Strongbow Cider

Strongbow Cider

Strongbow is a brand of cider manufactured in England by Bulmers. It is the UK's most popular cider, accounting for more than half of the cider sold in Britain. [cite web | title = Pressed to impress | url= | publisher = | date= 2007-04-20 | accessdate = 2008-06-06 ] Strongbow is also unique in that it is produced with a Royal Warrant.


Strongbow is named after the Anglo-Norman knight Richard de Clare, later Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed "Strongbow" for relying heavily on Welsh archers during campaigns in Ireland, where the native Irish had few bows and relied on javelins. The cider is produced in Hereford by the English cider company Bulmers. After the takeover of Scottish and Newcastle in April 2008, the brand is now owned jointly by Dutch company Heineken and Danish company Carlsberg.

Production methods

Strongbow is mass-produced using modern methods, and contains apple concentrate and sugar. It is fermented with a controlled yeast strain, and at least some varieties are flavoured with artificial sweeteners.

The alcoholic strength of Strongbow Cider in the UK is 5.3% ABV (10.6 proof) in cans and bottles, but 4.5% ABV (9 proof) draught in pubs.


In the UK, Strongbow is available in four different forms. "Original", "Extra Cold" (draught only, chilled to a few degrees lower than normal draught Strongbow), "Strongbow Super" (7.5% ABV) and the newer "Strongbow Sirrus" (5% ABV), which was launched in summer 2005 to compete with C&C's Magners Irish cider. Sirrus was formulated as a 'smooth' cider designed to be poured over ice, and is only available in bottles, whereas the normal variety is available in cans, bottles and on draught, Strongbow Super is only available in cans.

In the USA and Australia, Strongbow is also available but is brewed to a strength of only 5%. [ [] ] In Canada, Strongbow is available at the typical 5.3% ABV. Strongbow is available in three varieties in Australia: Dry, Sweet and Original. Previously Strongbow White was available in Australia, which had a much higher alcohol content. It ceased production sometime in the 1990s. In the USA and Canada, only Strongbow Original is commonly available.

Brand extensions

Scottish & Newcastle have also extended the Strongbow range with "Jacques from Strongbow", a 5.5% ABV cider with cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant flavours, made in Belgium by S&N's Stassen cider mill. [ [] ]

During the spring of 2006, the company also relaunched "Bulmers Original" in the UK, a premium packaged cider aimed squarely at the "served over ice" market which has grown in popularity over the last few years. Bulmers Original is a 4.5% ABV cider and is sold in 1 pint (568ml) bottles and 500 ml cans. [ [] ]

In 2007, the company began trials of "Strongbow Iced", a competitor to other ciders that are served over ice. This uses a specially designed pump that creates a "head" of ice made from cider on the top of the pint. [ [] ]


The "thudding arrows" have been a signature of the brand's television advertising since the 1960s. Towards the end of the advertisement, two arrows thud into a bar counter near a glass of Strongbow, or its bar pump. The original Norman Archer logo was designed by Colin Fulcher, better known as artist Barney Bubbles.

Commercials around 1998 featured Johnny Vaughan and the "live to loaf" line. The idea was to associate the naturally refreshing nature of Strongbow with a laid back attitude to life. During Spring 2007, the television advertising campaign was based around "total first pint refreshment (a-a-a-h)", and starred Tim Key. [ [] ]

Strongbow were official shirt sponsors of Edinburgh football club Heart of Midlothian from 1992-2002. During this time, Hearts would be welcomed onto the pitch at the start of every game with the same words: "Hearts are sponsored by Strongbow; the UK's number one cider."

Strongbow also sponsored Leeds United Football Club. []


External links

* [ Brand Website]
* [ Bulmers]
* [ Reviews of Strongbow.]

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