Continuing on the trail, hunting for New Zealand’s Craft Ciders, I found a can of Peckham’s Cidery – Alex’s Apple Cider. Whenever I spoke to a Kiwi about their ciders, the name Peckham’s came up again and again. Here’s hoping they live up to the hype.

Naturally, I had to find out about the people behind the label. I got in touch with Alex Peckham, the Alex who lent his to this cider.

“We began our cider project about 11 years ago when we moved from a few trees to start grafting over an entire orchard to cider apple varieties,” said Alex.

Like many of the southern hemisphere cider makers, the Peckham’s have their roots in the UK. When the family arrived in the land of the long white cloud they couldn’t find a cider they liked, so they started making their own. “We started to make cider at home and things escalated from there – it’s a hobby that has got out of control.”

The Alex’s Apple Cider is carefully made from only tree-ripened fruit,  grown specifically for cider making.  It is a blend of wild fermented Kingston Black which has undergone malolactic fermentation.  It is back sweetened a little with juice, which is set aside (by pasteurising) at harvest.  Peckham’s have aimed for a soft cider, without any overtly challenging flavour components but with some background complexity.

Peckhams Alex's Apple Cider-review

One of the best things about this can of Alex’s Apple Cider is that Peckham’s have written a full list of ingredients on the can. Oddly it says it’s 4% water. While many mass market ciders are mostly cider they don’t have the balls to put it on the label. I asked Alex why it has water in the can.

“And the 4% water?  When most people drink cider they assume that it’s simply fermented apple juice.  In reality, most ciders here in NZ probably sit between 30% and 40% juice – we can’t be sure because it’s not on the label.  We decided that we couldn’t complain about this if we ourselves didn’t declare the makeup of our own ciders, so we have started to publish ingredients on all our ciders.  The reason why there is 4% water in the current batch of Alex’s Apple is that we don’t manage alcohol in our base ciders – seasonality and terroir are core to our cider-making philosophy.  At the same time, we do want Alex’s Apple to be relatively consistent in terms of flavour and abv.. 4% water worked in this case.”

Peckhams Alex Apple Cider

The Nose

Sweet and summery.  Fresh tropical pineapple and mango. Very pleasant and inviting.

The Taste

Wow, ok, I was not expecting that. Barrel load of juicy Kingston Black giving a chewing filling. A few eating apples to give it a sense of familiarity. If you’ve tried a few Kingston Black ciders you’re probably expecting a still cider but this can of Alex’s Apple Cider is particularly lively.

The finish is long-lasting with a touch of tannin. I like that it lasts a while because a 330ml can, can leave you wanting more.

Final Thoughts on the Peckham’s Cidery – Alex’s Apple Cider

So this cider has water in it. Personally, I’d prefer it instead if it embraced the seasonality and ditched the H2O. But Peckham’s is going for a cider that anyone can drink, a gateway into the more complex ciders they offer. If you must add water, Peckham’s have done it in the most honest way possible and that gets 2 thumbs up from me.

I can see why so many people told me to check out Peckham’s Cider. Alex’s Apple Cider is a great easy to drink cider. I wish I could have grabbed a couple more cans.

Product Alex’s Apple Cider
Company Peckham’s Cidery & Orchard
Sweetness Medium-dry
Alc/Vol 5.5%
Country of Origin New Zealand
Region Nelson, South Island

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