Until recent years cider was a beverage much loved by ex-pat English people and those who had tasted it in Normandy but a well kept secret to the rest of us. Then it started to be made in quantity in Australia, in particular by boutique cideries. There are ciders made from apple juice and pear juice with the latter known as Perry. Also available are flavoured ciders which have an apple or pear base with other fruit flavours such as raspberry or strawberry.
Cider classes were added to the Royal Queensland Show Beer and Cider Competition for the first time last week in recognition of this popularity and a total of 18 entries were judged. Chief Judge Ian Chant headed up a team of judges that sipped and slurped their way through beers and ciders to find the best. Market leaders such as Strongbow, Redoak and James Squire were well represented as well as Queensland’s only commercial cider made by David Sutton at Thulimbah on the Granite Belt.
David and his wife Roslyn visited England and France some years ago to look at the possibility of cider making and they tasted the acknowledged leading brands and then came home to start their own. Using Golden Harvey apples, Sutton’s Apple Cider comes in dry and medium and is a popular seller in the on farm cafe at Thulimbah.
Gold medals were awarded to Sutton’s Dry Apple Cider and Matilda Bay Brewing Company Dirty Granny but it was the Sutton’s that took out the Champion Cider of Show.
With the warm summer weather already here, cider is a perfect match with great local seafood whether it is a meal of fish and chips or a refreshing prawn and mango salad.
Sutton’s cider can be ordered online at http://www.suttonsfarm.com.au