Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Ciderhouse News - October

It's been a very long time in the planning, but the Big One has very nearly arrived. Yes, the Nottingham CAMRA Beer Festival is very, very Big, and of course every-One is welcome (provided they're old enough and behave themselves), which by definition makes it the Big One... you see what I did there... quite clever eh!... Oh well, suit yourselves.

The Robin Hood Beer Festival is the last major event we'll be sending our cider and perry to, and I'm pleased to say we'll be in very good company. This year the festival is sporting a new, and from an East Midlands cidermakers perspective, much improved cider bar. There will be a whopping 22 ciders (and a perry) from 11 East Midlands cider (and perry) makers. The full list for the festival features over 170 ciders and perries from all over the UK, far too many to list here so follow the link below when you've got a few minutes spare.

Nottingham Robin Hood Beer Festival Cider & Perry List

The cider we'll be sending is a Kingston Black/Sweet Alford blend, and the perry is a late season blend of unknown pear varieties which has finished in the 'Opaque' style Green Horse Perry fans will know and love. I'll also be sending myself for a good old fashioned loiter at the cider bar during the Friday afternoon session.

Meanwhile, pressing continues. We've now got approximately 700 litres of assorted perries fizzing merrily away, and a mere 120 litres of cider made from Blenheim Orange apples, with a similar amount still to be pressed. The Blenheim cider will be used to blend with the low acid bittersweets and sweet cider apples that we'll be pressing later in the month. This will help to lower the pH, and act as a vigorous yeasty starter too. The very warm weather we've been experiencing means we're unlikely to have a repeat of the low alcohol, naturally sweet perries we had last season. It will be interesting to see how popular some of these drier 'full-strength' perries will be next year, none of which are likely to be below 7% abv.

The organisers of the popular Brocks Hill Apple Day in Oadby have been in touch, though sadly only to advise us that the event has been cancelled this year owing to cuts in available funding. A great shame, and we hope that plans for an event in 2012 come to fruition. There are of course other Apple Day events happening all over the country, but since Common Ground now no longer coordinate the event, there is currently no UK wide listing of these events available. Probably best to check local press for details throughout October.

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