It seems that Magners has helped create a minor revolution in the UK, which has seen the balance tip dramatically (if not necessarily decisively) between beer and cider. This chart from the FT shows just how sudden and far reaching the change has been. It has also consists of 68.4% of the profits made by C&C up until February this year. As a mass market cider, it seems, nevertheless, to have driven a rediscovery of other more exclusive ciders.Interestingly, the growth in sales has seen significant replanting of cider orchards (Scottish and Newcastle have planted 33,000 new trees), some of them specifically for the high end of the value chain. What chance of seeing renewed fortunes for Northern Ireland’s apple growers? There is at least one company planning to put Armagh Cider back on the commercial map. And there are also a few ‘native’ species, such as ‘Blood of the Boyne’ which reputedly has a fine red glow to the outside with a slight strawberry taste, being grown, once again, in commercial numbers.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty