Not all cider in Asturias is still. There is some carbonated cider. A couple of varieties, actually. There are sparkling, brut, and plain carbonated (like American ciders). And the most famous maker of all of these expressions is El Gaitero.
In 1888 Asturias was undergoing a significant social and industrial change. Many new businesses were set up to supply the needs and wants of both the emigrant and the newly urbanized populations. Among them was a cider factory in Villaviciosa. From the beginning, sparkling cider was the focus.
By focusing on distribution abroad and adopting German and French carbonation technology, the company built themselves a niche. It is one that they have turned into something of an industrial empire in the 140 years since. From promoting Asturian cider abroad to building their own bottle factories, they have stayed focused. Indeed, a lot of ingenuity and hard work have gone into the bottle of sparkling cider I enjoyed for my anniversary.
If you'd like to read a much more in-depth history of the company, their website has an excellent and very detailed history of the company in English.
The following ciders from El Gaitero have been reviewed here:
In addition to their sidra natural offerings, and arguably more famously, El Gaitero offers a wide variety of bottled cider drinks:
- Sparkling Ciders
- Brut Ciders
- Alcohol Free Ciders
- Apple Juice
- Ice Cider
Located in the administrative offices used in the late 19th century, El Gaitero has a museum of sorts. Instead of a factory tour and a drink at the end, they have built a whole museum. Manuscripts, ephemera, machinery samples, old bottles, the whole works. The cost is a nominal 5€, which you get back in credit at the gift shop. Given that the gift shop sells cider (of course), two people taking the tour essentially each get a bottle of cider for free.