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Scrumpy vs. Cider — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Urooj Arif — Updated on April 19, 2024
Scrumpy is a traditional, cloudy cider made with minimal processing, focusing on local apple varieties, while cider encompasses a broader range of apple-based alcoholic beverages, often clearer and more commercial.
Scrumpy vs. Cider — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Scrumpy and Cider


Key Differences

Scrumpy is typically unfiltered and made using natural fermentation processes, retaining a rustic, robust flavor profile. On the other hand, cider can be either filtered or unfiltered and often undergoes controlled fermentation to ensure consistency across batches.
The production of scrumpy usually involves local or heritage apple varieties, which contribute to its distinctive, strong apple taste. Whereas, cider is produced from a wider variety of apples, including specific cultivars bred for commercial cider production, which may result in a lighter and more uniform taste.
Scrumpy often appears cloudier and with more sediment due to its minimal processing and lack of filtration. In contrast, many commercial ciders are clear, having been filtered to remove solids and yeast remnants.
Traditionally, scrumpy is associated with small-scale production, often on family farms or in small artisanal settings. Cider, however, is widely manufactured by both artisanal producers and large beverage companies, which can influence its style and flavor profile.
The alcohol content in scrumpy can vary significantly because it is often produced without adding extra sugar or controlling the fermentation process. Cider, however, typically has a more controlled alcohol level due to standardized production practices.

Comparison Chart


Minimal or none, often cloudy
Ranges from unfiltered to fully filtered

Apple Varieties

Local and heritage varieties
Wide range, including specific cider apples

Production Scale

Small-scale, often artisanal
Both small-scale and industrial


Robust, strong apple flavor, less consistent
Lighter, more consistent, often sweeter

Alcohol Content

Generally controlled and consistent

Compare with Definitions


Traditional, often homemade cider.
Scrumpy is made in small batches during the apple harvest season.


Alcohol content is usually around 4-6%.
Most commercial ciders have a consistent alcohol content for consumer expectations.


Typically unfiltered and cloudy.
His glass of scrumpy was full of natural sediment.


Produced on a spectrum from dry to sweet.
She chose a semi-sweet cider to complement her meal.


Produced with minimal technological intervention.
They pride themselves on making scrumpy the traditional way.


Often clear and bright in appearance.
The cider was crystal clear and golden in color.


Often varies in alcohol content.
This batch of scrumpy is particularly strong, likely due to the sugar content of the apples used.


Can be still or carbonated.
He prefers carbonated cider for its refreshing fizz.


Known for its strong, robust flavor.
The scrumpy had a noticeably stronger taste than the commercial ciders.


A fermented beverage made from apple juice.
Cider is enjoyed worldwide, with each region offering its unique twist.


Scrumpy is a type of cider originating in the West of England, particularly the West Country. Traditionally, the dialect term "scrumpy" was used to refer to what was otherwise called "rough", a harsh cider made from unselected apples.


Cider ( SY-dər) is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Cider is widely available in the United Kingdom (particularly in the West Country) and the Republic of Ireland.


Rough strong cider, especially as made in the West Country of England.


An alcoholic drink made from fermented apple juice
A bottle of cider
English-style ciders


(British) A rough cider, normally more alcoholic than usual, and typically produced through natural fermentation.


Unfermented juice pressed from fruit, especially apples, used as a beverage or to make other products, such as vinegar.


Strong cider (as made in western England)


An alcoholic beverage made by fermenting juice pressed from fruit, especially apples. Also called hard cider.


An alcoholic, often sparkling (carbonated) beverage made from fermented apples; hard cider; apple cider


A non-alcoholic still beverage consisting of the juice of early-harvest apples, usually unfiltered and still containing pulp; apple cider; sweet cider without pulp such a beverage is called apple juice.
She liked an aged cider. He liked a harder cider.


(Australia) A non-alcoholic carbonated beverage made from apples or pears.


A non-alcoholic, lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage.


(countable) A cup, glass, or serving of any of these beverages.


The expressed juice of apples. It is used as a beverage, for making vinegar, and for other purposes.


A beverage made from juice pressed from apples

Common Curiosities

Can scrumpy be found in stores?

It is less commonly found in mainstream stores compared to more commercial ciders but may be available in specialty shops.

What is scrumpy?

Scrumpy is a type of cider known for being cloudy, robust, and made with minimal processing.

What types of apples are used in scrumpy?

Traditional or local apple varieties are typically used in scrumpy.

Is scrumpy always stronger than cider?

Not necessarily stronger in flavor, but it can have variable alcohol levels.

How is scrumpy different from regular cider?

Scrumpy is often cloudier, with a stronger apple flavor and variable alcohol content, due to less industrial processing.

Are there different types of cider?

Yes, ranging from still and sparkling to sweet and dry.

What is the best way to enjoy scrumpy?

Scrumpy is best enjoyed chilled and often straight from the farm where it’s made.

What is the typical alcohol content in cider?

Cider usually has a controlled alcohol content, generally around 4-6%.

Is cider always made from apples?

Yes, cider is primarily made from apples, though there are variants like pear cider, known as perry.

Can cider be homemade?

Yes, many enthusiasts make their own cider at home.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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