Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for your chance to win a $20,000 Flight Centre gift card! Offer ends 24 May 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Gourmet Traveller 2017 travel trends revealed
27.04.2017

Wondering where the new in-demand destinations are? We’ve pulled the results of our Gourmet Explorer quiz to highlight the new travel hotspots worth visiting and help inspire your next overseas jaunt.

Fifty-four things that went through my mind while eating dinner at Noma Mexico
27.04.2017

"12. I'm now sitting at Noma with no shoes on. I feel like a toddler in a sandpit."

OzHarvest opens Australia’s first free supermarket for people in need
27.04.2017

"This is about dignity. This is about anyone walking through this door, taking what they need, and only giving back if they can."

Visiting the Blue Mountains farm supplying Sydney's fine diners
27.04.2017

Leaving her native Tasmania to break bread with fellow growers in the Blue Mountains is, writes Paulette Whitney, the best kind of busman’s holiday.

Expert tips for air travel with Anne Sullivan
26.04.2017

Anne Sullivan, CEO of Georg Jensen Australia, takes us through her travel routines and cabin essentials.

Westmont Pickles, Belles Hot Chicken's pickle of choice
26.04.2017

Hand-picked and hand-packed pickles to upgrade your next ploughman's lunch.

Our Hot 100 issue is out now
24.04.2017

Our Hot 100 issue is out now. In his editor's letter, Pat Nourse walks you through what to expect.

Does Newcastle have Australia’s best eclair?
21.04.2017

Nicolas Poelaert, the French chef who won praise at Brooks and Embrasse restaurants in Melbourne, is now making waves with his choux-pastry smarts in Newcastle.

Cider insider

The great Australian cider bubble keeps expanding, writes Max Allen, but when it bursts, who will be left standing?

When I first wrote a feature about the cider boom in these pages three years ago, I was amazed to find about 40 Australian cider producers out there. Now I know of at least 120 Australian-made cider brands - and I'm coming across a new one almost every week. The market for international ciders has grown, too: a good range of scrumpy, cidre and apfelwein from the UK, France and Germany is now available here.

The big multinational booze companies have also been very active on the local cider scene this summer: just before Christmas Foster's (now owned by SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer) spent more than $5 million relaunching the Strongbow brand; Coca-Cola Amatil took over distribution of the Swedish Rekorderlig brand and launched its own cider, Pressman's, produced in conjunction with the huge Riverina-based wine company, Casella; and Japanese-owned brewer Lion launched the Kirin range of Fuji Apple ciders exclusively in Australia.

Not that any of these big brand products should be called real cider, mind you. Not to this purist, anyway. They're all concocted with water and apple juice concentrate: I think of them as "facsimile ciders". I can see why they're popular: their sweet, juicy appeal (often derived from added flavouring) hides the taste of alcohol, making them easy to drink.

Real cider should be made solely from the juice of freshly crushed whole apples (or pears) - certainly no concentrate, flavouring nor water added. This is how Co-op Pear Cider, one of the most inspiring local brands to emerge in 2013, is made: Packham pears grown in Victoria's Goulburn Valley are crushed and pressed, yeast is added to convert the rich pear sugars into alcohol, and the resulting pink-tinged cider is bottled with carbon dioxide to make it fizzy. Simple. Real.

The cider is made by a new small artisan company called Faire Ferments, in conjunction with the GV Food Co-Operative, a group of Goulburn Valley farmers trying to keep agriculture viable by processing and marketing their own produce after the withdrawal of multinational food companies from the region.

You're most likely to come across some of Australia's best new ciders close to the orchards and cideries where they're made. Red Sails ciders, made at a heritage orchard in the channel country south of Hobart, are a big hit at the city's biennial Australian Wooden Boat Festival; the funky farmhouse ciders of Lobo are barely known outside South Australia, where they sell through pubs and farmers' markets; and Mornington Peninsula's Seven Oaks Farmhouse Cidery has a loyal following at the region's monthly Red Hill Community Market.

When the current cider bubble has burst (and it will) and all the facsimile cider brands have become a distant corporate memory, it's these real ciders, made from real apples and pears, by real people that will endure.

TASTE THIS - SIX OF THE BEST
Top-scorers from the 2013 Australian Cider Awards, open to locally produced and imported ciders - all made from real, whole apples and pears.

1. The Hills Cider Company Pear Cider, Adelaide Hills, SA, $5 (330ml)
Heaps of peary aroma, balanced sweetness and a touch of ginger spice. Drink from a schooner with ice.

2. Small Acres Cyder "The Cat's Pyjamas", Orange, NSW, $32
Excellent, full-flavoured but refined apple cider. It's like biting into a Granny Smith. Try it in a Champagne flute. 

3. St Ronan's Pear Cider, Yarra Valley, Vic, $25
With gorgeous rich, complex pear aromas and a lovely soft, creamy texture, this is best paired with an oozing washed-rind cheese. 

4. Red Sails Dry Cider, d'Entrecasteaux, Tas, $18
Made from traditional English cider apple varieties, this is funky, grippy, satisfying and cheddar-friendly. Drink from a classic English half-pint glass. 

5. Cornouaille "Manoir du Kinkiz", France, $20
Brilliantly spicy and complex farmhouse cider that's great with stinky camembert and best drunk from a squat, wide tumbler. 

6. Weidmann & Groh Trierer Weinapfel, Germany, $22
Rich, golden and chewy, ideally drunk from a German apfelwein glass, a straight-sided, diamond-patterned tumbler. Bring on the knackwurst and sauerkraut.

Related link: cocktail recipes.

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Where to have a drink this Good Friday
13.04.2017
Bar Rochford's Gun Club
06.04.2017
Dung: gin’s final frontier
31.03.2017
Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden’s very own gin
30.03.2017
The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia
28.03.2017
Archie Rose’s latest gin is inspired by autumn in Japan
10.03.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Jennifer Hawkins Sesion tequila

Tequila is the new black. At least it is for Jennifer Hawkin...

Top drops: March 2017

From a floral bottle of English bubble to a tangy gin perfec...

Australian sour beers

Craft brewing in Australia is hitting a sour note, and that’...

Original Sin's Grande Bellezza

A fresh, bright Italian-accented sundowner.

Short restaurant wine lists

Small is the order of the day in restaurants, with tight win...

Mitch Monaghan, Nespresso

We caught up with Nespresso Australia and New Zealand coffee...

Signature Drink: The Baxter Inn’s Charlestown

Grab the mink and the fedora – this Baxter cocktail means bu...

Game up your G&Ts with a Distiller’s Strength Gin

Is this the year of gin going where no botanicals have gone ...

Signature drinks

Thirty of our favourite drinks from Australia's best bars an...

Hot 100 2015 - Drinks

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

Mover, shaker

The best thing you can take to a party, according to cocktai...

How to improve your wine-tasting ability

Drinking wine is more than a matter of taste, writes Max All...

Best Australian red wines for drinking now

Australians are getting a taste for thirst-quenching reds ma...

Best Australian gins

The local gin craze is in full swing. Max Allen taste-tests ...

The art of the cocktail list

In our inaugural Cocktail List of the Year awards, GT cockta...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×