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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Food and beverages

Publication Details

A thesis submitted to Technological University Dublin in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Arts in Gastronomy and Food Studies, May 2021.


Craft cider-makers produce less than 1% of Irish cider which is a significantly smaller percentage than craft producers in other beverage markets. This study contextualises Irish cider’s importance by exploring its rich history in Gaelic and Georgian Ireland. It then examines how that importance is not reflected in today’s market and posits that introducing a new systematic approach to tasting will enable cider to be viewed beyond what many see as a cheap, simple summer drink. A systematic approach to tasting is a structured and repeatable method of describing taste using a lexicon of agreed words. Unlike other drinks, such as wine, no such approach to tasting has been adopted by the cider industry. By proposing a new systematic tasting approach, the research explores the factors influencing its adoption within the Irish craft cider industry. Using thematic analysis, a series of interviews with craft cider-makers are considered and four principle themes influencing the adoption of that approach emerge – public perception, competitive disadvantages, constraints on diversification and difficulties describing cider. The research then proposes several recommendations that will support the growth of Ireland’s craft cider industry through the development and adoption of a new cider lexicon and its own unique systematic approach to tasting.


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