How to improve the cider part of the database?

Reads 1439 • Replies 34 • Started Tuesday, October 31, 2017 9:30:49 AM CT

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Maakun
beers 10313 º places 320 º 05:38 Thu 11/2/2017

Originally posted by minutemat
Yeah those CCLF entries have bugged me for a long time. Lots of merging needs to happen. Similarly for Loic Raison and a few other producers. I offered to tidy these and the UK ciders up a while ago but heard nothing back and the problem remains. I agree that a cider admin would make sense, but i doubt will happen


You seem very qualified to be cider admin I think!

 
minutemat
beers 9345 º places 380 º 06:06 Thu 11/2/2017

Think the French ciders are a bit of a minefield. One problem is the fact large companies such as CCLF have taken over various smaller producers, without the cider itself changing, but resulting in new entries for the same cider under the larger company name. And new editions, such as Ecusson's fruit ciders, being entered under the different producers.

Another problem is the labels themselves, which are often not very clear, resulting in multiple entries depending on the interpretation of the label.

I believe there is a process involved regarding the ability to do this, and in some way or other I havent been successful in the past. That said, I do know basic French and my partner's French so we could probably iron out most of these problems.

 
Maakun
beers 10313 º places 320 º 07:36 Thu 11/2/2017

Too bad there's no like-button on these old forums :-) These are exactly the problems I also see.

Also if things are unclear I can always try to dig up info. I'm often in France and my partner is also French and is there even more often than me, so that makes finding info somewhat easier.

 
chriso
beers 7540 º places 736 º 08:26 Thu 11/2/2017

Originally posted by danlo
On www.ciderexpert.com it has Ecusson as owned by Agrial

I'd never heard of that site before. It seems to be mainly an Untappd-alike app but doesn't seem very comprehensive, particularly for the more traditional producers - for instance, they only have 3 ciders listed for Hecks whereas even we have 36 entries. And Hacks does bottle & distribute their products a bit. Most of the very small "farm gate" operations don't seem to feature at all. .

The big problem with ciders is lack of information. There are not many detailed sources - online or printed. Many of the producers (in the UK at least) seem to have barely, if at all, entered the digital age, let alone embraced things like social media. Pete Brown wrote a book on Welsh cider (a rather slim volume) which I bought unseen because I hoped it would be a valuable source of information. In the event it turned out that a number of producers were excluded, at their own request, because they felt the additional exposure would just cause them hassle & might stimulate a demand that they wouldn't be able to meet and (presumably) had no desire to. The CAMRA Good Cider Guide was a useful resource back in the day but is long out of print and hasn't been revised in many a long year. No doubt in the "too difficult" category.
It's not uncommon to find cider producers' websites that look like they were designed as a school project by the owners' kids circa 2005 and haven't been updated since.

Many cider producers seem to be part-time operations using whatever apples they can beg, borrow or scrump wherever they can. Many more seem to be sidelines to other farming activities (as they usually were in the first place) so production can be sporadic and very variable.

In short, It's not an easy sector to keep track of with any degee of precision.

 
minutemat
beers 9345 º places 380 º 08:53 Thu 11/2/2017

I was thinking more about contacting the producers direct.

 
chriso
beers 7540 º places 736 º 09:07 Thu 11/2/2017

Originally posted by minutemat
I was thinking more about contacting the producers direct.

Personally I've always found the reply rate to be rather low. But I'm generally talking about emailing there rather than quizzing them face to face.

 
minutemat
beers 9345 º places 380 º 10:26 Thu 11/2/2017

Yes I agree, emails to a general address are usually ignored, especially as it would tend to fall within the scope of someone with some years of experience actually making the cider, rather than the average office worker or social media rep.

I think it'd involve calling the producer direct, being put through to a specific department or get an email address and asking a specific person to look through a list, and offer any corrections.

I did contact Westons' master cider-maker Jonathan Blair last year, as I found he was quite helpful when I asked for cider-making advice about 7-8 years ago (even arranging to meet up at their offices and taste it), but got no reply this time. If I called I'd probably be put straight through. I might do if i have some time on a day off.

 
Inbreak
beers 9544 º 12:39 Thu 11/2/2017

I have a bit of dilemma myself. Cider production seems to be quite a big thing in some region's on Madeira. But finding information seems to be impossible. I found one where I find someone sort of information, so I'll add it. But there are many restaurants serving cider that seems kind of like home brew, but they're allowed to sell it. So I wonder if I should just add something like "some cider producer in Madeira" or something like that...

 
minutemat
beers 9345 º places 380 º 13:12 Thu 11/2/2017

There could be a general house cider that's distributed around restaurants in that region. I found that in many Creperies around France.. there'll be an A board outside offering a 'Menu' deal - 1 savoury and 1 sweet crepe with a glass of cider for 10 euros or something, with no information on the cider given, but it'll usually be Loic Raison brut. You might find that's the case in Madeira, but they may also have a 75cl bottle open that they pour a glass from. No harm in asking. If it is locally produced, or produced in-house specifically for that restaurant, I can't see any difference between that and beer produced at a brewpub, so should be added as such. Again, worth asking to clarify.

 
danlo
beers 5860 º places 300 º 14:45 Thu 11/2/2017

Originally posted by chriso
Originally posted by danlo
On www.ciderexpert.com it has Ecusson as owned by Agrial

I'd never heard of that site before. It seems to be mainly an Untappd-alike app but doesn't seem very comprehensive, particularly for the more traditional producers - for instance, they only have 3 ciders listed for Hecks whereas even we have 36 entries. And Hacks does bottle & distribute their products a bit. Most of the very small "farm gate" operations don't seem to feature at all. .


Yes, I've had to add ~70% of the ciders I've rated on there - it's because most of the users are American, also the user base is very small from what I can gather. For places is even worse and so haven't bother with that side, it doesn't even separate out the United Kingdom and uses unitary authorities to give location in the UK.

The interesting thing about CiderExpert is the rating system, can either rate via categories and/or score out of 5 and/or type in comments, it seems to allow whatever combination. For the rating, can select either a reduced five categories (fruit aroma, sweetness, body, sparkling, fruit taste) or full twelve categories (fruit aroma, turbidity, fruit taste, sourness, bitterness, body, sparkling, sweetness, tartness, acidity, astringency, funky), then slide scales across for each category to give the ratings, also can compare your ratings to the average. It seems to use the average ratings across the categories to collate the description displayed for the cider, and once you've rated afew will also give you recommendations based on your rating - which isn't actually as useful as it sounds as nearly all the recommendations are American ciders which aren't available here in the UK!