Tuesday 3 May 2011

A very busy weekend...

This weekend saw several cider making events around the UK. The annual Big Apple Blossomtime celebrations started with its usual cider trials at Putley village hall... a small venue for a much respected and popular event. Down south, the Powerstock festival in Dorset is a growing event which incorporates festivities with another peer judged competition. And the Reading Beer and Cider Festival, in its 17th year, held the National CAMRA Cider Competition finals AND the regional round of next years competiton.

Clearly even cider makers are not magicians, so attending all three was a bit of a tall order! In any event, competitions for me are about making sure that the cider I made last year is of good order. So I entered the Putley trials which were, after all, responsible for my going commercial in the first place. In addition as a supplier to the Reading Festival entered the Hampshire Heritage into the regional round of the CAMRA competition (though I couldn't attend as I was in Putley).

Whilst it is a shame that all three events were held on the same day (definite case of bad timings!!!) the weekend was very good. Reading has been buzzing (so I have heard) and nearly run out of cider on several occasions. As I write this, I have yet to hear from anyone who attended the Powerstock festival - so they must have had a very good time indeed!

For such a small location, Putley attracts some very good cider makers from all over the country. None moreso though than the Herefordshire cider makers. I had the pleasure of meeting several of them, including Mike Johnson from Ross on Wye Cider and Perry - and he deservedly carried off most pieces of paper (awards) including Overall Champion. It was also good to catch up with and meet with a number of Cider Workshop members (some of whom won more than I did - but then I don't make perry!!:-)

As a friend and cider making compatriot (Mark Shirley) said, it has been a good weekend for cider and perry!


  1. Not sure I would bother with a CAMRA event but Powerstock seems like an awesome event.

  2. Ah, but CAMRA are a valued customer across many local festivals. Plus I was asked to enter by the Wessex cider man who likes 146... so who was I to refuse.

    Competitions are really only a yardstick to measure what others think... they are always subjective.

    I do intend on going to Powerstock next year if they clash again though.


  3. Reading and Putley have always clashed. One of the highlights of the day at Putley is when news of the Reading winners filters through during the tasting. I really must get my tent out and get to Putley next year...

  4. Lets hope they don't clash... unless you are avoiding me:-) Having journeyed by train for the last two years, I am going to be roughing it next year whichever event I go to!

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