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beer vs cider

Beer vs Cider

Drinks

Beer vs Cider

The beer vs. cider argument is a conflict as old as time itself. How many times have you been sat at pres, enjoying a bellowing rendition of Mr. Brightside, only for a Carslberg drinker to make a crack at someone else’s Dark Fruits, sparking an argument over which beverage is superior? It may seem simple: beer is bitter, cider is sweet. But, like many things in life, it just isn’t that simple – here are the big differences between the two behemoths of booze.    

On the surface, beer and cider seem very similar. They both sit at an alcohol content of about 5%, they’re both usually served cold, and they both tend to come in pint glasses. But the differences come from how they’re made.

For beer, the brewer first sprouts and malts barley to bring out sugars. That barley is then added to water, and the mixture is heated, extracting flavour and further sugars. Hops are then added, which gives the beer that trademark bitter flavour. Finally, the yeast is added to the mix, which eats the sugars and secretes alcohol. That final step is known as fermentation, and it’s then that the CO2 is produced, resulting in the beer’s fizz. And there you have it: it’s not glamourous, but it’s delicious.  

On paper, the process for cider is quite a bit simpler. Apples are crushed into juice, yeast is added, the yeast eats the sugar and dumps out the alcohol, and voila, you have cider. As for the difference in flavour, the lack of hops and barely means that cider preserves the natural sweetness of its apples. Like wine, most ciders are then left to develop a full ‘body’, whereas beer is pretty much ready to go as soon as it’s brewed.  

Of course, these are very simple explanations of how beer and cider are made. The real processes are far more complicated, requiring years of learning and expertise to perfect. Then of course, there are the expansive varieties of each drink – Lager, Ale, Stout and Pilsner to name a few types of beer, and Pippin, Scrumpy, Still, Fruit and Cyser to name a few ciders. All of these differ in presentation, alcohol content, and production, each with unique flavours that can go as far as to taste like an entirely different drink.    

However, I’m sure anyone who likes either beer or cider will admit that there’s a time and place for either one. A hot summer’s day in the park might be the perfect time for an ice-cold, refreshing can of lager, but a freezing winter’s night in the warmth of the local would probably call for a nice hot cider. 

It’s all down to what you’re feeling. And remember, whatever you’re feeling, you can find it on Round! Make sure to join our 50,000+ users and download Round before your next trip to the pub. Whether it’s beer or cider, we’ve got you covered. 

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