Where to drink/buy cider in Berlin?

I know. Everyone was waiting for my blog post about cider in Berlin. So here it is! Berlin is the New York City of Europe, so I heard. And, similarly to New York City, Berlin is a fascinating and multicultural city. Hence, you would expect to find everything here. Everything, but cider. It took me a few months to track and explore cider friendly spots in Berlin and subsequently compile a list of places offering proper cider that I can honestly recommend for your next visit to the best city in the world. I guess this is another similarity to NYC. Both cities used to have a cider bar, NYC had Wassail and Berlin had Comptoir du Cidre. Both sadly closed down leaving only cider friendly spots.

BARS/PUBS

img_5762Loch Ness is the only pub in Berlin offering real cider from a bag in box. Just like it’s done in the UK. Location wise Loch Ness is not exactly in the touristic part of Berlin. When you take the S-Bahn (which is a local train) and walk to Loch Ness you might get the feeling that you are in outskirts of Berlin, in a neighbourhood where people rather sleep than party all night. img_5764Back to Loch Ness, the owners are a friendly German couple, who fell in love with Scotland a while ago and anything related to this beautiful country. Since 2010, they have been doing efforts to create a piece of Scotland in Berlin. With a good result, I must say. Usually, they have one cider on offer from Kentish Pip, a cider maker based in Kent. Bottled ciders available here, except for Thistly Cross perhaps, are industrial ciders and are not worth mentioning. Loch Ness is quite far from where I live but I pay them a visit once in a while. What’s important, once a year they organise a beer & cider festival in Berlin. Check my visit recap here.

  • Muted Horn (Flughafenstr. 49, 12053 Berlin-Neukölln)

Located in the most interesting and colourful, sometimes even dangerous neighbourhood of Berlin, Neukölln, the Muted Horn is a craft beer bar and my favourite cider spot in Berlin. The Muted Horn is run by a couple of friendly Canadians who also happen to like cider. Depending on the weather conditions and preferences, you may either sit outside or inside. If you’re hungry, you are welcome to bring food from outside. My personal recommendation is the Chilli Burger from Musty Burger located just opposite. A must try! Every once in a while, the Muted Horn has craft cider from Cidrerie Milton, B. Nektar, BlakStoc, Aeblerov or Domaine Dupont on tap. For their current tap offer click here. In bottles, available cidre from Domaine Dupont, BlakStoc, Gwynt y Ddraig, Antidoot and OBC Cidre. If they have a new cider on tap, you can be almost sure I’ll show up there to try it.

  • Hops & Barley (Wühlischstraße 22/23, 10245 Berlin-Friedrichshain)

Hops & Barley is based in the most trendy and touristic area of Berlin, Friedrichshain. Hops & Barley apart from brewing their own beers, also make their own cider from apple juice pressed in orchards around Berlin. I’ve tried their cider twice and each time it tasted different. The first time I sampled it, it tasted bone dry, the second time it was overly sweet. When I pointed out the difference in the level of sweetness, I was informed that their cider is still fermenting in the cask. Well, it’s a cider made by a brewer so that was to be expected. Anyway, big applause for being one of two places in Berlin with self-made cider. Personally, I don’t think their cider is special and I don’t like visiting them as they are always completely full. You can purchase 0.3l at 2.50 EUR or 0.5l at 3.50 EUR.

If you have a few Euros to spend or you simply enjoy fine dining, you can visit a Michelin Star restaurant Nobelhart & Schmutzig that took 88th place in The World’s Best Restaurants 2018. At Nobelhart & Schmutzig, you may order a bottle of exquisite cidre from one of the best cider makers in the cider world such as Domaine J. Ceclion, Cidro Maley, Eric Bordelet, Cidrerie Du Vulcain or Kystin. Personally, I haven’t been there but heard great reviews and I’m looking forward to trying this place out.

Herz & Niere is a restaurant serving fine German cuisine so as you might expect their dishes are mostly meat-based. Everything is made from scratch here. Even their Apfelwein is made by their team, making Herz & Niere the 2nd place in Berlin with homemade cider.

  • Protokoll (Boxhagener Str. 110, 10245 Berlin-Friedrichshain)

Protokoll is a craft beer located in the famous Boxhagenerstr. in Friedrichshain owned by a Russian guy. Apart from craft beer they usually have a gluten-free alternative, meaning cider. From time to time they have ciders from BlakStoc, or other ciders from the US and Russia on tap. Check out their current tap list here. No bottled cider here.

Naturales Weinbar is a small wine bar in Neukölln offering not only natural wines from around the world but also natural sidra from the South of Spain, Fuente Guijarro Sidra del Sur. I love the atmosphere here, but unfortunately, their tapas tastes rather average.

  • Keith Bar (Schillerpromenade 2, 12049 Berlin-Neukölln)

I haven’t visited this spot yet. But they are supposed to stock Henney’s Cider in bottles at 6 EUR.

  • HEIDE’s (Rykestr. 52, 10437 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg)

HEIDE’s is a deli and an ode to everything made by Italians in Italy. As for cider, they carry Sidro del Bosco. From Italy, of course.

  • Cafe Butter (Pappellallee 73, 10437, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg)

It’s a typical place to meet friends, hang out or just have breakfast. They have bottled cidre produced in Germany by Van Nahmen on offer.

The Castle used to be my No. 1 in terms of cider spots in Berlin but when they moved to a new location their cider selection significantly decreased and you will not find any real cider here. Once they had a selection of cider from other countries such as Austria or Poland. But nowadays you will find here only bottled typical commercial cider brands such as Magners, Thatcher’s, Brothers, Annings, Malvern Knight or Kingston Press. They used to have Aspall on tap, now they have introduced Stowford Press, which tastes better than the first one but is still average. Now it’s just another hipster bar in this area.

SHOPS

Hopfen and Malz is actually a beer shop, but they have the widest cider selection of cider in Berlin. Most cider brands are commercial but there are a few hidden gems. Hopfen and Malz carry cider from Gwynt y Ddraig, Henneys, Thatchers, Aspall, Finnbarra, Westons, Sheppys, Orchard Gold, Hazy Hog, Thistly Cross, Oldfield, Black Rat, Celtic Marches, Waddlegoose, Bulmers, Merrydown, Kelterei Heil and many more. Their selection varies. Friendly staff.

A few vendors carry cider here. For my visit recap to the Markthalle Neun click here. Unfortunately, the Danish Rødder is no longer in business. But a new stall with French cidre just opened!

Most wine shops in Berlin offer only mainstream cidre from Kerisac. Apart from Weinhandlung PanaRoma located in Prenzlauer Berg. img_7262

If you are looking for fine French products in so-called City West, Maître Philippe & Filles Berlin is the place to go. They offer cidre, poiré and calvados from Pierre Huet but also cheese and other food products great for food pairing. Interestingly, apart from French cidre they carry also a sagardoa from the Basque Country, the Isastegi Sagardo Naturala.

Lager Lager is a tiny craft beer bar in Neukölln. Apart from craft beer, they carry only bottled cider from Eric Bordelet, Domaine Dupont and Brauerei Gusswerk. And, sometimes Zeffer or recently Aeblerov. Their offer changes from time to time. Sometimes they hold cider related events.

Very friendly owners. If the weather is nice you may sit outside the shop on a wooden bench and sip your cider. They offer bottled Cornish Orchard Cider, Thatchers and Papagena Cider from Brauerei Gusswerk straight from the fridge. But don’t ask the owners for a recommendation. Their focus is only beer.

  • KaDeWe – (Tauentzienstraße 21-24, 10789 Berlin-Schöneberg)

If you are in Berlin for sightseeing, sooner or later you will visit KaDeWE anyway. KaDeWe is one of the oldest and largest department stores in Europe. For cider, visit Späti located on the top floor where you can find a cider selection including Celtic Marches, Kelterei Heil and Eric Bordelet.

If you prefer French cidre, then you should drop by at Galerie Lafayette, which is close to the famous ‘Unter den Linden’ and the Brandenburger Tor. They carry cidre and poire from Eric Bordelet and commercial cidre brands such as Loïc Raison.

It’s a chain specializing in food from Mediterranean countries. Apart from cheese, sausages and fish, you will find sidra from El Gaitero (Etiqueta Blanca) and Envasados Eva La Sidra de San Sebastian.

If there are more cider spots in Berlin worth mentioning, just drop me a line! I would be happy to update my post.

OBC Cidre Classic

When you are in Berlin, sooner or later you will have to try the range of OBC Cidre featuring Classic, Strong, Rosé and Bio manufactured by Original Berliner Cidre as they are available in almost every shop, bar or restaurant in Berlin. Most probably due to the fact that it is the first cider manufactured in Berlin. After their Strong, Rosé and Bio the time has come to sample the last one, Classic.Company: OBC-Cidre GmbH
Place of Origin: BerlinGermany
Ingredients: fermented apple juice carbon dioxide, sulphites
ABV: 3%
Package type: 330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with a white quickly dissipating fizz. Low artificial carbonation. Low body.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is weak with notes of ripe pear, apple juice from yellow and red apples and a hint typical for cider made from concentrate.

Taste: it begins slightly sweet with moderate acidity of green apples such as Granny Smith. On the mid-palate a smoky note, green and yellow apples. The finish is dry and short leaving a note of citric acid.

Overall: I almost can’t believe that this cider contains only fermented apple juice, carbon dioxide and sulphites. For cider with ABV of barely 3%, it is not really sweet. Also, I can get a hint typical for cider made from concentrate. And, it finishes quickly leaving a note of citric acid. All this made me quite suspicious. Leaving these features behind, OBC is drinkable but drinking it is not pleasurable. It’s almost like drinking a non-alcoholic bubbly for kids. It’s ok but I wouldn’t buy it again. People of Berlin deserve much better cider than this! 2.5/6 

Availability: you can find OBC products in every Späti in Berlin (‘Späti’ is a term used in Berlin for a small corner shop/kiosk open 24/7 selling beer, milk, candies, etc). In addition, you can find OBC in Ambrosetti or KaDeWe. Online from Getränke Hoffman, Durst Express and Weinquelle Hornig.

Price: OBC Cidre Bio was a sample provided by Ciderei.

OBC Rosé

Looks like guys from OBC, who are based in the world’s best city Berlin, are up to date with the current trends. They released their Rosé sometime last year, long before the whole world went crazy for rosé cidre or cider. But, unfortunately, it’s a fake rosé as the colour was obtained using a blackcurrant juice instead of red-fleshed apples.
Company: OBC-Cidre GmbH
Place of Origin: BerlinGermany
Ingredients: fermented apple juice, black currant juice, carbonic acid  (the label really says carbonic acid)
ABV: 5%
Package type: 330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or flute

Appearance: pours a clear pale ruby with a white fizz that is gone after a few seconds. Low artificial carbonation. Low to medium body.

Aroma/Nose: the nose has notes of caramel, cherries, honey. It has a rum aroma that is used for baking as well.

Taste: it begins dry with a touch of sweetness and a low acidity of blackcurrant. The mid-palate has a light smoky note with yellow apples and some honey that changes to caramel. It finishes very quickly.

Overall: I think it’s a shame that this Rosé is made with black-currant juice as I have honestly expected red flesh apples after reading ‘Rosé’ on the label. Anyway, similarly to previously reviewed OBC Strong, their Rosé is an average thirst quencher. It tastes natural, not too sweet, with a natural apple flavour. The nose could be stronger, the palate richer and more lingering. Well, at least it doesn’t taste like juice. Ok, it does perhaps a little. Overall, I’d wish more drinking pleasure. 3/6 

Availability: you can find the Rosé in every Späti in Berlin (‘Späti’ is a term used in Berlin for a small corner shop/kiosk open 24/7 selling beer, milk, candies, etc). In addition, you can find OBC in Ambrosetti or KaDeWe. Online from Ciderei and Weinquelle Hornig.

Price: OBC Cidre Rosé was a sample provided by Ciderei.

Aspall Draught Cyder

Aspall’s Draught is one of the most commonly available cider or cyder in Germany and probably other European countries as well. Besides the UK, perhaps. Anyway, Aspall’s Draught Cyder is certainly most spread in Berlin. Aspall Draught Cyder received Gold from the British Bottlers’ Institute 2011 and Silver at the International Cider Challenge 2014.Company: Aspall 
Place of Origin: Debenham, Suffolk, UK
Apples: made from bittersweet, culinary and dessert apples
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 5.5%
Package type: draught
Recommended type of glass: pint glass, flute or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale yellow straw. Lightly carbonated. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the nose has notes of tart and crisp green apples and unripe apples with pear and matches-like sulphur. The scent is rather weak.

Taste: it starts dry and very watery with low acidity and an overwhelming and lingering matches-like sulphur flavour. On the mid-palate overripe apples and a gentle smoky flavour with a touch of bitterness. No astringency.

Overall: I didn’t enjoy having it. It tasted watery with the persistent matches-like sulphur flavour making it drinkable only in gulps, but not in sips. I don’t think that anyone can experience pleasure from drinking this cyder. Hence, I can’t help but wonder why is this cyder so common in Berlin when it tastes worse than average. To all Berlin bars stocking cider, if you want my money give me better cider than this. 1.5/6 

Availability: from their online shop, In Germany from Cider and More. On draught at HOME Bar, Beakers, in bottles at BadFish Bar Berlin in Berlin. In terms of shops locally in Berlin from Hopfen und Malz, Galeria Kaufhof or Bierlinie.

Price: paid 3.5 EUR for a half-pint at Beakers in Berlin.

Bright Side Cider

All I was able to find about Bright Side Cider is that the company was established in 2016 by Thomas Nowatzky and Rudolf Moos, two cider lovers and entrepreneurs. Despite the popularity of their product, they stopped the production earlier this year for unknown reasons. But, you can still find their cider in many shops in Berlin.Company: Bright Side Cider GmbH
Place of Origin: Berlin, Germany
Apples: locally grown apples
ABV: 5%
Package type: 330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear deep golden yellow with a short-lived white foam. Low carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: smells like a sweet apple juice made predominantly from red apples, with a hint of fermented apples, and a buttery note.

Taste: it starts sweet and slightly watery with low acidity and a strong apple juice taste. The mid-palate has a hint of smokiness to the apple juice-like taste and gentle tannins. The aftertaste is dry and slightly astringent.

Overall: similarly to Outmost’s Outcider Mild the Bright Side Cider has a striking resemblance to Apfelschorle, an apple juice mixed with spritzer, which is a typical beverage drunk in this part of Germany. So, I am sorry to say this, but the Bright Side Cider is just another apple juice-like tasting cider. When I buy cider I want to drink cider, not Apfelschorle. Summarizing, Bright Side Cider is drinkable, but I still don’t get what is the point of producing an Apfelschorle with alcohol and calling it a cider. Is it because cider is getting more trendy? 2.5/6

Availability: only locally in Berlin from Weinberg, Tante Frizzante, FlaschbierschopGetränkefeinkost Berlin.

Price: purchased from Flaschbierschop in Berlin at 2.30 EUR.

Why cider from overseas is easier​ to get in Berlin than European cider?

Last weekend I was wandering around Berlin looking for bars and shops stocking real cider. Most bars offered the usual commercially available ciders from Aspall or Strongbow, which I refuse to drink. But then, in Neukölln, an upcoming multicultural district of Berlin, I discovered a craft beer bar called Muted Horn and made there a very interesting observation. I was standing at the bar and looking at the list of ciders available in bottles when I discovered that apart from Welsh cider, Gwynt y Ddraig they stock cider from the US company Starcut Ciders, which is based in Northern Michigan.  I was very much surprised as the distance between Berlin and Michigan is around 7000 km.

Bildschirmfoto 2017-08-21 um 15.44.05

I spoke to the bartender in the Muted Horn and asked him if they offer cider on draught sometimes. I learned that in the past they had another cider from Michigan, the Death Unicorn from B. Nektar Meadery, and also one Canadian cider on draught from Cidrerie Milton, which is located in Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton, Quebec. Wow, another cider from overseas I thought. The distance between Quebec and Berlin is approx. 5.500 km.

Bildschirmfoto 2017-08-21 um 15.46.42

It didn’t stop there. Since I was already in the area of Neukölln, I’ve decided to check out a craft beer store, Lager Lager, which was just a 15-minute walk away from Muted Horn. After having a pleasant chat with the sales guy in Lager Lager, I’ve learned that they would love to stock UK cider, but the import of cider from the UK is just too costly. However, this week they are expecting an overseas container from New Zealand loaded with imported goods, including cider from Zeffer Cider Company. I calculated the distance between Berlin and New Zeland and it is roughly 18.200km! This gave me food for thought…

Bildschirmfoto 2017-08-21 um 15.48.38.png

I was amazed and couldn’t help but wonder, how is this possible that cider coming from overseas, outside of Europe, shipped from really really far away, is easier to get in Berlin than real cider from e.g. Somerset, UK, which is only 1300km away! Or traditional cidre from Normandy, France, which is even closer at 1100km away from Berlin? How come is Berlin a good enough market for cider companies coming from overseas, but not interesting enough for European cider makers from Bretagne or Asturias? How come a bottle of cider that has to be shipped 20.000km is easier to get in Berlin than a bottle of cider that has to be shipped 1000km, which is only 5% of this route? Shouldn’t the shipping cost be proportionally lower for a cider from Somerset?

Bildschirmfoto 2017-08-21 um 15.52.02.pngBildschirmfoto 2017-08-21 um 15.54.03.png

I gave my observation some thought and I see a number of possible explanations for it. Firstly, the vast majority of cider makers operate locally focusing on farmers markets, local cider/beer festivals or supply of local restaurants or pubs. Only occasionally selling products to the US, but ignoring the rest of Europe. Depending on how you look at this matter, you may call it a focus on the regional market or a misfunctioning/limited sales strategy. Secondly, it might be a real-life example of the global village, where you can buy products manufactured 20.000km away without spending 20 hours on a plane. Thirdly,  the overseas cider has just reached the status that wines from Napa Valley once had to fight for. The first explanation is probably the closest to the truth.

Personally, I don’t mind having a glass of hard cider from the US or Canada as long as it’s not from concentrate. Seriously, I’m happy to try a cider from New Zealand without even having to leave Berlin. Lucky me! But, I want to have a choice between cider made in Europe and overseas. Unfortunately, I don’t have the privilege of choosing because, at this moment, the only real cider on draught available in Berlin is from the US and Canada. Perhaps it’s time to rethink the marketing and distribution strategy? I know, a good marketing and distribution strategy cost a substantial amount of money. But look at the Zeffer Cider Company from New Zealand. They needed funding to expand into Asia and raised $1.2 million in a crowdfunding campaign in under a week! See the article here. Learn from them because now they are taking Berlin. How about you? When will you take Berlin?

UPDATE: Just learned that most European cider makers don’t even offer their cider in kegs, not to mention recyclable one-way kegs.

Dear cider makers, please be more flexible and widen your keg offer! Cider drinkers in Berlin want to drink decent cider as well! Don’t leave us with Strongbow being the only cider available on tap :-/

OBC Strong

OBC (Original Berliner Cidre) was one of the first ciders in Berlin made entirely from locally grown apples. Established in 2009 in Berlin by two friends, Urs Nikolaus Breitesten and Thomas Godel whose background is in brewing. Currently, their lineup features four ciders, Classic, Strong, Rosé and Bio. I’ve decided to start with the Strong.Company: OBC Cidre GmbH
Place of Origin: BerlinGermany
Apples: undisclosed old German varieties grown locally
ABV: 5%
Package type: 330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or flute

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with a large white head, which only slowly dissipates. Carbonation is artificial and I would describe it as medium.

Aroma/Nose: It smells of fermented apples and apple juice with pleasant sweet honey/flowery notes. Also, there is a slightly acidic smell.

Taste: it starts with a moderate watery taste with a rather low level of sweetness and acidity. The mid-palate has notes of apple juice and smoky ham. The finish is dry and slightly astringent with a touch of white wine.

Overall: OBC Strong is an average thirst quencher that will satisfy everyone, who is in need for cider in Berlin. It lacks depth and complexity, but I would classify OBC’s Strong as drinkable. Also, I would buy it again If I were out in Berlin craving for a drinkable cider made from apples, not from concentrate. But it’s still far away from being delicious. 3/6 

Availability: you can find the Strong in every Späti (it’s a term used in Berlin for a small corner shop/kiosk open 24/7 selling beer, milk, candies, etc). In addition, you can find OBC in Bierlinie, Ambrosetti or KaDeWe. Online from Weinquelle Hornig 

Price: paid 1.99 EUR in a local Späti in Berlin.

Thatchers Somerset Rosé

This is another cider that I am tasting made from pink or red-fleshed apples after the French cidre from Doz de Dauzanges. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find anything on the Somerset Rosé on Thatcher’s website. There is, however, another rosé cider in their product range, the Katy.  I’ve been trying to find what is the difference between the Somerset Rosé and the Katy. It looks like the first one is a blend of red fleshed-apples including Katy, whereas the Katy is a single variety cider.Company: Thatchers Cider
Region of Origin: Somerset, Winscombe, England
Apples: a blend of red-fleshed apples including Katy
Sweetness as per label: medium
ABV: 5.4%
Package type: 500ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass, white wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a clear pale raspberry with a white foam, which quickly vanishes. Carbonation level is low.

Aroma/Nose: Similarly to the previous French rosé I tasted, on the nose, I smell red apple flesh, red berries and particularly raspberries. And sort of a sweet red berries lemonade flavour.

Taste: the first sip is moderately sweet with a low level of acidity, but still refreshing and not too sweet. Subsequently, I can taste red apple flesh with a watermelon hint and low astringency. The aftertaste is dry and has notes of watermelon and red berries.

Overall:  Thatchers Somerset Rosé is easy to drink despite the moderate level of sweetness and relatively low level of acidity. I like it better than the French cidre Rosé, because it doesn’t taste watery and I can feel some astringency due to tannins. It’s still a strawberry lemonade type of cider, which will not appeal to everyone. Well, I liked it.  4/6

Availability: Sainsbury’s, online from Booze Cruiser or Deals4Drink.

Price: had it locally at the Castle Pub in Berlin at 5.5 EUR

Lyme Bay Jack Ratt Scrumpy Cider

It’s fascinating that drinking cider can help you discover interesting facts from the history of England. I’ve just learned that Jack Rattenbury (today’s cider was named after this guy) was a notorious Devon smuggler, nicknamed ‘Rob Roy of the West’. Publication of his diary describing all activities made him famous. I think I’d like to read this book if an opportunity occurs.

Back to cider, I saw rather mixed reviews on the Jack Ratt Scrumpy Cider from the Lyme Bay Cider Company, which I’m sampling today. Some love it. Some hate it. I think I have to try it myself to make my own opinion. Jack Ratt is an award-winning scrumpy cider that received Gold from the Taste of the West Awards in 2015.Company: Lyme Bay Cider Company / Lyme Bay Winery
Place of Origin: 
Axminster, Devon, UK
Apples:
medium sweet
Sweetness as per label: 
a blend of locally grown traditional cider varieties such as Tremlett’s Bitter, Foxwhelp and Tom Putt.
ABV:
6%
Package type: 
500ml clear glass flagon with screw cap. I love the packaging! Interestingly, there is a bottle number, which is V0098376. 
Recommended type of glass: 
pint glass, white wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a clear amber with orange hues. There is no froth and no carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: pleasant on the nose. I smell dry notes with still fermenting apples, red apples flesh, caramel and notes of apple pie with cinnamon.

Taste: sip starts with a slightly watery and a slightly sweet flavour resembling a sweetener with a hint of smoke. But would rather say it’s medium dry than medium sweet. The taste transitions next into refreshing low to medium lemon-like acidity with red apple flesh and skin notes along with baked apples and cinnamon. Low astringency on the mid-palate. The finish is dry and lingering with a gentle touch of bitterness and astringency.

Overall: the Jack Ratt reminds me slightly of the Black Dragon from Gwynt y Ddraig due to the apple pie flavours, but it has a nice gentle lingering finish, which was missing in the Black Dragon. The only thing that I find disturbing is the slightly watery flavour on the palate. I think that the Jack Ratt Scrumpy Cider is very drinkable with a perfect level of sweetness, acidity and tannins. Really delicious! I would purchase more if only it was locally available at a more reasonable price. 9.5 EUR for a 500ml flagon is just too much for Berlin standards. 4.5/6

Availability: in the UK through their online shop or English Heritage, THE OLD HARTINGTON CHEESESHOP,  Quarry Cottage Hampers, DrinksWell, OnlineWineCellar and locally at the Castle Inn in West Lulworth. In Germany available from Britische-Biere.de.

Price: 9.5 EUR at the Castle Pub, a great pub with a nice cider selection. They are moving soon to a new location, but I hope they will keep the cider refrigerator. Or even get a bigger one?

Kentish Pip Vintage

Most English cider makers come either from Somerset of Herefordshire. However, craft cider I am reviewing today was manufactured by Rosie and Mark Mount on a small farm close to Canterbury, Kent.

Kentish Pip Vintage.jpgCompany: Kentish Pip Cider
Place of Origin: Woolen Farm, Bekesbourne Canterbury, Kent, UK
Apples: a blend of cider and dessert apples
Sweetness as per label: medium sweet
ABV: 6%
Package type: bag in box
Recommended type of glass: pint glass

Appearance: pours a clear, bright amber body with no head. No carbonation visible. Body is light to medium.

Aroma/Nose: On the nose overripe apples with a sweet raisin note. Some dry notes perceivable as well. Nice.

Taste: the taste starts with medium sweetness and a honey and raisin note. To my palate, this is slightly too sweet but still ok. Very mild tartness to it. The medium palate is slightly watery and has overripe apples. There is this sulphuric note in the beginning, which disappears with every taken sip. The finish is dry with smooth bitter and white wine notes. In the aftertaste, there is lingering mild astringency. Very pleasant cider.

Overall: Kentish Pip Vintage Cider is a very smooth and well-rounded cider, which will appeal to everyone’s palate. It’s not too bitter, not too sour, not funky at all and not overly sweet. Since I personally prefer funky notes and more acidic cider I can’t say that Kentish Pip Vintage Cider will be my favourite but I wouldn’t mind having it again. In addition, I am looking forward to trying the Craftsman from their cider range. Well done! 4/6

Availability: Locally in Kent and London, UK.

Price: 5.5 EUR for a pint at Loch Ness – Scottish Pub in Berlin.