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Perry vs Pear – A Tale of Two Ciders

by Melissa

I recently had a customer who came in and asked for a pear cider. When I asked if they wanted a pear cider or a perry cider, they were confused. That made me realize that others might be confused as well. Fear not, I am here to end that confusion for you!

A perry cider, also known as Poire cider, comes from 100% pears. No other fruits or adjuncts with it. Most makers use “perry pears” which are small, walnut like pears. These pears are terrible for eating and very temperamental to work with. They are also very difficult to grow here in the United States, which is why you will see most perry ciders we carry are from France where the climate and terroir is better for these challenging little pears.

A perry cider usually has dry, tannin components as well as high acidity. However, the residual sugars take the bite off and give it a gentle mouthfeel. Since it is made with pears and not apples, it can’t really be compared to a cider made with apples. It has a taste profile of its own. (It is like trying to compare red and white wines.) When you taste a perry, you need to open your mind to a different experience than you have had with apple ciders.

We do our best to have perry ciders in the cooler, but it isn’t always easy since most do come from France. We currently have stock of Bordelet Poire, Drouin Acide Sour Poire, Drouin Poire, and Le Pere Jules Poire. True perry ciders from the US exist but aren’t widely distributed. If you cross the border into Wisconsin, you can sometimes find an Oriole Orchard Perry from AeppelTreow Ciders.

A pear cider is a cider made with pears and additional fruits or adjuncts. Most frequently, makers blend pear and apple cider for a pear cider. When it comes to pear ciders, there are many and they all vary in flavor profile since each maker uses different additions to make their cider. They range from sweet to dry as apple ciders do but have more prevalent pear characteristics.

Pear ciders are more common to find throughout the United States because makers can use any pears they want to blend with other things to create the flavor profile they are looking for. Wyder’s has a Dry cider and a Reposado barrel aged cider that we carry. A personal favorite of mine is Restoration Cider Company’s Normandy Pear. It reminds me of eating a fresh pear right off the tree.

If you haven’t had a chance to try a pear cider or a perry cider, now is a great time to do it because we will be offering all perry and pear ciders at 10% off for this weekend. Let us know what you think about them!

PS Be sure to look in for new arrivals when you are in the store!