Adnams dives into cider market after Aspall sale

Adnams cider

Suffolk brewer Adnams today launches its first refreshing cider as it seeks to fill the void left by the sale of Suffolk cider brand Aspall to the US.

Once only experts in beers, the Southwold brewery has already established itself as a player in the spirits world, distilling award-winning gins, vodkas and whisky.

But when Aspall, based near Debenham, was sold last year to US giant Molson Coors for a reputed £40 million, including debt, Adnams seized upon the chance to become the local independent brewery of choice for cider.

Adnams has been teasing the launch of a new product on its social media channels for weeks, and on Wednesday a video on Twitter gave the biggest clue yet about what the new drink would be.

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Now the company has unveiled Wild Wave, its new English cider, which will become available initially in selected pubs and Adnams’ retail outlets, where it’s in 330ml can or mini-keg form.

The drink is made with 100% English apples (from the foothills of the Malvern Hills, to be precise). It’s fermented with champagne and wine yeasts, Wild Wave is a bright, sparkling cider at 5% abv with flavours and aromas of fresh apples, mango and tropical fruit, elegantly balanced with a medium-dry finish. Serve at North Sea temperatures.

Master brewer Fergus Fitzgerald said: “We’ve been brewing beer for years, and more recently, making spirits, and for decades we’ve worked closely with wine producers from around the world, but we’ve never ventured into cider before.

“Making cider is more of a winemaking process than it is a brewing process so I worked with James (Adnams master of wine) and a cidermaker in Gloucestershire with a state-of-the-art cider making facility, to create our own unique blend for Wild Wave.

“We’ve aimed to get the mix of bittersweet and dessert apples right, so there’s a bit more tannin than you might find in some ciders and I think that really works.”

First to showcase the new drink is The Greyhound, the busy Adnams pub in Henley Road, Ipswich, which has Wild Wave on sale from today.

Here’s Fergus chatting about the new cider with Adnams master of wine James Davis.

Earlier this week, Adnams unveiled a new seasonal gin, Orange and Sea Buckthorn, adding to its blossoming spirit range.

Also this week, Bury St Edmunds brewer Greene King launched its third new beer under its Heritage Series, taking a historic recipe from its archives.

Heritage Ernest Hop Pale Ale was first brewed in 1920 but never commercialised.