The Aussie cider that rivals Champagne

Small Acres Cyder has been awarded the coveted Champion Cider Trophy at the 2021 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show.

The 2017 Small Acres ‘Cat’s Pyjamas’ Cider received the award, along with the Trophy for the Champion Bottle Conditioned Perry or Cider and Gold Medal at the recently judged awards.

“We’re more than a little excited,” said owner Nick Geoghegan. “We enter these awards to benchmark our ciders against the country’s best and to receive two Champion Trophies, along with a medal for every cider we entered, is more than we could ever hope for.”

The competition received a record 313 entries this year, with an increase in the classes such as experimental and specialty ciders. This reflects the growth of the beer and cider industry in Australia.

“When Small Acres Cyder was first established in 2007 there were not many independent and craft producers in Australia, with the larger commercial producers dominating the scene,” Nick said.

“The market is becoming more interesting as these small indie producers, such as us, are making an impact. Cider drinkers are expecting more from their ciders which is fantastic for the industry. Our medal winners like the Cat’s Pyjamas and the Norfolk Still are pretty unique styles so it’s great to see them recognised and enjoyed by more people.”

The 2017 Small Acres ‘Cat’s Pyjamas’ is a wild-fermented méthode traditionnelle sparkling cider made from French and English cider varieties grown in Small Acres’ own cider orchard. It is hand riddled and hand disgorged and is a real labour of love. Produced in small volumes, the cider is the producer’s flagship.

Based on a French country house style cider, the Cat’s Pyjamas 2017 has a deep burnt orange colour, aromas of ripe, baked apple sauce and an earthy cooked apple palate complemented by a berry tartness. This late disgorge represents the final release of the 2017 vintage and only remains in small quantities.

Unlike most ciders on the market, it comes in a bottle similar to that used for Champagne.

“Our customers love the skittle bottle, black hood and gold lettering of the Cat’s Pyjamas,” Nick said. “It’s a very unique cider with bold flavours and the packaging fits this. 

“Pulling off the hood, the bubbles raising in the glass and the wonderful aroma is a great part of a special occasion; we always say it’s a cider that fits with a big meal with friends. 

“For the last 14 years, Small Acres Cyder has always tried to represent the wider world of cider traditions that go far beyond the simple but refreshing ciders that most Australians expect. The Cat’s Pyjamas, our Pommeau Fortified Cider, the non-sparkling Norfolk Still and our new Heritage Blend are the ones that surprise and delight the most in the cellar door.”

Cider winners at 2021 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Awards

Champion Cider
Small Acres Cider won Champion Cider for its 2017 The Cat’s Pyjamas

Champion Perry
The Hills Cider Company with Hills Cider Pear

Champion Bottle Conditioned Perry or Cider
Small Acres Cyder won Champion Bottle Conditioned Perry for Cider for the second year with its 2017 The Cat’s Pyjamas

Orange craft cider maker releases Heritage Blend

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