What is Perry?

Perry is an alcoholic drink made from fermented pear juice, similar to how cider is made from apples. It was first discovered by the Romans in the fourth century CE. People have enjoyed it for centuries, especially in regions like Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and Worcestershire. Specific variety of pears primarily craft it. These aren’t your typical table pears but special Perry pears, known for their ability to produce a refined, alcoholic drink.

Written by

martin harris

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Perry Vs. Cider 

Although Perry and cider share a similar fermentation process, their core difference lies in their fruit of origin. Pears make Perry, while apples produce cider. This fundamental distinction gives it a unique profile, typically lighter and more aromatic than cider.

Different Types of Perry

Perry, with its rich tradition and variety, offers a range of styles to suit different tastes. Here’s a breakdown of the types available:

  • Single Variety Perry
    • Made from just one type of perry pear, these perries offer a unique taste and character specific to that pear variety. 
  • Blended Perry
    • This type involves mixing different varieties of perry pears. The aim is to balance flavors and create a harmonious taste that no single variety can achieve alone.
  • Sparkling Perry
    • It is the most common form. Its bubbles bring a light, refreshing quality, similar to sparkling wines.
  • Still Perry
    • It offers a more traditional, serene sipping experience. It allows the subtleties of the pear flavors to shine through more prominently.
  • Dry Perry
    • With minimal residual sugar, it provides a subtler, less sweet taste. It’s often appreciated for its complexity and depth.
  • Sweet Perry
    • For those who prefer a sweeter beverage, it retains more of the natural sugars from the pears. It’s usually more approachable and easy-drinking.

Perry vs Pear Cider

Pear cider is becoming more popular, especially with big brands like Kopparberg and Magners selling in supermarkets. Perry, on the other hand, is more elegant and appeals to a smaller, sophisticated audience, similar to champagne.

There are a few distinct differences worth noting:

Base Ingredient:

  • Perry: Made exclusively from perry pears.
  • Pear Cider: Often a blend of apple juice and pear juice.

Taste Profile:

  • Perry: Typically has a more delicate pear flavor.
  • Pear Cider: Can be more robust, with the apple juice adding a different flavour dimension.


  • Perry: Includes single variety, blended, sparkling, still, dry, and sweet types.
  • Pear Cider: Generally less varied, focusing on the blend of pear and apple or other fruits.

Production Process:

  • Perry: A traditional process focusing on the fermentation of pear juice.
  • Pear Cider: Involves blending and fermenting apple and pear juices together.
perry-vs-pear-cider compared side by side in an image

What is Organic Perry? 

Organic Perry is for those who appreciate beverages made without synthetic chemicals or additives. This approach to Perry making focuses on natural, sustainable practices, ensuring the drink remains as pure and authentic as possible. We focus specifically on this at Butford Organics.

How is Perry made?

We make Perry using the same methods as cider making, with the only difference being that we use pears instead of apples. It starts with the selection of the right pears, followed by fermentation. Artisanal perry makers often favour traditional methods, which contrast with mass-produced varieties. This is to keep the purity and high standards of a good single variety perry.

Selecting the right pears

The selection of pears is crucial. These pears aren’t just any; farmers specifically cultivate them for Perry production. Understanding how different pears in our orchards affect the taste and quality of the final product is the art. At Butford Farm we use a whole variety of pears which are common throughout the perry industry.

Perry Pear VarietyAlcohol StrengthPerry Produced
Blakeney Red5.5%Medium Dry, Smooth Texture
Gin Pear5.5%Medium Dry, Crisp with Subtle Acidity
Winnals Longdon5.5%Medium Dry, Light Body with Floral Notes
Thorn Pear6.3%Medium Dry, Slightly Stronger with Spicy Undertone
Hendre Huffcap6.0%Medium Dry, Rich and Complex Flavor