Budweiser Budvar, N.C. has become the sole importer of the Somersby brand cider to the Czech Republic. Somersby is a premium brand of the Danish concern Carlsberg Breweries. The first version of this drink - Apple Cider Somersby, is going to show up on shop counters, in restaurants, trendy bars and music clubs next week. Somersby is produced from fermented apple must, therefore its flavour and aroma are pleasantly accented by fresh apples. It is slightly sparkling, very refreshing and intended for consumption particularly in hot summer months – hence it is always served with ice. Somersby Apple Cider has an alcohol content of 4.5%, thus ranking amongst so-called medium-dry ciders. Somersby appeals to both women and men at the age of 25-34, who enjoy an urban lifestyle, spend a lot of time with friends, think positively and like to experiment.
“Launching the sales of Somersby we have entered a completely new market segment. We see a considerable commercial potential in cider, as we are going to use the current trend of growing demand for new ad unusual flavours. Somersby is bringing an interesting alternative especially to malt alcoholic drinks. We believe that it will be successful with customers who any reason do not like the bitter flavour of typical beer or flavoured beverages based on beer lemonades. Particularly during the summer months it will be sought after by wine consumers as well due to its considerably lower alcohol content,” says Budweiser Budvar’s local sales manager Martin Horejš.
Somersby Apple Cider will be sold in 0.33 litre bottles and cans in supermarket chains (e.g. AHOLD, Globus, Makro, TERNO, TESCO) as well as independent retails and gastronomic facilities. Somersby will also occur during some musical festivals (e.g. Basinfire Fest, Mighty Sounds). The suggested retail price for a bottle is CZK 24.90.
General information about cider
Good-quality cider is made from a special strain of apples. Usually it is mixed from several apple strains in order to achieve the appropriate proportion of sweetness, bitterness and acidity of the initial cider. The extracted apple must ferments in stainless steel tanks with controlled temperature of fermentation that allows the preservation of aromatic substances in the beverage. Then it is racked into bottles, where the final fermentation can take place making the cider slightly sparkling. As a result of the final fermentation a haze can occur at the bottom of the bottles, which is not harmful. In accordance with the alcohol content, cider is classified as sweet (under 3 % of alcohol), medium-dry (3 - 5%) and dry (above 5%).
A fermented apple beverage was known as far back as the ancient times; it was called “sikera“ in Greek, “sicera“ in Latin and “šekar“ in Hebrew. The first medieval messages on cider production in Europe date back to the times of Charles the Great. The first research publication on cider production De vino et pomaceo was elaborated by Charles IX.’s personal doctor in 1588. Cider has been very popular in Europe these days, particularly in its western part. English-speaking countries call it “cider“, French call it „cidre“, Spanish and Portuguese „sidra“. In 2010, about 15 million hectolitres of cider were consumed in Europe. Its consumption has been constantly growing since 2000, with the sales annually increasing by 3% on average. As market research suggests, this trend is going to continue in the forthcoming years as well. This beverage is quite unknown in the Czech Republic for the time being.