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Home / Doug's Beer Republic  /   Review: Brothers Toffee Apple Cider

     
Brothers Toffee Apple Cider 
Posted: 5 November 2015  Beer Republic 6.5 
Brothers Toffee Apple Cider from UK Brothers Toffee Apple is a unique combo, I'll give it that much.  A cross between pear cider, cream soda, and toffee.  Brothers boasts that it contains no artificial sweeteners.  No -- it just contains added sugar.   And apple juice from concentrate.  This is not artisanal cider by a long, long shot, and I doubt Gabriel Showering made ciders this slick back in 1658.  
Avg price/liter: USD 6,50   ABV %: 4.0  Type: Cider   
       


Brothers is a great case study in upstart breweries and cideries. Circa 1985, only big brewers and multinational corporations made the beers and ciders you'd find in your grocery store.  Consumers' tastes have changed and today one can find many smaller brands on the shelves.        

These brands need to distinguish themselves.  And one way they do it is by promoting how long they've been around.  You've seen this before in your own town.  A restaurant or a law office or a theater will promote that it's been doing what it's been doing since XXXX, where XXXX is hopefully a year in the way distant past.  If XXXX is last year, no one is likely to be impressed.         

Here is the problem.  Most of these upstarts haven't been doing what they're doing for at least four decades.. Twenty years is pushing it.  So they inflate how long they've been around by establishing some tenuous connection to the past they can link themselves to.  That's Brothers.       

Quoting from their web site:  "For fourteen generations our family has always strived to make light, refreshing ciders using a variety of fruit."  A link is drawn right back to 1658 (and that year is put on every bottle) since the four brothers behind Brothers can  point to documented evidence that their uncle, Gabriel Showering, took his cider around to the public houses of Shepton Mallet, Wells, and Glastonbury.     

The reality is that the four bros of Francis, Jonathan, Matthew, and Daniel, have been selling their cider -- not the one from 1658, not the one served at the Kings Arm pub owned by their ancestors in 1842 -- since 1992 and at the Glastonbury Festival since 1995.  

The bottles are slick and they tell a great story of how 14 generations and 4 brothers have led to this very paradigm shift in cider making, all in Somerset, the heart of historic Western English cider making centuries.       

Brothers Toffee Apple is a unique combo, I'll give it that much.  A cross between pear cider, cream soda, and toffee.  Brothers boasts that it contains no artificial sweeteners.  No -- it just contains added sugar.   And apple juice from concentrate.  And a list of various European preservatives all prefaced with an E.        

This is not artisanal cider by a long, long shot, and I doubt Gabriel Showering made ciders this slick back in 1658.  That's not to say the cider is bad.  Though a bit on the sweet side, the cider was flavorful and not sickeningly artificial.  And it's not priced in the artisanal cider range either.        

As long as you see Brothers as a competent cider maker with nice-looking bottles and above average but not splendid ciders, you won't be expecting promises Brothers can't keep.  Dress up next Halloween and drink one of these instead of bobbing for apples.         

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Angelo Poretti Tre Luppoli from Italy -- 4.8% alcohol by volume
 Gypsy Inc Gypsy Wit from Denmark -- 4.7% alcohol by volume
 The Complete Beer Republic Index


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5 Nov 2015
 
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