This year the Gloucester CAMRA Beer Festival is in May which, as it happens, is one of CAMRA’s cider months.
Although we refer to the festival as a ‘beer festival’, this is just a kind of lazy short hand. It is really the Gloucester CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival. We are committed to providing a wide and interesting range of ciders and perries alongside our beers.
However, in recent years we’ve noticed that ‘traditional’ ciders have been less popular – all anyone seems to want are the fruity ciders.
Okay, all you pedants out there, we know that all cider and perry is made with fruit – namely apples and pears – but what we’re talking about here is cider flavoured with a range of additional fruits.
We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with fruity ciders – last year, spotting the trend, we provided lots of them, flavoured with sloeberries, oranges, ginger and chilli, blackcurrants, lemon and lime, strawberries, rhubarb and raspberry. And very popular they were too.
But the more traditional ciders, relying on traditional apple varieties and fermenting methods to provide their distinct flavour, were less popular and we think that’s a shame.
We’re in the heart of cider country here in Gloucestershire, and we’d like to support the interesting, traditional ciders made by small family-owned, local producers.
Last year we had ciders and perries from local producers including Forgotten Orchard in North Nibley, Jolter Press in Micheldean, Rob’s from Longhope and Oliver’s from across the border in Herefordshire.
Surely cider enthusiast would search out these gems from amongst the Moles, Tauntons and Gwynt Y Draigs in the same way that beer drinkers search out obscure traditional craft and micro breweries above the likes of Greene King, Marstons or Wadworths. It’s not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with these big players, just that the beer festival gives you the opportunity to find something different.
So are there still cider enthusiasts who go to festivals to seek out these interesting ciders and perries? It’s been suggested that cider is just what people drink if they’ve been dragged along but don’t really like beer – an alternative to the wine or prosecco option – but that can’t be true can it?
We will continue to provide a good range of both types of cider at this year’s festival, but we’d love to see more cider enthusiasts enjoying the sort of traditional cider that CAMRA is campaigning to protect and promote.
We’d be interested in your views – let us know what you think. To share your views, or just to keep up with festival news, follow us on social media:
- Twitter @GlosBeerFest;
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- Instagram @gloucesterbeerfestivalThis entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged beer festival, cider, perry by Darrel Kirby