Monday 28 March 2011

British Drinks aim for European Protection

Four styles of British alcohol are hoping to gain European recognition with protected name status.

Applications for protected  geographic status have been made on behalf of Welsh cider, Welsh perry and Yorkshire beer.

Herefordshire Perry is already protected.

There is also a non-regional application for cask-conditioned ale to be recognised by the system, which already accords protection to Stilton cheese and Melton Mowbray pies.

All four products are in the “initial assessment” phase. This is followed by wider UK consultation, during which time objections will be considered before the European Commission makes a decision on whether to award protected name status.

The only problem I can see with this is that as a cidermaker myself I know that some of the Welsh varieties of cider and pear fruit are, shall we say, not that good for making cider with. That's why most of the orchards still standing have been planted with better varieties of fruit that make a better product. There is also the problem of identifying the fruit - often a local name given to a cider apple is known by another name across the border in Herefordshire. So will PGO Welsh Cider or Perry have to be made with Welsh apple or pear varieties or any varieties grown in Wales? Or will the cider just have to be fermented in Wales just to be called Welsh Cider?

Or alternatively the EU can just stop interfering in our wonderful Welsh ciders and perries so that we can enjoy without being policed by the Fourth Reich?

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