What exactly is Polish cider? What is it made of?
Let’s start with what the cider is definitely not. The most common mistake among Polish consumers is the belief that cider is an apple beer. In Poland you can buy a drink known as “apple beer drink” made by one of the biggest beer producers.
Natural Polish cider (polski naturalny cydr) is only produced from freshly squeezed apple juice (no use of apple concentrate or any additives) but this definition it is not established by law.
We have a document called The Wine Act 2011 which only constitutes that cider can be made of apple pulp or concentrated apple juice, with the possibility of adding water, sucrose, glucose, glucose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, fructose, yeast, nutrient broth. This definition must obviously take into account both the needs of industrial production and craft (farmer) cider.
Polish producers want to ban a production from concentrate and to introduce a definition of Polish cider: As a product containing from 1.2 to 8.5% alcohol and made only from fermented apples cultivated exclusively in Poland (the content of apples would be no less than 80 percent). But if your cider has more than 5% ABV, the legislator treat cider the same as wine (higher excise duty).
Moreover, to produce a cider in Poland you have to own an orchard (at least 1 ha) and buildings designed solely for cider production.