Perry is an alcoholic beverage made of fermented pear juice. It is similar to cider, in that it is made using a similar process and often has a similar alcoholic content, up to 8.5% alcohol by volume. Pear Cider is a term which is sometimes applied to perry, as well as to other drinks fermented from a mixture of pear and apple juices.

Perry has been common for centuries in Britain, particularly the West Country and Wales; and France, especially Normandy and Anjou. Sweden also produces perry, such as Kopparbergs, Herrljunga Cider or Rekorderlig Cider. As with cider, special pear cultivars are used: in the UK the most commonly used variety of perry pear is the Blakeney Red. They produce fruit that is not of eating quality, but that produces superior perry. Perry pears are higher in tannin and acid than eating or cooking pears, and are generally smaller.

Perry from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire in England made from traditional recipes forms a European Union Protected Geographical Indication.

One may also find perry distilled, in a similar style to applejack.

Real Perry

The Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA) definition of "real perry" is in parallel to that of real cider:

#The liquid contents before fermentation must consist entirely of non-pasteurized apple (Cider), or pear (Perry) juice.
#No apple or pear juice concentrates to be used.
#Normally, only the sugar naturally available in the fruit should be used to cause fermentation, but in years when the level of natural sugar in the fruit is low, the addition of extraneous sugar to aid fermentation is acceptable.

#No pasteurization to take place during the production process in relation to the cask product.
#No added colourings to be used.
#No added flavourings to be used.
#There must be no artificial carbonation for draught products.
#Sweetener may be added to fully fermented Cider/Perry to make it sweet or medium.
#The addition of water is permitted to bring the alcoholic content of the Cider/Perry down to the level required by the producer. Ideally, however the minimum juice content should not be lower than 90% volume.
#No micro filtration allowed (this takes all the yeast, leaving a "dead" product).

The above is item 5.2 as extracted from CAMRA's External Policy Document 2003 - 2004" (from [ CAMRA's Cider & Perry page)]

Commercial Light Perries

*A branded perry known as Babycham, marketed principally as a woman's drink and sold in miniature Champagne-style bottles, was once popular but has now become unfashionable. Pears are also the principal ingredient in Brothers Pear Cider also produced by the inventors of Babycham.
*Another brand of light perry growing in popularity as of 2000 is called Lambrini. Lambrini is manufactured in Liverpool by Halewood International, and marketed under the slogan "Lambrini Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". It currently dominates the light perry market.
*The Irish drinks company, Cantrell & Cochrane, Plc (C&C), more famous for its Magners and Bulmers ciders, launched the perry Ritz in 1986.
*The UK Bulmers company, different from the above, launched its own pear cider in November 2007.

Like commercial pale lager and commercial cider, commercial perry is highly processed and often contains large quantities of cereal adjuncts such as corn syrup or invert sugar. It is also generally of lower strength than real perry.

External links

* [ Real Perry on the ukcider Wiki]
* [ Out of the Pear Orchard and Into the Glass] from National Public Radio
* [ Lambrini corporate website]
* [ C & C Group]
* [ Overview of making perry at home]
* [ The Three Counties Cider and Perry Association]

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