Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Ale & Apples... though mostly Apples to be fair!

The Rockingham Forest Cider Apple Mountain continues to surge tectonically upwards, causing a good deal of interest in the village, particularly from horse owners! It's currently a single variety mountain, consisting almost exclusively of Yarlington Mill, a vintage quality bittersweet cider apple which we use to create our popular Red Kite Cider.

Every weekend is orchard/pressing time now, and I'm pleased to say that our compact picking team has risen to the substantial challenge ahead. We've even got a new trainee, young and fit, all the way from Grantham, a little wet behind the ears, but willing to get his hands dirty in the name of good cider. There he is on the right, taking a well earned nap on the trailer with one of our veteran pickers Susan. Consider yourself fully initiated into the Guild of Master Pankers sir.

Hard work like this should be rewarded with a bit of hard play, so with the Yarlys secured it was off to the Fleece Inn in nearby Bretforton for a relaxing drink in the orchard garden. The Fleece is a truly great destination any day of the year, but this weekend had the added attraction of their annual Ale & Apple Festival. Yowzah!

A fine display of Dessert and Culinary Apples in the Ale & Cider tent.

The Cider Bar - Favourite of the day was the Gregg's Pitt Aylton/Blakeney Red Perry, closely followed by the Olivers Medium Cider. The Fleece Inn Cider was good too. The Plum Jerkum.... interesting!
The press was fully wound down from an earlier pressing, and showing little activity other than a healthy population of local Wasps.
The antique Scratter, made in Somerset at the foundry of Albert Day.

Susan struggles under the weight of a Newtons Wonder from the Fleece Inn orchard. I think she may have taken this home...
The famous Sweet'n'Savoury Pastie, one half Meat'n'Veg, the other appropriately Apple'n'Custard. Delicious. Unless of course you're not expecting it to be sweet'n'savoury!

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