Then there are a huge number of fruit-flavored ciders and perrys, with exotic and delectable flavors

such as Strawberry, Mango, elderflower, and even Cola.

Basically, if you can think of it, there is a good chance someone has made it, with many specialist cider bars opening up all over the country, including the very successful Stable bars group. More and more free houses are making a name for themselves for being cider bars and successful chains like Greene King and Stonegate have seen the potential. Where will the boom in bag-in-box ciders end? In my opinion, in the near future still cider will rival the sales of real ale pint-for-pint.

Marc lilley lilley’s cider

Lilley’s Cider is based in Frome, Somerset. In 2007, we started the business as a father and son team (Chris and Marc Lilley) making and delivering cider locally. We now deliver nationwide using our own vans to continue with our personal customer service. Lilley’s are proud to supply over twenty varieties of cider that we make ourselves, and of building relationships with other cider producers which is very important to us. This allows us to offer over 150 quality and diverse ciders from across the country either direct from us or through the many wholesalers that also stock our range.

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