Naming of cider Aachen Germany
The difficulty with being specific about cider’s origins is that where it is mentioned, it is not given a specific name. Pliny lumps it into “artificial wines” others refer to with the Hebrew word shekar, or Latin sicera, both colloquialisms for “strong drink.” The likely first specific naming is in Capitulare de villis, a text composed sometime in the late 8th or early 9th century that guided the governance of the royal estates during the later years of the reign of Charlemagne (c. 768–814). It lists, in no particular order, a series of rules and regulations on how to manage the lands, animals, justice, and overall administration of the king's property and assets. Cider and perry were given their own names—pomatium and pyratium.
Celtic Romano-British Cider? Hadrian's Wall
Rome brought stability to Celtic England Pax Romana. Many Celtic leaders took on the trappings of Roman Society. An example is Fishbourne Roman Palace built for/by the local Celts. Romans are known to have imported domesticated apples into Britain. There is a reference of obtaining 'good' apples on Hadrian's wall. Vindolanda wooden writing tablet 302
"… bruised beans, two modii, chickens, twenty, a hundred apples, if you can find nice ones, a hundred or two hundred eggs, if they are for sale there at a fair price. … 8 sextarii of fish-sauce … a modius of olives …"
It is not a giant leap from Romans having domesticated apples to making cider knowing that Celts made a prototype cider from native 'crab' apples.
First fermented drink Georgia
Close to Tbilisi, Georgia, is a small pre historic settlement above a a green, fertile river valley. This is called Gadachrili Gora, and the Stone Age farmers who lived here 8,000 years ago were grape lovers. Their rough pottery is decorated with bunches of the fruit, and analysis of pollen from the site suggests the wooded hillsides nearby were once decked with grapevines.
In a recent paper journal PNAS, an international team of archaeologists has conclusively shown what all those grapes were for. The people living at Gadachrili Gora were the world’s earliest known vintners—producing wine on a large scale as early as 6,000 B.C., a time when prehistoric humans were still reliant on stone and bone tools.
Humanids acquire the ability to process alcohol. Africa
Paleogenetics is an emerging field that resurrects ancestral proteins from now-extinct organisms to test, in the laboratory, models of protein function based on natural history and Darwinian evolution. Digestive alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH4) evolved in our primate ancestors after the split with orang-utans and gained a digestive dehydrogenase enzyme capable of metabolising ethanol rather than other vegetive alcohols near the time that they began using the forest floor, about 10 million years ago where there would be more rotting and fermenting fruits. The original ADH4 enzyme in our more ancient and arboreal ancestors did not efficiently oxidise ethanol. This is many millenia before humans started fermenting fruit and grain deliberately ~ 8000 years ago
Viscount Lord John Scudamore 1601-1675 Holme Lacy Herefordshire
Iuliani Palmarii, De vino et pomaceo libri duo Normandy France
Jullian le Paulmier wrote this, the very first printed cider manual known, He was a Norman French doctor and horticulturalist (but in Latin as was usual for technical books of those days).
It was published in French in the following year.
It notes 82 varieties of cider apples and helped promote the popularity of cider, or Sidre in France .
Cider apples arrived in Normandy and NW France from Spain.
The drinking of cider and especially perry in France, a historian from Lisieux, Mr. Louis Du Bois tells us, dates back to the late 6th or early 7th century.
"These drinks passed, before the invasion of the Moors, from Africa to Spain and Biscay (Spanish Basque country). It was from these regions that the ancient seafarers of Dieppe brought back the best varieties of apple and pear trees then known".
The arrival of these first grafts enriched the Norman genotype with its abundant varieties of crab-apple trees. Normandy gave a home to these trees with a natural environment favourable to their development in terms of soil and climate, and over the years growing them became a source of wealth.
Claude Jolicoeur, The New Cider Maker's Handbook Quebec City
Claude Jolicoeur is a mechanical engineer and research scientist by profession, he started making cider in the late 1980s as a hobby. Since then, he has accumulated vast experience. Claude actively promotes and encourages others in discussion forums such as the Cider Workshop. He lives in Quebec City Canada.
His book The New Cider Maker’s Handbook, was published in 2013 and has been acclaimed worldwide as a major reference on the topic of cider making.
Monastic Cider Ely
Cider was often recorded as been made in England by Monks. They were the repository of much knowledge in the Dark Ages and made cider as well as beer and wine for the Sacraments. Initially to preserve food and provide clean drinking in the winter. Water was notoriously bad and food scare. These were also safe drinks for their thirsty labourers as the fermentation or brewing sterilises liquid, by killing the bacteria water was often harbouring. It’s documented that the Bishop of Bath & Wells, in the south west of England, bought cider presses for his monastery in 1230. The monastery at Ely (Cambridgeshire) was particularly famous for its orchards and vineyards.
Sir Kenelm Digby London
Sir Kenelm Digby (11 July 1603 – 11 June 1665) was an English courtier and diplomat. He was also a highly reputed natural philosopher or scientist of the day. Of his many discoveries and inventions is thought to be the invention of the process to make a cheaper stronger glass bottle than allowed cider to be bottled and retain its effervescence. A development that lead to sparkling champagne nearly a century later. Whilst not noted in his copious writings this was documented by a court case were the Attorney general in 1662 found in favour of him. See Cider Musings
Leonard Mascall Kent
Leonard was an Englishman. Born in but Kent date unkown; died 1589. He was an author and translator of agricultural books, Farrier to Charles 1st and he became clerk of the kitchen in the household of Mathew Parker Archbishop of Canterbury His books include one of interest "Booke of the Arte and maner howe to plant and graffe all sortes of trees, howe to set stones, and sowe Pepines to make wylde trees to graffe on. … With divers other new practise, by one of the Abbey of Saint Vincent in Fraunce. … With an addition … of certaine Dutch practises, set forth and Englished". First published in 1569 with multiple further editions . This covers fruit tree raising in detail including grafting but not cider making. This was a translation based on the book "L'art et maniere de semer, et faire pepinieres des sauvageaux" by Davy Brossard, a French Benedictine monk published in 1543.
Samuel Hartlib London
Samuel Hartlib (c. 1600 – 10 March 1662) was a polymath born in Germany to an English mother who settled in England. He was a noted promoter or intelligencer and writer in fields that included science, medicine, agriculture, politics and education. He fostered correspondents in England but also Europe and the colonies in New England or America names such as Hooke Boyle and Beale. From the 1640s, as printing censorship eased Samuel paid for 22 works w to be printed. Some of these were written by himself, others were written by authors such as Comenius Scottish and the poet John Milton, and one he published on fruit trees and cider "A Designe for Plentie" was by an unknown author, Samuel tried to track him down. In his own words "for although I have endevoured by digigent search to find out his name, yet I have not been able to compass the matter: onely this I have beeen told, that the Author of this Designe was an aged Minister of the Gospel .....the place of his abode being said to be Loving-land neer Yarmouth"
He corresponded with several cider makers some of whom later were involved in the Royal Society . 1658 was the first date Austen and Beale communicated through Hartlib.
Royal Society London
The first Cider Club in England! Formed in 1662. Still going strong see Royal Society and Cider
Museum of Cider Hereford
The old Bulmers factory in Hereford was repurposed to house the many cider artefacts collected by the Bulmer family after production was transferred to a new site. Please see here in Cider Musings the full story.
John Taverner East Anglia, England
Written in January 1600 Certain Experiments Concerning Fish & Fruit is a short but detailed tract ( only 10 pages on apples and cider) sets the scene for further books on cider of the 17th C to follow.
It clearly shows cider was a common commodity in England especially in the 3 Counties although Taverner himself was from East Anglia.
You can read more here.
William Lawson Ormesby Yorkshire
The second writer in the 17th C of note on cider and orcharding.
Lawson was the vicar of Ormesby in north Yorkshire from 1583. He wrote "New Orchard and Garden, Or the best way for Planting, Grafting, and to make any pound good for a Rich Orchard; particularly in the North Parts of England" published in 1618, It was reprinted many times .
Contained within the book as well as copious details on planting and pruning fruit trees is the use of apples and pears in cider and perry. See Cider Musings
Rev John Beale
John Beale ( b. 1608) was a prolific writer of letters on orchard cider and many other subjects firstly to Hartlib and his Circle of correspondents ic John Evelyn and Robert Boyle, following on with the then formed Royal Society in 1660 and finally after the death of Oldenburg Secretary to the Royal Society with John Houghton who published a
weekly "Collection of Letters for the Improvement of Husbandry and Trade" following its launch in September 1681. His last letter to Robert Boyle was just before his own death in 1683. For a long form history of John Beale see Cider Musing entry.
This is a letter John Beale wrote to Samuel Hartlib. See Cider Musings
James Crowden. Cider author and poet. UK
TeePee Cider goes commercial Dalefield Aotearoa
On 15th August TeePee Cider opens its on line sales store, having obtained a remote off licence and appropriate documents. The Earl's Drop is also sold at discerning restaurants and sales outlets in Welling and Wairarapa.
Costermonger, coster, or costard is a street seller of fruit and vegetables usually from a barrow in London and other British towns. The term is derived from two words - costard (a now extinct medieval variety of large, ribbed eating apple thought to be similar to a Jersey Bellflower apple. It is mentioned, by the name "Poma Costard", in a fruitier's bill for Edward I in 1292. It was said to resemble a person's head which in Norman French was also costard, although the term probably derived from the Latin costa for rib.
And monger (seller)
Norman England Egypt
The Normans had a strong tradition of apple growing and cider making.
They introduced many apple types to Britain, the first recorded of which were the Pearmain and the Costard. The Pearmain was particularly valued for cider making. The Pearmain (Old English Pearmain) was first recorded in 1204. The manor of Runham (Norfolk) had to pay to the Exchequer each year 200 Pearmains and 4 hogsheads of cider made from Pearmains
William of Malmsbury Gloucester
William of Malmsbury a trusted early historian noted around 1100 AD that the Severn valley was "clad with peare and apple trees not set nor grafted by Man's hands but growing naturally of their own accord". These fruits were bitter and made good cider and perry.
Perry. Much loved by the Romans( more than cider it would seem); Pliny the Elder noted that Falarian pears were the best and fermented into an alcoholic drink "castomoniale" which we now call perry. Mt Falernus was close to Naples. Pears are now in the Coat of Arms of Worcestershire, the county where most pears in the UK are grown . See Cider Musings
Pre-Roman Britain Britain
Julius Caesar is said to have written about trying a fermented apple drink produced in the south east of England when he tried to invade in 55 BC – facing off against the Celtic tribes that lived there at the time. Though the first invasion attempt was a failure, the discovery that the local tribes were fermenting apples was a discovery taken back to France by Caesar’s retreating troops.
This recorded information would suggest that, as Caesar had already conquered France, he hadn’t at that point discovered cider. If they were making it in France, it was not a common drink. The Romans had not at this time brought modern apples, the Malus pumila, to England. This occurred when the Romans finally successfully invaded almost 100 years later, from 44AD. However it was not until ~1080 apples more suitable for making cider were brought from Normandy to England
So, this would suggest the cider like beverage Caesar tasted on the shores of England was made from the local crab apples.
Spain Asturia & Basque
Apples continued their westward journey all the way to Northern Spain, where the regions of Asturias and Sagardoa in Basque have the perfect climate to grow them. This is called “Green Spain”.
When apples became made into cider instead of being eating is not clear, the Roman and Greek words for strong wine and cider are similar. Certainly it was not easy to make, considerable scare labour was needed to pulversise the apple and then extract the juice before fermentation could occur. With wine just treading the grapes with feet suffice! However cider was made here which the Asturians call Sidra.
Greek geographer Strabo writing at the time of the expansion of the Roman Empire describes sidra in "his journey" through Spain’s Asturia region in 60 B.C which would pre-date Julius Caesar’s discovery in the UK in 55BC. However, on further analysis it appears that Strabo the Greek was born in 64BC and, barring the possibility of him being a drunk literary toddler, it seems like any such reference in his works is second hand information he acquired from someone else at a later date. His writings on the topic were likely compiled between 7BC and 23AD and some sources believe he never visited Northern Spain at all.
However the first reliable references to apple orchards was in Colunga Asturia in AD 803 followed by several others and references to apple presses - lagare a few years later .
Cider is first documented in the year 950. The Codex Calixtinus which is a kind of guide for the pilgrims who followed the Camino de Santiago notes ...It is a leafy land, with rivers, meadows, extraordinary orchards, good fruits and clear water sources. But it is scarce in cities, towns and labour lands, as well as in bread, wheat and wine. In the other hand, it’s abundant in rye bread and cider, well supplied in cattle and horses, in milk and honey, and in big and small fish ". The newly established Camina de Santiago then connected Northern Spain to France and pilgrims dispersed apples and cider to France and especially Normandy where the climate was marginal for wine. The first references here was in 1082.
TeePee Cider started Wairarapa
It was in September that the first batch of trees were ordered from Bill Struthers of Nga Rakau Nurseries Auckland.
Over the next 5 years over 100 trees of 20 cider varieties were planted BeauVista Orchards 2 hectares of alluvial Wairarapa land. And in 2013 the first Perry pear was grafted from a tree with great provenance, A tree brought out by the Head Gardener of Crystal Palace London as part of an orchard but planted apart. This is now fruiting well and the first perry made in 2018
English Apple Cider Brandy Hereford
Distillation of cider into brandy was well known in UK up until cheap gin supplanted of spirits around 1700 with the Dutch William of Orange on the throne. For example there is a will of the last prior of Monacute Priory noting his still in 1560. There must have been a relatively large industry as there was a tax bracket. First UK Excise license granted to Bertram Bulmer in October 1984 after a long battle with Customs and Excise.
He imported a pot still made in 1905 from Normandy where apple brandy is called Calvados and called it King Offa’s Distillery after the local Anglo Saxon Mercian King. Bertram obtained Royal patronage and the Queen donated oak for making English oak barrels for the brandy maturation. At Bulmer’s Centenary Bertram presented the Queen a bottle of apple brandy made in those casks. Sadly King Offa's distillery has closed but Julian Temperley in Somerset is making excellent apple brandy for many years from 1989.
Pomona Herefordiensis Hereford
First illustrated pomology book in the world , by Thomas Knight. Illustrated by Elizabeth Matthews, & engraved by William Hooker. See Cider Musings
The first illustration, the legendary Redstreak.
Cyder a Poem in two Books: John Philips Egypt
An amazing poem filled with cider making knowledge on a background of the English Civil war. Phillip Miller the botanist said "there were many books written on the same subject in prose which do not contain so much truth as that poem" see Cider Musings
Worlidge published his book on cider , Vinetum britannicum, He advocated the production of cider over that of wine in England England
Worlidge published his book on cider , Vinetum Britannicum.
He advocated the production of cider over that of wine in England. This book goes into a great deal of scientific information on apple trees and cider making. It was so popular several revisions and editions were produced. !st ed 1676, 2nd 1678, 3rd 1691 and 4th 1696.
See Cider Musings
Pomona is an addendum added to John Evelyn’s book 'Sylva' and is a collection of letters and essays on cider making. It is an extensive resource of the time. Collated by John Beale following the Trades programme of the Royal Society. The project was begun in 1662 but never completed as a separate publication. Not only was the knowledge of cider making published but the key members Beale Oldenburgh Moray Evelyn Neile and Merrett all grew orchards and swapped grafts of desirable cultivars. Robert Hooke even invented a new cider mill for the project.
John Evelyn was active in the Royal Society and society generally. For more information on Evelyn and his involvement see John Evelyn
Andrew Lea: Craft cider Making Oxford England
Andrew wrote the first modern comprehensive lay book on cider making. He is a retired chemist/ plant biochemist/ food scientist by profession, and after a career at Long Ashton ( Cider) Research Station near Bristol, was the former Head of the Beverage Research section in a contract food analysis and consultancy company. He knows his tannins! He has been very gracious and helpful to many cider makers over the years with his website and the Google group, Cider Workshop
Andrew is an amateur cider maker which started when he worked at the Long Ashton Research Station near Bristol, where he took his Ph.D in the 1970’s. The cider research part of the Station sadly closed in 1981.
LARS was first formed as a private organisation by Robert Neville-Grenville at his farm at Butleigh near Glastonbury in 1893 for cider research This led to the formation of the National Fruit and Cider Institute in 1903 in fields south of the main road through Long Ashton. In 1912 the Institute became the University of Bristol’s Department of Agricultural and Horticultural Research and its name was changed to the Long Ashton Research Station. But in 1981 two of Long Ashton's major research divisions, the Pomology and Plant Breeding Division and the Food and Beverage Division were closed down.
Percy Bulmer starts the age of industrial cider production Hereford
The founder was Henry Percival "Percy" Bulmer, the younger son of the rector the Reverend Charles H. Bulmer and his wife Mary at Credenhill, just NW of Hereford.
Using apples from the orchard at his father's rectory glebe and an old stone press on the farm next door, Percy Bulmer made the first cider, upon which the family fortune would be made.
With a £1,760 loan from his father, Percy bought a field just outside the city at Ryelands and built their first cider mill. It was little more than a barn initially.
Herefordshire Pomona Hereford
The Herefordshire Pomona is a 19th-century catalogue of the apples and pears that were grown in this county in England Written by Drs Robert Hogg and Henry Bull.
It originated from The Wollhope Naturalist Field Society. Over a period of about ten years in the late 19th century, the Club held an annual autumn show in Hereford featuring the local varieties of apples and pears. The club members were worried that although Herefordshire was famous for its orchards “it was very remarkable that so few of the best varieties of apples should appear in the markets, or the fruit shops”, Dr Robert Hogg, at the time Vice-President of the Royal Horticultural Society RHS , and local doctor and former president of the Woolhope club, Dr Henry Bull, catalogued and described the fruit displayed at the shows. was one of the first attempts to fully catalogue the existing varieties of English fruit and has been called “a classic of late Victorian natural history” Only 600 copies were ever printed.
The book originally appeared in seven issues, the first part appearing in 1878 and the last in 1884. Once complete the seven parts were collected together and published by Jakeman & Carver
Issue 3, 21 shillings!
Included are 441 original watercolours produced by Alice Blanche Ellis and Edith Elizabeth Bull ( Dr. Bull’s daughter). Of interest is that a Frances Stackhouse Acton helped provide some of the illustrations. She was the same Frances Knight who provided some illustrations for Thomas Knight's Pomona Herefordienisis 70 years before! was a major step forwards in illustration realism and included not only the different fruits, buds, blossoms of the cultivars but also the blights which attacked them.
Lichen and eaten leaves!
In addition it contained several essays on apples and cider making including "The Orchard and its products Cider and Perry by the Rev Henry Bulmer , the father of Percy Bulmer who established Bulmers Cider. Henry was knowledgable on cider and a friend of Bull." He also included this lovely poem by Tennyson
Devon Colic Devon
An illness of abdominal cramps and often leading to death after ingesting lead. This was proved by Sir George Baker to be from the lead used in the cider mills in Devon. The granite stone being too hard to wrought from a single piece. The joints were filled with lead. See Cider Musings for more details
Cider Tax and USA
Lord Bute’s Government introduces a tax on cider leading to ‘cider riots’ in the West of England. It also led to the phrase ‘an Englishman’s home is his castle’, coined by William Pitt the Elder, describing the layman’s right to protect his private property from entry by the tax man. This lead to the principle of individual privacy, which is fundamental to the American system of government. In this regard, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution— part of the Bill of Rights— prohibits“unreasonable searches and seizures.” See Cider Musings
Dr Christopher Merret and Champagne London
Dr Christopher Merrett was a medical doctor and scientist and was an early member of the Royal Society.
He was the first to described sparkling champagne bottled in London 1662 in an address to the Royal Society 1662
“Our wine coopers of recent times use vast quantities of sugar and
molasses to all sorts of wines to make them drink brisk and sparkling and to give them spirit,”
This relied on experimentation and resources from cider making.
Sparkling champagne was first noted in the lay press in a play by Sir George Etheridge 1676 , The Man of Mode.
Ralph Austen Oxford
Wrote one of the first books on cider. “A Treatise of Fruit Trees”. An early enthusiast linking fruit trees and fruit products with God. Ralph was religious and spirituality and nature were commonly closely entwined. Unfortunately Ralph was a Protestant and the Restoration and the Royal Society wiped him from the history books. No image of him exists today. This is the front-piece of his book.
See Cider Musings
Britain Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester & Somerset
Following the invasion of Britain by William Duke of Normandy, the apple continued its journey in Europe. Areas especially good for apple growing are the The Three Counties – Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester and also Somerset and Devon although apples are found growing all over UK, probably first in the South East where the Normans settled first.
manuscript (circa 1165) of part of the plan of the garden of Christ Church monastery in Canterbury shows a pomerium, an apple garden, consisting of apples and pears for eating and apples for cider making.
Origin of Apples Hindu Kush
The cider apple of today originates on the forested flanks of the Tian Shan mountains. Alexander the Great is credited with finding apples in Kazakhstan
Apples started their journey from the Hindu Kush region to Europe by traders on the Silk Road and selected for flavour and “eatablity”. see Cider Musings
Apples, the most commonly grown fruit is not domesticated like cereals or rice. The clones are maintained by grafting as each seed showing marked genetic diversity. Grafting was first discovered by Chinese about 6000 BC. The Greeks are credited with grafting apples in 800 BC
November 2019 AD
Adge Cutler Somerset