Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Another Southampton win...

Adding to the '146 Hall of Fame' in my dining room, I can now proudly announce that Easter Delight won 'Cider of the Festival' at Southampton Beer Festival 2012. I prepared a press release, which I intended to send off to the local rag (but I haven't found the gumption to do so yet...). Here it is:

Local Producer Celebrates Local Win

Southampton based cider producer, 146 Cider Company, celebrated another win at the CAMRA Southampton Beer Festival over the Jubilee weekend. Eastern Delight, the companies ‘eastern style’ of cider, won the award via public vote during the festival, which featured ciders from Wales, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and the other producers in Hampshire. 

This is the second time 146 Cider has won the award, with it's Hampshire Heritage cider blend winning the title in 2010. Jez Howat, cider maker for 146 Cider, said, “Winning in my home town is always the most important thing I can do as a producer." This award means that all three of the main 146 blends of cider now have accolades, with the companies Wild West Cider winning ‘Highly Commended’ at Bath and West show in 2011.

“Both Eastern Delight and Hampshire Heritage ciders are made using locally sourced apples, so it is an entirely Hampshire drink in both its ingredients and production. I have calculated that the entire food mileage for both drinks is somewhere in the region of 80 miles or so - not untypical for cider, which is an incredibly low input product.”

“Campaign for Real Ale (and cider!!) festivals are important for small scale beer and cider producers as they showcase some of the best drinks available, often with a focus on local products. The Southampton Beer Festival is probably CAMRA’s largest annual beer festival on the south coast, so it’s an important event for 146 Cider.

"I would like to thank all those who voted for Eastern Delight at the festival, and also to those who offered comments to me directly about the cider – this helps to inform me as to what I am doing well and also how I can improve the cider next year.”


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Royal busy weekend...

What with the Diamond Jubilee, building a walled vegetable patch to make growing things more accessible for my daughter and stocking (and restocking) Southampton Beer Festival - not to mention the festivities at The Wonston Arms in Winchester (I may have forgotten to advertise that in advance) - things have been pretty busy over the weekend.

So, now that it's behind us I guess I can reflect on '146 activities'!

Well, lets start off with a nice photo of the Jubilee celebrations around our way. Yep, it was a small gathering on the neighbours driveway, but it was fun none-the-less.

And so on to more cidery things. Well, I failed to score any wins at either the Hereford Museum Competition or Bath and West this year. Not surprising as both had record numbers of entries and the wins went to well known figures in the cider industry. Competitions are a worthwhile activity though - I like to use them as a gauge for the cider; after all, each year is different.

For festivals, well, Southampton and Wonston aside, the next one coming up is the Southampton SUSU bars (thats Students Union to those who don't attend university:-) Its been another local development for me this year and its great to see students challenge my preconceptions and actually enjoy a real cider instead of something 'with berries'!

Sadly, it would appear that the Florence Arms has closed its doors. I am not sure if its temporary or have any idea of the reason for its closure - I will hopefully be able to report back soon on this. I also don't know what it will mean for the Golden Lion in Southwick either as both had the same landlord. In any case I hope that he is well and that this is just a temporary or planned closure for a short time!

And as for the walled veggie patch? Well, its not quite finished - falling victim to yesterdays bad weather. However, peas and pumpkins are planted in tiny pots, so it cannot wait too long!