The intention of defining cider styles and perry styles is to acknowledge the diversity of products being made in Australia, and to help group comparable ciders for assessment or other purposes.
Cider Australia released a comprehensive Style Guide in 2015 as part of the Australian Cider Awards competition rules.
Cider and perry tends to fall into one of two styles – New World or Traditional.
The Style Guide further categorises cider and perry according to its sugar content, production method and the addition of ingredients other than apple/pear.
New World ciders
“New World” references the style, not a location, as ciders in this style are also made in England, the United States, Canada, Germany, etc.
New World cider and perry is made primarily from culinary/table fruit. Compared to other Standard styles, these are generally lower in tannin and higher in acidity.
“Traditional” encompasses the traditional ciders of England and France, can include German and Spanish styles although these remain scarce in Australia.
Typically, traditional ciders will show some tannin derived from the apples used. Cider specific bittersweet and bitter sharp apples will contribute this; other varieties may also be used.
Traditional perry made in Europe is from pears grown specifically for that purpose rather than for eating or cooking. There are very few perry pears available in Australia, but several producers are using culinary/table pears to produce perry that is obviously inspired by traditional perry.