A German Perry Bonanza

A German Perry Bonanza

It’s been 2 years since we checked in with our favourite drinks writer: Adam Wells of Cider Review. We were curious to find out how our current vintage stacks up; and how the 2020 vintage has matured. Adam had predicted that our 2020 Perry Cuvée (sold out, alas) would develop well over many years to come. Was he proven right? Read on to find out …

A fabulous, vibrant, full-hearted smasher of a perry. Super impressive.

Such an impressive, complex, grown-up perry – and, excitingly, with potential to develop further. Serious stuff.

Beautiful, complex, gastronomic perry that I reckon would be perfect with – dare I say it? – rich Christmas fare. 

Adam Wells – Cider Review

Harvest Review 2022

Harvest Review 2022

The 2022 harvest is finally done – time for a short breather and to take stock.

This was a very sunny and dry year, which rewarded us with a large yield of high quality apples. Extended periods of drought are becoming the new normal, which is stressful even to established standard trees. In the coming years we will need to consider how we can improve water infiltration and retention in our orchards. But meanwhile we can look forward to an exceptional 2022 cider vintage.

By contrast, the pear harvest was very poor. Not for reasons of climate change, but simply due to the typical biennial bearing habit of standard fruit trees, where fruit set is not artificially adjusted as it is in high density commercial orchards. So we make do with what nature has provided and hope for a full crop of pears in 2023.

We are now beginning to release bottles of the 2021 vintage:

  • Yellow 2021: a single varietal perry of the Gelbmöstlerbirne. 
    This pét nat Perry is young and fruity with good tannins – it makes a refreshing apéritif but also pairs very well with food.
  • Schweizer 2021: a single varietal perry of the Schweizer Wasserbirne.
    A smooth and rich perry, full of honeyed fruit notes and gentle bubbles. It is an elegant drink that may simply be enjoyed on its own; but would also pair nicely for example with some goat cheese.

From the 2020 vintage, we are pleased to finally present you Barrel #3. This cider has spent 13 months in a Hungarian oak whiskey barrique and has developed wonderful aromas of toffee and tobacco.

A side by side comparison with Barrel #4 is very intriguing: the exact same cider, but aged for 9 months in French oak. It is much fruitier and really showcases the influence of the whiskey.

A lot of the 2021 vintage is yet to be bottled – in particular, more single varietal perries and our 2021 Perry Cuvée. Big tannins require longer aging; but they reward our patience by developing sophisticated drinks with great cellaring potential. Be sure to put away a few extra bottles so you may experience how they evolve over the years.

Last but not least: The 2021 vintage of one of our favorite products will soon be available in 2 variations: The “naked” Mistelle 2021 was aged in glass and is fruit forward with a fresh acidity; the oak aged version by contrast is all warmth and smoothness. These limited edition bottles will be in our web store in December!

We wish you a wonderful end of the year 2022 and look forward to meeting you online or at one of our tastings.

Cider Review: 1785 – Black Forest Cider and Perry Reinvented

Cider Review: 1785 – Black Forest Cider and Perry Reinvented

Cider Review featured the first in-depth review of our products. A bit over a year later we are back, this time with a focus on how we got started with cider-making, our philosophy, and of course reviews of 4 of our perries.

Many thanks to Barry from Kertelreiter for compiling the interview and tasting his way through our perries.

Read the interview and tasting notes here.

What is “Authentic Cider”?

What is “Authentic Cider”?

This weekend Cider Review published an article that really struck a nerve. Chris Russell-Smith asks the question: What is authentic cider? This descriptor is thrown around a lot to market all kinds of drinks, and really does not have much meaning anymore at all. I feel strongly that we are producing authentic cider. But what exactly makes it authentic? And why should you care? Is it any better or worse than other cider?

Before reading further, I urge you to go and read the article. It’s a long one, but it does a stellar job at picking apart the various aspects and putting them into a context that makes so much sense. Anybody even a little serious about cider needs to read it.

No doubt you are now inspired to go forth and seek out truly authentic cider. So how do we measure up to the 3 principles of authenticity?

  • Place: We harvest all of our fruit from a handful of orchards within a 25km radius. These are established standard trees of heritage varieties, many of which are 50 years or more. Some of the ancient perry pear trees have stood over a century, sending their roots deep and wide into the soil. None of these trees have ever been sprayed or artificially fertilized. A truer expression of our local geography and climate you will not find.
  • Time: We harvest annually and produce vintage cider and perry that reflects the preceding seasons and varies from year to year. The orchards themselves are replete with history: established long ago by farmers seeking to diversify their plantings and make the best use of marginal land. The old varieties, the choice of seedling rootstock, the pruning techniques, the maintenance of the understory … all of these have evolved over a long period of time – a testament to a bygone era of subsistence farming, that is now being rediscovered for its cidermaking potential.
  • Culture: Besides the cultural history embodied in our orchards, our cidermaking is, of course, informed by our personal history and cultural influences. Our wild ferments hew closely to the traditional farm ciders of the region. Our hopped cider or whisky cask-aged cider is certainly influenced by our exposure to the cider scene of the Pacific Northwest. And our perry – a drink that is totally unknown here – is simply a reflection of what we love best in fermented beverage.

I hope you are intrigued and keen to experience not just our fermented delights, but authentic ciders and perries from the many passionate makers in apple and pear-growing regions around the world. As Chris states it so well: “Choose life!”

Cork and Crown Perry Reviews

Cork and Crown Perry Reviews

Cork and Crown is a purveyor of fine cider and perry, based in London. A signature feature of Cork and Crown is that owner Chris George posts video reviews for every single product they carry (plus many more). You’re definitely not buying the cat in the bag; and you can learn a thing or two about cider from these videos.

Chris recently sampled a selection of our perries. It is really interesting to hear him discuss the similarities and differences between english and german perry. Did Chris love our perry? Watch the videos and find out.

Pajunk Pioneer: Genuine, authentic, down-to-earth

Pajunk Pioneer: Genuine, authentic, down-to-earth

Pajunk is a medical technology company headquartered in southern Germany, with subsidiaries world-wide. The in-house publication Pioneer regularly spotlights cultural highlights from the region. Issue February 2022 included an in-depth article on 1785 Cider – and bi-lingual, no less.

Thanks a lot to the Pajunk team for the excellent coverage and fabulous photos!


Time Travelling in the Cider House

Time Travelling in the Cider House

There is no time machine in our cider house, but I wish there was. Coming from the world of software development I am accustomed to thinking in increments of 2 weeks: the duration of what the business calls a “sprint”. At the end of each sprint we would roll out some features, assess our backlog of work and make plans for the next couple of sprints. Major functionality was released every few months. Any planning beyond that was extremely tentative.

Things are very different in the world of cider. We look ahead, not just to the next harvest season, but to the coming years, decades and – occasionally – even centuries.


Artisanal cider is generally fermented “low and slow” – at low temperatures over a period of months. This preserves the fruitiness while creating additional layers of flavor through the activity of the yeast and contact with the lees. Given our high acid fruit, we often opt for a secondary malolactic fermentation. This requires temperatures of around 18°C, so it doesn’t even start until the following summer. Again, this process will take months to complete. Altogether, the initial bulk fermentation may require an entire year.


Similar to wine made from grapes, cider generally requires some time to mature in order to achieve its full potential. There are many types of maturation, each with their own time scales. For example:

  • barrel aging: depending on the type of cider and desired outcome, this may take anywhere from a few months to many years
  • sur lies aging: cider that is crafted in the champagne style is aged on the lees, prior to disgorging. Typically this will take at least 12 months, though it may be significantly longer.
  • aging in bottle: once bottled, the cider continues to mature. High tannin ciders and perries, in particular, benefit from 1 or even 2 years of maturation in the bottle.

Given all this, a simple cider takes about 1 year to produce; a champagne-style cider takes a minimum of 2 years; and a high-end product may easily be 3 years in the making.

Fortified Cider

When making a fortified wine such as apple mistelle – a blend of juice and apple brandy – we have to think about the production of the brandy itself. Apple brandy is distilled from cider or fermented apple mash, after which it is typically aged for 1 or more years. Before we can even start making a mistelle, we have put a lot of time into the production of the brandy. The mistelle itself is aged for at least 1 year, frequently many more.

Making apple mistelle will take at least 2 years from start to finish; but 3-5 years is a more typical duration.


Some of the apples that go into our cider we grow ourselves. Moving from the cider house to the orchard, time again slows waaay down. Sure, you may be lucky and own a mature orchard with just the right mix of cider apples. But more likely you will need to plant the desired varieties. Now we are talking about 10 years, from grafting an apple variety onto a standard rootstock, to harvesting any siginificant amount of fruit.

In the case of perry pears, 15-20 years is a more realistic timeframe. Eric Bordelet – producer of some of France’s finest perries – maintains that perry pear trees attain peak fruit quality after 75 years. In spite of this, he is planting perry pear trees today, so that future generations may enjoy a similar quality of fruit as he is now harvesting from trees planted 150 years ago.

Deep Time

Some producers think even further ahead. Burrow Hill Cider Company is planting oak trees so that one day, 130 years hence, they may make oak barrels from estate-grown wood, in which to age their cider. Certainly this is an extreme example. But, as cider makers, we are keenly aware of the tradition to which we are the heirs; the venerable age of orchards and trees; and the time commitment required to craft a product of the highest quality.

At times this is daunting: We only get one chance each year to make something noteworthy and to refine our craft. That gives me, fingers crossed, only another 15 or 20 tries – not a whole lot. So every day we strive to make the best choices, working with the material and tools at hand, to create something worthy. Paradoxically, as cider makers we live very much in the moment. Maybe I don’t need a time machine after all.

Cider Review: Five perries and ciders from 1785

Five perries and ciders from 1785

In the english-speaking cider scene, Cider Review is highly regarded for the breadth and depth of its coverage. If you are at all interested in where cider is headed, or want to discover top notch craft ciders and their producers, you should definitely visit the site.

We were more than thrilled that our products caught the attention of Cider Review and were recently reviewed by the peerless Adam Wells, in the context of a longer piece on orchard-based cider making.

Here are a few teasers – but you should really read the full piece

A tangy, full-flavoured bottle of exuberant joy. Another win for dry cider.

Big flavours to match big mousse and more big tannin. We have an epic food-pairer and a candidate for ageing here and no mistake. If you can bear to leave it, that is. 

A delicious, fresh perry with real heft. Thorn meets Flakey Bark for sure.

Adam Wells, Cider Review

German Ciders and Poirés

German Ciders and Poirés

Bianca Potenza is the sommelière of renowned Restaurant 212 in Amsterdam. Her interests extend beyond wine to include cider and perry. We were very excited to have her taste some of our products; and extremely gratified that our Perry Cuvée 2020 inspired her to write this blog post.

“I personally consider Perry Cuvée one of the most sublime perries I have ever tried”

Thank you, Bianca!

Cider Explorer: Perry Cuvée 2020

Cider Explorer: Perry Cuvée 2020

Natalia Wszelaki has been reporting on the craft cider scene for a number of years now – both within Germany and eastern Europe. Her site Cider Explorer features cider reviews and other related content.

Natalia’s reviews are known for being brutally honest. Find out what she thought of our Perry Cuvée 2020 here.