Cider Consumption in Asturias: By the Numbers

From Eating Asturias, the Encyclopedia of Asturian Gastronomy
A detail of the cider tree sculpture in Gijón.

Asturians drinks a lot of cider. That is a mostly uncontroversial statement. Everywhere I look people are drinking cider. It is impossible to imagine any gathering anywhere in Asturias that didn’t involve drinking cider. But how much is it really? What are the cider consumption numbers for Asturias, and how do they stack up? Is this place as truly cider mad as I think it is?

World Cider Rankings

According to the National Association of Cider Makers’ Paul Mitchell, Spain ranks sixth in the world in millions of liters of cider consumed per year.[1]

As you can see below, Spain is one of the Big Six cider drinking countries.[2]

cider production table
Cider production/consumption and trends by country and region. Total estimated sales value worldwide in 2005 were more than US$ 3 billion.

That information can be used to plot a consumption per capita number for each of those countries:

National Consumption of Cider Source: Merwin et. al 2007, Statista, 2022
Country Pop (millions) Cider Consumption (million L) Liters per capita
UK 67 510 7.6
South Africa 59 170 2.9
France 65 125 1.9
Ireland 5 80 16.0
Spain 47 70 1.5

A more interesting picture emerges here. While the UK is still awash in cider, it becomes the Irish who are most cider mad when you look at liters per capita. Double the consumption of cider in Ireland versus in the UK.

Asturian Cider Consumption

D. G. Meléndez, Los bebedores de sidra, 1856, Sidra y Manzana de Asturias[3]

But what is really interesting is that Asturias consumes vastly more cider than the rest of Spain combined. The current best estimates are that 77% of all cider consumed in Spain is drunk in Asturias.[4] That means, if you were to add Asturias as a separate entry from Spain, the picture becomes more realistic:

Asturias ranked as if it were a country. 77% of the Spanish consumption
Region Pop (millions) Cider Consumption (million L) Liters per capita
Asturias 1 54 54.0

Asturians consume more than three times the cider per person than the Irish. That is a serious difference! More importantly, it lines up with what I see on the street in Asturias. Even coming from the most cider-loving parts of Europe, people are often amazed at just how cider crazy Asturias is.

  1. Mitchell, P. 2006. Out of the orchard, into the glass: An appreciation of cider and perry. National Assoc. Cider Makers, London.
  2. Merwin, Ian A., et al. “Cider Apples and Cider-Making Techniques in Europe and North America.” Horticultural Reviews, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2007, pp. 365–415. Wiley Online Library,
  3. Fidalgo Sanchez, Jose Antonio. Sidra y manzana de Asturias. Prensa Asturiana, 1993.
  4. According to Ignaciu Hevia Llavona, and quoted by the president of the Comarca de la Sidra, Guillermo Guisasola.