We're beer folk through and through at Beer Merchants, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t have a soft spot for ciders and their caliente cousins, alcoholic ginger beers. Both hard apple cider and ginger ale are brilliant summer drinks served over ice with a slice, though a tart cider can provide fantastic winter refreshment too! Explore the range below from the likes of Hawkes and Lervig, and get in touch if you need any help.
Bright, tangy and highly carbonated with a fairly middling ABV, ciders (known as hard apple ciders in the US) are a firm favourite among drinkers, especially in summer. We like ours with whole juice from freshly pressed apples, in line with CAMRA guidelines, though even within this narrow definition there are loads from which to choose.
There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to cider. In England there are Kentish and East Anglian ciders, which are sweeter due to the use of dessert apples, and West Country ciders and scrumpies like Sheppy’s, which can be much tarter, cloudier and sharper due to the use of cider apples. Wales, Scotland and the Channel Islands all have strong cidermaking traditions too.
Further afield, plenty of European countries are big on their cider – we’re partial to the brews created by Norway’s Lervig. Wherever the apples are from, though, hard apple cider production is widely the same. Pick the apples, press and grind them down, ferment the juice with yeasts for around three months, then age for as many years as required.
When it comes to ginger beer, there are somewhat fewer alcoholic ginger beer brands to choose from, but still enough variety to sate even hardcore cider nuts. Ginger ales with alcohol are made using a ginger beer plant starter made from a composite of yeasts. These are added to water, ginger, sugar and any extra ingredients, then fermented over a few days until the right ABV is attained.
Whatever thirst-quenching alcoholic ginger beer or hard apple cider you’re hunting for, we can help. Explore our extensive range above or get in touch if you need any help with your choice or order. For more information on ciders, ginger beers and all the other wild and wonderful beers in our inventory, view our features.