It's rare indeed to find a festival so well stocked with decent Perrys that the Ciders don't even get a look in. I'm pretty fussy in my drinking, and if there's not enough tubs of genuinely Dry or Medium/Dry on offer, I'll resort to the worthy-but-dull offerings of the Malt'n'Hop variety. No such problems here. By my (slightly addled) reckoning, I tried 8 different Perrys, none of which were too sweet, along with a few sips begged from other peoples glasses along the way. Worthy of mention were a Moorcroft from Malvern Magic, Greggs Pitt Aylton Red & Blakeney Blend, and the Ross-on-Wye Cider & Perry Co, all from Herefordshire. But the pick of the bunch for me was a properly dry Springherne Perry, also from Ross-on-Wye, and the surprise winner was New Forest Perry, from well outside the traditional Perry making area, in deepest Hampshire. Juicy, well balanced, some tannin and a little Rum if my senses don't deceive me.
Here's a few pics from the festival:
Bar staff were friendly and efficient, moving far too fast to catch on camera
Stillages groaning under the weight of all the ciders I didn't get a chance to try
CAMRA supports Real Cider & Perry. Paul merely supports his glass of Cider
Torkard Cider's Ray Blockley adopts a typical 'Northern' pose whilst surveying a Red Lion Beer & Cider Festival poster
Oh! Almost forgot. Freeth stepped on a Guide Dog. Sadly no pictures are available...