Spanish cider is mainly produced in the Northern part of the country in areas like the Principality of Asturias and the Basque Country. Asturian cider is called ‘sidra’ and the Basques call it ‘sagardoa.’ The two products are very similar in taste and are both dry, still ciders. More than 80% of Spanish cider is made in Asturias and it is thought to be the highest cider drinking region on Europe.
Spanish cider season
The traditional Spanish cider season starts in January and ends at the beginning of May. During this time cider houses (often known as sagadotegis) open their doors to visitors, allowing them to sample some of the season’s finest ciders. The Spanish cider is usually poured straight from huge chestnut barrels and is accompanied by a selection of traditional food from the region.
Traditional Spanish cider-making methods
Cider making in the Asturias dates back to 60 BC. Traditional Spanish cider is still and is usually served straight from the barrel in pubs and bars. Spanish cider is unique because it is fermented with the natural yeast found in apples. It is also bottled directly from fermentation, without undergoing any manipulation such as filtration and artificial flavouring.
The Spanish have a unique way of serving their sider. It is usually poured in small quantities, but from a great height into a wide glass. The bar tender will raise the cider above their head and pour it down into a glass on the bar. It is poured this way to remove any air bubbles from the liquid.
Spanish cider festivals
The most popular place to find Spanish cider festivals is the Basque country. Every year it plays host to a number of cider tasting events. There you will find a number of stalls set up on the street selling traditional Spanish cider from all over the region.
Here at Beers of Europe we pride ourselves in offering a fantastic selection of traditional Spanish ciders.