Tuesday Beer Trivia: Cider & Perry

Put your knowledge of cider and perry to the test in this week’s Tuesday Beer Trivia quiz.

In their basic forms, cider is fermented apple juice and perry is fermented pear juice. But don’t let the simplicity fool you! Ciders and perries can come in a variety of styles, depending on factors like the types of fruit and/or other adjuncts are used.

After you take the Beer Trivia quiz below, scroll down to the “Beer Trivia Answer Explanations” section to learn more about cider and perry.

Beer Trivia Answer Explanations

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Question 1:  From the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines: “The term for this category is traditional but possibly misleading: it is simply a cider with substantial added sugar to achieve higher alcohol than a standard cider. As such it comes closer to a white wine than any other style. No fruit other than apples may be used in this style.”

Question 2:  From the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines: “This is a cider style in which the juice is concentrated before fermentation either by freezing fruit before pressing or freezing juice and removing water. Fermentation stops or is arrested before reaching dryness. The character differs from Applewine in that the ice cider process increases not only sugar (hence alcohol) but acidity and all fruit flavor components proportionately. No additives are permitted in this style; in particular, sweeteners may not be used to increase gravity. This style originated in Quebec in the 1990s.” (For more on this style, see Commercial Calibration in the May/June 2016 issue of Zymurgy.)

Question 3:  From the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines: “Carbonation may vary from entirely still to a champagne level. No or little carbonation is termed still. A still cider may give a slight tickle on the tongue. A moderate carbonation level is termed petillant. Highly carbonated is termed sparkling. At the higher levels of carbonation, the mousse (head) may be retained for a short time. However, gushing, foaming, and difficult-to-manage heads are faults.”

Question 4: From the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines: “Traditional perry is made from pears grown specifically for that purpose rather than for eating or cooking. Many “perry pears” are nearly inedible due to high tannins; some are also quite hard. Perry pears may contain substantial amounts of sorbitol, a non-fermentable sweet-tasting compound. Hence a perry can be completely dry (no residual sugar) yet taste sweet.”

Question 5: “Sweating” is a process in which apples are stored in a clean area and allowed to sit for 7–10 days. This makes the apples easier to grind when preparing them for juice, increases the amount of present sugars, and can allow favorable characteristics to develop. However, some apple varieties do not benefit from a sweating period and should be pressed shortly after being picked. (Source: Cider: Making, Using & Enjoying Sweet & Hard Cider by Proulx & Nichols)

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