Jeremy Clarkson's Cider Is Explosive – Literally

Jeremy Clarkson may be best known as a car guru, but he's branched out quite a bit since his "Top Gear" days. One of his more recent ventures finds him joining the world of celebrity booze salespersons, hawking beer and hard cider called Hawkstone. The cider is made from apples grown in Clarkson's own Diddly Squat orchards as featured on the Amazon Prime series "Clarkson's Farm." While we're not sure if this latest adventure in cider-making will make it into an episode of the TV show, it did provide material for an entertaining tweet when Clarkson announced a recall of the product in his own inimitable style.

Clarkson's profanity-laced Twitter rant explains that a certain batch of Hawkstone cider (cap code L3160, should you happen to have any in your possession) might explode in your pantry or, should you opt for the un-British practice of chilling it, in your refrigerator. To be on the safe side, Clarkson recommends, nay, insists you open the bottles underwater and pour out the contents. You'll at least be able to get a refund for what Clarkson describes as Hawkstone's "massive c*** up," though, as long as you email the company regarding your ill-fated purchase.

What causes hard cider to explode

Jeremy Clarkson's cider isn't the first brand beset by such an explosive issue. In 2015, Ohio-based Angry Orchard recalled several batches of its Crisp Apple Hard Cider because those bottles also had the potential to blow up. The reason for this is refermentation, a process that can increase the carbonation to potentially dangerous levels that can cause the bottles to burst.

What causes refermentation to happen in the first place? Most fermented beverages are bottled at the point when fermentation has stopped, but occasionally, there's enough sugar remaining that it kicks things off again. If this happens in a corked beverage such as sparkling wine, the cork goes flying off before you meant to open the bottle, and all that champagne turns into a real pain by shooting out of the bottle in a decidedly un-festive mess. 

With cider, there's an even bigger problem since its metal caps are firmly fixed in place. The carbonated beverage instead explodes out of the glass, breaking the bottles to bits. If it's any consolation for those who are now forced to pour out their Hawkstone cider, which sells for £16.00 (equivalent to about $20) per six-pack, explosively over-fermented drinks tend to have an unpleasant yeasty flavor, so it wouldn't have been worth drinking.