/ Doug's Beer Republic /
Review: Brothers Toffee Apple Cider
Brothers Toffee Apple Cider
Posted: 5 November 2015
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
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
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