The cider scene in the United Kingdom is growing, with a wave of innovative small producers producing refined ciders that easily rival craft beer and wine in delicacy and complexity in recent years. However, finding them is challenging, with many pubs, bars, and supermarkets only offering generic mass-produced ciders. Crafty Nectar, founded by Ed Calvert and James Waddington, strives to connect the public to the vast selection of traditionally manufactured, handmade ciders available in the UK.
Crafty Nectar's own recognized cider line includes barrel-aged and keeved kinds, perry, and creative collaborations with other producers (try the blackberry and hibiscus co-ferment cider, made with award-winning producer Once Upon a Tree). It also offers a variety of gift boxes, ranging from mead sampling to cider hampers, as well as cider tasting events and classes.
Crafty Nectar also offers a subscription service curated by cider specialists, including ciders from all across the UK in various styles. Everything is acquired from small, independent suppliers, and the ciders are made with a high percentage of juice and no concentrates or artificial flavours. (Apple juice content in mass-produced cider is frequently low – the legal requirement is 35 per cent.) Cider with a lot of apple juice is considered highest-quality.)
The ordering process is simple, and there is a lot of versatility in subscription choices. You can try a mini three-bottle box or a fine cider taster box, including two 750ml bottles of high-end premium cider. One-, three-, six-, and 12-month programs are available. Your subscription can be simply paused, skipped, or cancelled.
The theme of each month's box is different. Many of the ciders are new, and there were some interesting additions. Rawlins Family Cider, a sweet keeved cider with mellow toffee apple, funk, and tropical flavours, and Axminster Craft Cider Co's Brown & Redstreak, which has attractive stewed apple and spice notes, are two favourites. The box includes instructions on how to taste and appreciate your ciders, as well as recyclable and plastic-free packaging.
The subscription is a terrific way to experience ciders you might not otherwise encounter. It's an economical alternative for cider newcomers, with plenty of interesting options to draw dedicated cider fans as well. Prices start at just £15.50.
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