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Cider & Perry Books

Some Recommended Reading About Cider & Perry

For convenience, the books have been categorised as follows:

These categories are just for convenience and there may be overlap between them - for example, the General books cover a variety of subjects including cidermaking, history, folklore, cooking with cider, etc.

In addition to this list, please also check Gillian Grafton's book list transferred from the Real Cider & Perry website. This was compiled in 1990, and might be a little outdated now, but still provides a good reference list.

Guides to Cider Producers and Pubs

Guides to cider and perry makers in the UK, and pubs and other outlets for real cider and perry

Good Cider GuideCAMRA's Good Cider Guide edited by Dave Matthews, published by CAMRA
(£9.99)

Launched on 28 October 2000, this is a comprehensive guide to over 130 cider producers in the UK. It promotes both real cider and filtered cider, but the filtered cider must be made from 100% juice, must not be pasteurised or artificially carbonated, and must not be made from juice concentrate. The guide lists over 500 surveyed and recommended cider outlets (shops, pubs, restaurants, etc.) The Guide also features over 20 articles on all aspects of cider and perry, home and abroad (many by UK cidermakers). Illustrated by lots of photos throughout.

Review by Tom Putt of the Scrumpy User Guide: "Dave has done a tremendous job with the guide - it's bigger and better than ever before. He's addressed all the problems with the last guide - producers and outlets are listed separately by county with maps and full directions - as well as including some interesting and knowledgeable articles about cider and perry history, cider and perry making, cider abroad (USA, France, Spain, etc.), many written by expert cider makers and CAMRA members - and much more. The Guide has even been brought up to date by the inclusion of some cider website details (naturally, the Scrumpy User Guide gets a mention!). Truly an indispensible guide for the serious Scrumpy User!"

Previous cider guides (superseded by the latest guide above)

  • The Guide To Real Cider by Ted Bruning, 1996, CAMRA Books £7.99
    Superseded by CAMRA's Good Cider Guide (above). Although a useful guide, it was criticised by some for lacking maps, directions or lists of cidermakers by county. The new guide (above) addressed these problems.
  • The Good Cider Guide by David Kitton, 2nd edition, 1990, Alma Books, deleted
    Superseded by the Guide to Real Cider (above), but worth buying if you see a copy; contains maps, directions, etc., and well worth reading, if only for the author's colourful descriptions of the cidermakers!
  • The Good Cider Guide by David Kitton, 1st edition, October 1987, Alma Books, deleted
    Superseded by the second edition above.
  • The Traditional Cider Directory by David Kitton, 1984, Virgin Books, deleted
    Superseded by the first edition of the Good Cider Guide above.

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Books about the process of cider and perry making, either technically or practically. See also the section below - "General Books About Cider"

Cidermaking by Michael B. Quinion (Shire Books, £2.95)

Useful little guide to the cidermaking process; illustrated with many black & white photos

Cidermaking

Real Cidermaking On A Small ScaleReal Cidermaking On A Small Scale by Michael Pooley & John Lomax (£5.95)

Publisher: Special Interest Model Books (29 April 1999)

This practical book on the craft of cidermaking explores traditional and modern approaches including a set of scaled plans for building an inexpensive robust cider press. Also included are instructions for apple pressing, step-by-step brewing and pasteurisation and cider-based food recipes.

 

Cider & Juice Apples edited by R. R. Williams (deleted)

Excellent book published by the University of Bristol, covering all aspects of orcharding and cidermaking. Contributors include acknowledged experts such as Liz Copas and Andrew Lea.

Cider & Juice Apples

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General Books About Cider

Books covering many aspects of cider - including any of: history, cidermaking, cooking, cultivation, folklore, etc.

Farmhouse Cider & Scrumpy by Bob Bunker (£2.99)

Small book illustrated with many colour photos, concentrating on the cidermaking process, but includes a bit about history, apple cultivation, cider drinks, etc.

Farmhouse Cider

Making Cider by Jo Deal

Tips on making your own cider, including equipment needed and recipes - but covering much else besides: history, cooking with cider and apples, and lists of selected cidermakers and cider apple varieties. It even contains a verse of Adge Cutler's cider-drinking anthem Drink Up Thy Zider, although not ascribed to him, being simply described as an "old country song"!

Making Cider

CiderCider: Making, Using & Enjoying Sweet & Hard Cider by Annie Proulx & Lew Nichols

Publisher: Storey Books; 3rd Ed edition (Nov 2003) Paperback: 224 pages

Annie Proulx, the novelist, first wrote this guide to making cider in 1980. It is a comprehensive, illustrated overview of the process and includes recipes for using the finished product in cooking. Proulx and Lew Nichols also discuss apple presses, glass bottles versus wooden barrels and storage.

review: This is an American book, but it has much of interest for readers in the UK. A very useful book, with sections on making cider, apples & orchards, making your own equipment, and covers cooking with cider, cider vinegar, etc. Highly recommended!

Cider - The Forgotten Miracle by James Crowden (£12.95)

Somerset author who has been involved with Burrow Hill Cider. The book concentrates on the history, traditions and superstitions surrounding West Country farmhouse cidermaking, and is full of fascinating anecdotes.

Cider - The Forgotten Miracle

Cider, Hard & SweetCider, Hard & Sweet: History, Traditions & Making Your Own by Ben Watson

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.; 2nd Revised edition edition (25 Nov 2008) Hardcover: 160 pages

A fully updated and expanded primer for anyone who wants to make cider and for those who just like to drink it. With the rise in consumer demand for local foods and local food products, and the emergence of more small craft food and beverage producers since this book was originally published in 2000, this revised edition of "Cider, Hard and Sweet" comes at the right time. Watson's expanded the section on the history of cider to chronicle lesser-known cider producers such as those in Spain and Asia; broadened the selection of North American cider varieties and European cider apple varieties; provided new cidermaking basics tailored to beginner and intermediate cidermakers with special attention to the new cidermaking equipment available; added new recipes for cooking with cider from notable chefs and bartenders; and added a new chapter about the recent popularity of perry (pear cider) available for purchase today. 50 black & white photographs.

review: Another American book, with naturally a US-perspective, but nevertheless contains much of interest to UK readers, especially those studying the differences and similarities between cider and cidermaking in the two countries.

Pomona Britannica: The Complete Plates by Uta Pellgru-Gagel (£12.00)

Taschen book (200 pages) published in 2003, based on reproductions of prints from a first edition of George Brookshaw's 1812 book. The original illustrations are supplemented by modern notes on cultivation, etc.

Pomona Britannica

Success with Apples and Pears to Eat and Drink by Alan Rowe (£12.95)

A Practical Gardeners' Guide to Varieties, Husbandry, Harvesting, Storing & Making Juices, Cyder and Perry. Covers the cultivation and use of fruit including apples, pears, sorbus, hawthorn, quince, etc. to make cider and related drinks, with an East Anglian emphasis.

Success With Apples & Pears

Making The Best Apple Cider by E. A. Proulx (£2.50)

Small booklet giving an overview of various aspects of cidermaking. Not as good as the author's larger book on Cider, but then it's a lot cheaper!

Making The Best Apple Cider

Good Cider by David Mabey (1984, 143pp, Whittet Books, deleted)

Covers several aspects of cider, including history, process, customs, selected cidermakers, cooking with cider, etc. Illustrated.

Good Cider

Cider's Story - Rough & Smooth by Mark Foot (1999, 144pp, £9.99)

If you like the Scrumpy & Western website then I guarantee you'll love this book! A wide-ranging and affectionate look at the history of cider, introducing the reader to a host of great rural characters, including Adge Cutler & The Wurzels and some of today's most dedicated traditional cidermakers. The book is packed with fascinating photos and has an introduction from Acker Bilk. Excellent - zider I up, librarian!

Cider's Story was available directly from the author Mark Foot, 8 Kingston Drive, Nailsea, North Somerset, BS48 4RB. However, this information has not yet been recently checked, so I would advise you to make contact with the author before sending your money!

Cider's Story - Rough & Smooth

The History & Virtues of Cyder by R. K. French (1982, 200pp, Robert Hale, deleted)

Interesting book covering many aspects of cider (or cyder, as the author spells it), including social and economic history, the cidermaking process, orcharding, cookery, folklore and more.

The History & Virtues of Cyder

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Regional Books About Cider

Books concentrating on cider in a specific region - so far we've only got Somerset!

A Somerset Pomona - The Cider Apples of Somerset by Liz Copas (2001, 80pp, Dovecote Press £9.95)

No mere coffee-table book, this - the author is the Orcharding Advisor to the National Association of Cidermakers and therefore knows her subject inside out! This is the definitive reference on Somerset cider apples - it contains details of all apples used in the county, with drawings and colour photographs of all 80 varieties in use today. Invaluable for identification, and clearly not just of use in Somerset. But this is not just a dull old reference book - it also has introductory sections on the history of Somerset cider and cidermaking and other aspects of the county's deservedly most famous export. Contains some fascinating and beautiful black & white and full colour photos. Highly recommended.

Somerset Pomona

Somerset Cider - The Complete Story by Philippa Legg & Hilary Binding (1986, 80pp, Somerset Books £6.95)

Lavishly illustrated with many interesting photos, this book covers all aspects of cider and cidermaking in Somerset, including apple varieties, orchards, history, customs, etc. Particularly interesting are a section on old cidermaking equipment (mills, presses, etc.) and a detailed appendix of apple varieties used in the county. Much of the content will be of interest to non-Somerset scrumpophiles too!

Somerset Cider

Les Cidres & leurs Eaux-de-Vie by Francois de Beaulieu (2000, 64pp, Editions Ouest-France)

The history of French cider and eaux-de-vie, right up to the present. Beautifully illustrated with many colour photos. Includes useful information about cider museums, routes du cidre, etc. Note: text written in French.

Cidres & Eaux de Vie

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Books About Apples, Pears, Orchards and Cultivation

Books about growing fruit, apple & pear varieties, cultivation, orchards, tree management, etc.

The Apple Grower by Michael Phillips

A Guide For The Organic Orchardist. American author is an experienced orchardist, and in this books he passes on tips on orcharding generally, and in particular the use of organic methods of pest control and cultivation.

The Apple Grower

The New Book Of Apples by Joan Morgan & Alison Richards

Beautifully illustrated throughout by Elizabeth Dowle, this book covers the history of apples in the UK and indeed, the world. Also has a detailed directory of 2,000 varieties, with history and tasting notes, etc. Highly recommended!

The New Book Of Apples

Growing Fruit by Harry Baker (RHS Guide, £8.99)

Part of the Royal Horticultural Society's excellent series of small guides, this book covers the growing of all kinds of fruit, including of course, apples! But covers a lot more besides. Includes many helpful illustrations.

Growing Fruit

Pruning by Christopher Brickell (RHS Guide, £8.99)

Another excellent RHS guide, considered by many to be the definitive guide to pruning. As well as apple and other fruit trees, it covers roses, shrubs and much more. Highly recommended!

Pruning

All About Apples by Allen Gilbert (£15.99)

Covers many aspects of apple growing, including propagation, pest control, pruning, training, growing multiple varieties on one tree, and organic cultivation.

All About Apples

The Backyard Orchardist by Stella Otto

A Complete Guide to Growing Fruit Trees in the Garden. Aimed at the domestic grower, this book gives a good overview of many aspects of fruit tree management - more of an introduction than one for the experienced fruit grower

The Backyard Orchardist

Growing Tree Fruit by Richard Bird (£6.99)

A Directory of Varieties and How to Cultivate Them Successfully. Popular book which covers a wide range of fruits including apples. Good book for the beginner to fruit growing.

Growing Tree Fruit

The Common Ground Book Of Orchards from Common Ground (£18.95)

Community, Conservation and Culture. From the laudable Common Ground organisation, this books looks at orchards from the community angle, as havens for wildlife and local people alike.

Common Ground Book of Orchards

Pears by Jim Arbury & Sally Pinhey (£19.99)

Contains lists of pear varieties with notes on cultivation and identification, based on the Pear Collections at Wisley and Brogdale. Beautifully detailed colour illustrations of several varieties by Sally Pinhey.

Pears

Apples In Scotland by John Butterworth (£6.50)

A Practical Guide To Choosing & Growing Our Favourite Fruit. Advice on which apple varieties grow best in different parts of Scotland, with photos of Scottish apple varieties to aid identification.

Apples In Scotland

Perry Pears edited by L. C. Luckwill & A. Pollard (1963, 216pp, University of Bristol)

Published for the legendary Long Ashton National Fruit & Cider Institute, this is quite simply the definitive reference work on perry pears! As well as some history, the book includes (amongst a wealth of useful information) a practical guide to the identifiaction of perry pears, illustrated with copious diagrams and photos; the propagation of perry pears; and perry making. Aimed at the perry maker or the serious scrumpologist rather than the casual reader.

Perry Pears

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Books About Individual Cidermakers

Books about individual cidermakers.

Whiteway's Cyder A Company History by E. V. M. Whiteway (1990, 176pp, David & Charles £14.95)

A history of the successful Whiteway's of Whimple company from its early days in the 19th century, through two world wars, the merger with Showering's and eventual takeover and closure of the Whimple works in the late 20th century. Perhaps a bit detailed for the casual reader, containing many facts and figures and appendices about the company's output, share prices, etc., but contains many fascinating reproductions of old advertising posters, photos, etc.

Whiteway's Cyder

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Scrumpy Fiction

Fiction with a cider theme or background

Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee (£3.99, paperback)

Probably the best-known book in the world with the word "Cider" in the title! Evocative autobiographical novel set in Gloucestershire's cider country where the author grew up between the wars. The subsequent books are good reads to, but fail to mention cider at all!

Cider With Rosie

Of Apples & Serpents: A Herefordshire Cider Saga
by Mike Knight (£19.00)

The story of a boy who grew up in a Herefordshire village in the 1940s and 50s, set against a background of cider-making in rural Herefordshire, at a time when country life was very different from today's.

Of Apples & Serpents

The Cider House Rules by John Irving (£4.79, paperback)

John Irving's best-selling novel (later made into a film starring Michael Caine & Charlize Theron) about a young man and his life after he is taken on as an apple picker on a cider farm.

The Cider House Rules

Rough Cider
by Peter Lovesey (£6.60, paperback)

In 1944, GIs stationed in Somerset woo the village girls, to the local men's fury. Things come to a head at the dance to celebrate the cidermaking, leading to a sinister pint of scrumpy at the pub...

Rough Cider

Cider With Roadies
by Stuart Maconie (£7.69, paperback)

That ultra-rarity, an intelligent and knowledgeable DJ, with his highly enjoyable account of his life as a pop music fan growing up in the 1970s. Not really about cider, but a good read and a clever title!

Cider With Roadies

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Scrumpy Audio Books

Cassettes or CDs with a cider theme, background or connection.

Cider With Rosie (BBC Collection Audio Book)
by Laurie Lee, £10.99 (audio cassette tape)

BBC Collection audio cassette tape of Laurie Lee's famous novel with a scrumpy background. Cover shows a picture of the famous Woolpack Inn at Slad, the author's local.

Cider With Rosie

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Scrumpy DVDs and Videos

Films with a cider theme, background or connection.

Cider With Rosie (1998) by Laurie Lee, £11.69 (VHS PAL video)

Beautiful 1998 film adaptation of Laurie Lee's famous novel with a scrumpy background. Starring Juliet Stevenson, David Troughton, Con O'Neill and Emily Mortimer.

Cider With Rosie

The Cider House Rules (1999) by John Irving, £6.97 (DVD Region 2 UK)

Film adaptation of John Irving's book, set on a cider farm, and starring Michael Caine, Tobey Maguire, Kate Nelligan and Charlize Theron.

The Cider House Rules

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