Head of Cider Development at Magners & Gaymers
Given Magners is such a popular brand, what challenges do you face in crafting a consistently tasting cider year in and year out?
You are quite correct Magners is a very popular brand and we at Magners are envisaging growth in all our markets. For this reason we have invested heavily in long term supply agreements with our fruit growers and suppliers. We have also ensured that we have a state of the art production facility in Ireland with the capability to produce our ciders remaining true to the traditional methods and quality.
How important is it to use a blend of apples to make cider?
The blend of apples used in Magners Irish Cider is very important to maintain its traditional character and premium quality. We have spent much time developing relationships with the agricultural community to ensure the correct varieties of apples are planted and grown. This includes entering into long term partnering agreements with our apple growers with contracts that look forward up to thirty years.
We constantly review our production needs as fruit supply requires long term commitment and an orchard takes over seven years before it becomes productive.
What is it about cider do you think that is driving the growth in cider across the world?
Being a cider maker and having a great passion for both making and consuming cider I find no surprise in the growth of cider worldwide.
Cider made from apples and/or pears offers a premium natural product which can be enjoyed in a multitude of drinking occasions. Cider is the perfect alternative to beer for social drinking and provides refreshment with true character and flavour. As an accompaniment to food it is perfectly matched equally to a light lunch or a more substantial dinner.
The diversity of cider has enabled the growth of premium crafted brands like Magners throughout Ireland and the UK. At the same time smaller craft producers have increased their sales in-line with the popularity of the cider drinking occasion. We see this now happening in both the American and Australian markets as the popularity cider grows exponentially driven by the major brands. This increase in competition and drive for innovation is very healthy and it is an important factor in the growth of the whole category. If you are not already enjoying cider on a regular basis I can strongly recommend that you join in.