Friday, 18 April 2014

(Some) Cider is Go!

With earthquakes hitting the tiny, fragile village of Rutland almost every day now, the Rockingham Forest Cider Emergency Delivery Team have literally strolled into action ahead of the Easter weekend.

In a bizarre reversal of normal earthquake disaster behaviour, reports suggest refugees are literally pouring onto the Wing Hall Campsite, though sensibly equipped with caravans, BBQ's, and an array of emergency ball games. Supplies of Rockingham Forest Cider have now been car-lifted onto the site, and initial reports suggest that there should be plenty of buns and cake at the Veranda Cafe to see desperate campers through the weekend in relative comfort.

The White Lion line-up today
Meanwhile, Les at the White Lion in Oakham has reported that the pub was at the very epicentre of recent seismic activity. At the height of this mornings catastrophic event, glasses clinked alarmingly and Maria is understood to have been very fearful for her pies. Recent over-indugence of Hazelnut Porter by Les has so far not been ruled out as the source these dangerous vibations (boom-boom!).

Just to be on the safe side, we've delivered a stabilising box of cider to the pub, and can confirm that the pies have survived their ordeal intact and tasty as ever.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

May I Draw Your Attention To... May!

The joyous season of spring is finally with us here at Rockingham Forest Cider. Dark and chilly winter nights are giving way to the longer warmer days of spring, and with it pubs and clubs everywhere are breaking Beer & Cider Festival bud, with bibulous blossom time predicted any day now. A joyous time indeed.

Of course all cidermakers know that the fruits of their Autumn labour won't be ready to drink until the first Cuckoo has been heard a-calling. Old cider-wives law to be sure, but it's been quite an accurate gauge for us here in the Welland Valley. Perhaps not surprising given that the kind of winter we've had, and the progress of more spring-like weather has a direct influence on both our fermentations and feathery migration patterns. It's cidery science really.

Anyway, the fact is that whilst there's been plenty of 'cooking' in the household, and the Pigeons are forever 'cooing', the two combined have yet to be heard in the valley. We have had reports of Cuckoo calls elsewhere though, and are that Cuckoos everywhere will be doing what they do best before the month is out. Karen has a wooden Cuckoo clock primed and ready just in case though...

Beer & Cider Festivals we're supplying in the near future can be found listed on the right hand side of this blog, but here's some more information to get you in the spring festival mood.

The Walcote Beer Festival is being held at the Misterton & Walcote Memorial Hall over the bank holiday weekend. Walcote village has lost both of its pubs in recent years, the fondly remembered Black Horse, famed for authentic Thai food and local ales, as well as the Tavern Inn, home to the local skittles game. So this event will act as a kind of pop-up pub for villagers, and a well though out community event it appears to be.

We'll be supplying our own cider and perry, as well as a couple of ciders from our friends at Hogans Cider in Warwickshire.

The South Notts Real Ale Festival takes place at the Nottingham Moderns Rugby Club over the bank holiday weekend. I visited this festival last year and found it a very well run event, full to bursting with good local ales selected with help from the local CAMRA branch. Our friends in the north at Torkard Cider have sourced the ciders for this festival, and a box of our Green Horse Perry will be travelling to Nottingham c/o our friends at the Bottle Kicking Cider Co who are both also supplying cider and perry.

The Malt Shovel have held a beer festival over the May bank holiday weekend for several years now. Located a stones throw from the massive Carlsberg lager factory, the Malt Shovel has been reminding folk what beer should taste like since the early days of the real ale revival. It's also a great place to go to see what beer and brewing used to look like, the bar crammed with vintage breweriana, including items from the recently resurrected, and nearby Phipps Brewery.

We'll be supplying cider and perry to the festival, and I don't doubt there will be other local ciders available too.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Green Horse Perry - Orchard to Glass

Leicester CAMRA Beer Festival, 12th - 15th March. Other perries, ciders and beers also available.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Ciderhouse News - March 2014

March is traditionally the month when cidermakers get all twitchy and restless ahead of the new cider-selling season. Signs of Spring in the garden signal the return of migratory cider drinkers, heralded by the cheep and chirp of e-mail requests for our new-season ciders and perries. Cider twitchers need wait only a few days more for the official start of the Spring cider season. March 12th to be precise, because that's the opening afternoon of the 2014 Leicester CAMRA Beer Festival, a festival renowned for it's ciders and perries. And beers.

News just in of a few micro-changes to the cider bar listing, so here they are:

In: Ross Perry, Wilcox Cider

Out: Barbourne Perry, Swallowfield Cider

Shaken All About: Green Valley Rum Cask is now Farmhouse Medium, the Gwatkin cider is a single variety Stoke Red, and the Once Upon a Tree cider is their Tumpy Ground.

In other news, our 2012 Rockingham Forest Sloe Gin was awarded 'Null Points' in the Great Easton Sloe Gin (& others) competition. The competition, a revival of long-standing village event, was held at the recently revived and re-opened Sun Inn. The judges had a tough job, with something like 30 entries to sip their way through, including the 'other' class which was won by a very moreish Marmalade concoction which we're definitely going to try ourselves. A bottle of our new season Rockingham Forest Slider was also available for tasting, which if we're honest was a good deal better than our Sloe Gin! Must try harder next year.

...and finally. Here's a recipe that's as easy to make as opening a Dairylea Cheese Triangle and spreading it on a piece of white-sliced.

Take 1 Juicy fridge-ripened Camembert, make a few gouges on the surface and insert thin slivers of garlic. Pour on some cider, we used some delicious Dunkertons Breakwell's Seedling, or if feeling particularly indulgent, Cider Brandy. Pop the lid on and bake until gooey and dippable. Crusty bread for dipping is all that's required.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Leicester Beer Festival 2014 - The Cider & Perry List

East Midlands/Local Producers:

Bottle Kicking Hallaton leicestershire
Scrummage 6.5%
Scrambler    7%
Charnwood Cider Bradgate Leicestershire 
vintage dry 6%
medium    6.6%
Farmer Fear Mountsorrel Leicestershire
Thirsty Farmer dry 5.5%
Thirsty Farmer medium 5.5%
Rockingham Forest Middleton Northamptonshire
Green horse perry 4.5%
Red Kite Cider 7.9%
Torkard Hucknall Nottinghamshire
Floppy Tabs cider  7%   

...and The Rest:

Abrahall Bishop’s Frome Herefordshire
dry cider 6.5%
Barbourne  Worcester,Worcestershire
cider 6.3%
perry 6.5%
Barkers Hallow, Worcestershire
cider tbc
Brimblecombe Dunsford Devon
cider  6%
Cadogan Awre Gloucestershire
Green Valley Clyst St George Devon
rum cask cider 8.4%
Gwatkin Abbey Dore Herefordshire
cider 7.5%
perry 7.5%
Gwynt y Ddraig Pontypridd Glamorgan
Black Dragon medium cider 7.2%
Dog Dancer medium dry cider  6.5%
Pyder 6%
Two Trees perry 4.5 %
Hecks Street Somerset
cider tbc
SV cider tbc
perry tbc
Old Monty Montgomery Powys
cider tbc
Oliver’s Ocle Pychard Herefordshire
medium cider 6.5%
perry 6.5%
Once Upon a Tree Ledbury Herefordshire
cider 6%
Orchard’s Brockweir Gloucestershire
cider 6.5%
Ostlers  Barnstaple Devon
cider 6%
Sarah’s Ledbury Herefordshire
cider 6%
Swallowfield Ross on Wye herefordshire
Wonky Donky cider 6%
Tricky Taunton Somerset
cider 6.5%
Westcroft Burnham on sea Somerset
Janet’s Jungle juice 6%
Wilkins Wedmore Somerset
cider 6%
Yarde Stoke Gabriel Devon
cider 6%