The five best ciders that Ireland has produced.
Ireland has a very rich heritage when it comes to producing cider with some amazing exports being enjoyed all over the world.
Bulmers is the original Irish cider, having been brewed in Ireland since 1946. However, craft cider has exploded in recent years, and now we’re lucky we have a wide variety of Irish ciders to choose from.
From flavoured cider to light cider for the calorie conscious to non-alcoholic cider, there is definitely a cider out there everyone can enjoy.
Here’s our countdown of Ireland’s five best ciders.
5. Dan Kelly’s Cider
Dan Kelly’s Cider is a new Irish cider made from hand-picked apples from Kelly’s very own family orchard in Drogheda. They are one of only a few cider producers in Ireland to grow their own fruit.
Their apples are blended to ensure the full fruit flavour comes through in their craft cider. The cider is named after their grandfather who used to work for the Great Northern Railway and passed through their family-owned orchards on his journeys between Dublin and Belfast.
Dan Kelly’s Cider has a range of 3 different blends, made from a mix of over 20 different handpicked apples.
Each cider is carefully crafted to give a refreshing, crisp taste. See their website for stockists.
4. Orchard Thieves
In 2015 Heineken Ireland officially entered the cider market and launched its first cider, Orchard Thieves.
According to Heineken Ireland, Orchard Thieves was designed specifically for Irish taste buds and was brewed followed an extensive taste testing with over 1,000 consumers in Ireland.
Orchard Thieves is so called because they draw on years of cider heritage and they claim they’ve stolen the best of generations of cider crafting, to create they’re own distinct, refreshingly smooth drinking experience.
Orchard Thieves is a lovely cider. For the calorie conscious shopper, they launched Orchard Thieves Light, which is 33% lower in calories vs. Orchard Thieves, while still maintaining a great taste.
3. Cronin’s Cider
While Cronin’s Quality Cider launched in June 2015, it has been 20 years in the making. As a young man working in the family pub in Listowel, Kerry man John Cronin remembers thinking there should be more than one cider on offer.
Over 20 years ago he teamed up with English master cider maker Keith Knight to create his cider, and they eventually collaborated with David Sheppy.
It was then perfected using a blend of Somerset bittersweet, and dessert apple juice. This gives it a sweet taste. They were then delighted to find their ideal-manufacturing partners in Donohoes of Enniscorthy.
It’s an Irish cider everyone can enjoy as it is naturally gluten-free and vegan-friendly, with no artificial colours or flavourings and it’s only 89 calories per bottle (330ml).
They now have an alcohol free brand for anyone who wants to enjoy the taste and have a drink with their friends but may be the designated driver. Like Orchard Thieves, Cronin’s is quite sweet.
While their ingredients are sourced from the UK, they are proud to say Cronin’s Quality Cider is both processed and bottled in Wexford, Ireland. See their website for stockists.
2. Stonewell Cider
Stonewell Cider, an international multi-award winning cider, is made with only fresh apple juice by a small team in Cork. It is free of all artificial additives & colourings.
The salty Cork sea air doesn’t favour apple trees, and so all of the apples that go into their Irish craft cider are bought from Irish farmers from Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Tipperary and Cork.
They have 4 different blends of cider: medium dry, tobairín, dry and tawny. Tobairín means well-being in Irish and its brewed to be 1.5%. Stonewell Cider describes it as: ‘a crisp, light, almost Perry like cider which perfectly fits the bill for the designated driver or lunchtime drink’. See their website for stockists.
This is the original Irish cider, produced locally in Clonmel, County Tipperary. A local from the town of Clonmel, William Magner, established the cider in 1935. The cider factory there was later bought out by cider-makers H. P. Bulmer in 1946.
Often Irish people abroad panic when they can’t see their beloved Bulmers anywhere. The success of Bulmers in Ireland led to the development of the Magners brand to market the company’s cider outside the Republic of Ireland.
H. P. Bulmer retained the right to market their original British Bulmer’s worldwide, so the C&C Group needed a new name under which to market their international product. Abroad Bulmers is sold as Magners, just in case you’re on holidays scanning the bar for a reliable drink. Bulmers is made from 17 varieties of Irish apples and is 100% Irish.