Reviewed by Helen Wyatt
I’ve always been partial to a bit of cider. Back in my uni days (ahem years ago) I enjoyed a regular pint of snakebite and black, aka cider, lager and blackcurrent! I don’t think I could stomach that any more, but I do like the occasional fruit cider these days. Often they can be quite sweet, and a bit overpowering. They’re not a drink my husband usually enjoys for that very reason. When we received the Cranes cider gift pack we were pleasantly surprised at the contents, which were 3 full bottles of cider along with an amazing pint glass to enjoy them in. They all came packaged in a neat carboard carrying box, which would make them easy to post to any recipient. The box doesn’t have anything about recycling; we assumed it was recyclable as it’s made of cardboard so it was strange that this wasn’t mentioned. There was also a lack of contact details or social media on the box, which was strange in this day and age and perhaps a missed trick by the brothers.
Cranes is brewed and was founded by twin brothers, Ben and Dan, at the HQ in Cambridgeshire, along with some help from Brothers in Somerset. The cranberries are sourced from Winsconsin, and the brothers have even been to Wisconsin to meet the producers and understand what it takes to make the berries.
The 3 bottles of cider came in 3 flavours: cranberry and lime, blueberry and apple, and raspberry and pomegranate. We were initially drawn to the unusual statement on the front of each bottle which said 30% fewer calories compared to brand leaders. This sounded like they wouldn’t be as tasty, but we were totally wrong. They achieve this by making the cider with cranberry and apple, and therefore reducing the sugar content.
Reading the names of the ciders made us unsure about the level of sweetness too, but we opened the cranberry and lime flavour and shared it between us, soon realising how delicious it was. We thought it might be quite dry, but it was perfectly crisp, and just the right level of sweetness, with a nice amount of fizz too. We also noted they were 4% volume, so not too strong either, meaning you can have a few without overdoing it.
Not long after finishing one bottle, we cracked open the second! This was just as tasty and refreshing as the first. In fact, the last bottle swiftly followed the second too. All three flavours were sweet treats, and perfectly refreshing on a summer’s evening. We enjoyed them in the accompanying pint glass, which was tall and skinny, making it seem that little bit posher somehow! The ciders would be lovely over ice, perhaps to accompany a BBQ or after a long afternoon walk. This gift set would be perfect for a father’s day gift. I know, because my husband really loved these!
You can also buy these ciders individually or Raspberries & Pomegranates Cider in a can. These are 330ml so are a smaller portion if you want something a bit lighter.
This product is available to buy from the Cranes website here.