Hard Apple Cider History

While cider may seem like the new kid on the block, it's been around much longer than many think...

  • According to some research, it's possible that even the Romans were making cider, and it's a known fact that Hebrews drank 'Shekar', a brew made by combining apples with fermented juice.

  • Julius Caesar was said to have wholeheartedly embraced cider as an alternative to vinum, probably realizing that the conquered Britons would be less likely to revolt if they had a patriotic drink to enjoy.

  • By the middle of the 17th Century, cider had become the drink of choice for the larger population of Britain. Every farm had a cider orchard and a press. And it became customary to pay part of a farm laborer's wages in cider. A typical allowance would be 3-4 pints per day, increased to 6-8 pints in August, during haymaking. Remember that these were Imperial pints of 20 fluid ounces. Sadly this practice was outlawed in 1887 which led to a drop in consumption.

  • The average Massachusetts resident consumed more than 35 gallons of cider per year during the later 1700s and by the end of the 18th century the shire of Worcestershire alone exported 1.2 million imperial gallons of cider.

    Plenty more fun facts at Fox Barrel's website!