The cider of Brittany is a drink that is truly emblematic of this coastal region of northwest France. It is made from a selective choice of cider apples and presents fine bubbles and a light foam. The apples come from varieties that range from bitter, bittersweet, tart, or sweet and must be produced in the specifically delineated area of production. This roughly corresponds to the historical borders of Brittany (all of modern Brittany, plus parts of the neighboring – and partially historically Breton – départements of Loire-Atlantique, Mayenne and Maine-et-Loire).
The apples are grated then pressed to produce the juice, which is processed fresh or conserved in a concentrated form. After fermentation in a tank, the cider is then bottled. Traditionally, the cider is drank out of ceramic bowls that resemble very large, circular coffee mugs or teacups, with or without handles.
Brittany cider is characterized by its rich, robust and rustic aromas with notes of fruits and flowers, sometimes enriched with mature aromas like notes of spices. It is substantially less sweet than most ciders produced in North America that Americans might be familiar with, and is slightly bubbly. The taste and color can vary from acidic and pale to more bitter and mahogany brown. The cider is known for its balance between bitter, acidic and sweet flavors.
Brittany cider is well known for the importance of apple orchards and of course for the savoir-faire of Breton cider producers. They have selected, improved and adapted the trees to Breton soils, leading to a large diversity of cider apple trees.