Vegetarian ciders

Cider apples

Cider apples

Following thegreenveggie’s review of vegetarian wines, a lot of readers got in touch about beers and ciders. I’m a big fan of cider and was more than happy to take up the challenge of seeking out the best veggie tipples…

After chatting to a lot of cider and perry producers at the Bristol Winter Cider Festival last week, I was relieved to discover that most types are suitable for veggies and most are also clearly labelled.

I’ve reviewed some ciders made by Gwynt y Ddraig – the Welsh cider and perry company. Based in Pontypridd, they use apples from Welsh orchards and were the first Welsh cider producer to earn a CAMRA gold medal.

Black Dragon (6.5%)

Black Dragon has a beautiful, light copper hue. It is aromatic, with a sharp, but fruity fragrance. The apples are grown in traditional ageing orchards and the juice is fermented in oak barrels, giving the cider a distinctive rich and mature flavour. This is a lightly sparkling, medium dry cider.

Perry Vale (4.5%)

Perry Vale blends three varieties of pear that have been allowed to ferment slowly, but this perry will certainly not suit all tastes. The smell is sickly sweet and the bubbles overwhelm the flavour. The taste lingers on the palette, but the sugary flavour is overpowering.

Orchard Gold (4.9%)

Orchard Gold proves that Wales can make cider just as well as its Somerset neighbours. This cider has a bright, gilded tone and a sweet, fruity scent. This is a traditional, oak matured farmhouse cider with a smooth flavour. The fresh and honeyed notes make this a mellow and refreshing pint.

Dabinett (6%)

Dabinett is made from a single variety of apple, which thrives in Welsh orchards. The Dabinett apple is a small, yellow-green fruit, which is native to the UK. These apples produce a pungent cider with a bright, golden colour and a bittersweet perfume. This is a well-balanced, medium dry cider, with a sting in its tail. The flavour is full-bodied, complex and shifting. A must-try for any self-respecting cider connoisseur.

Photo: @Doug88888