Sunday, 15 January 2012

Cider Barrel Half-Empty

This evenings blog post was supposed to be a lengthy treatise on the cidery delights of Tewkesbury, a town set in the very heart of Three Counties cider and perry country. Our trip to Tewkesbury was long overdue, the perrys need racking off, and we can't do that without a couple of new Food-Grade Blue Tubs. It's a little known fact that Tewkesbury is a good source of these tubs, and we hoped to 'add value' to the trip with a day out in the town.

I'd researched my subject well, and was reasonably sure that the unspoilt medieval charm of Tewkesbury would conceal a reasonable range of traditional Ye Olde Worlde Local Cyders, and maybe even some Fyne Glostershire Perries. Sadly, t'was not to be the case.

The Royal Hop Pole almost delivered the goods. A Westons cider and Wetherspoon newcomer Gwynt-Y-Ddraig Black Dragon Cider might seem to you a good result, but the fact is I could have stayed at home for these. The Nottingham Arms proved to be another Westons stronghold, nice but not what I was after. The Berkeley Arms promised cider, but there was none to be seen, and Tewkesbury newcomer Theoc House listed bottles of Archies Cotswold Cider, but didn't have any on my visit. To make matters worse, the only pub in town I was guaranteed cider of sorts, was the White Bear, but I ran out of time for this pub. In the world of Twitter, this is known as a #totalciderfail.

Never mind, in an attempt to salvage the day, I turned to retail therapy, which is something Tewkesbury excels at. So here's what I got:

At last! Proper Gloucestershire Cider from Severn Cider of Awre near Newnham. This is a pure juice medium cider, full flavoured, fruity, tannic, and beautifully rounded and smooth to drink. That Wine Place on the High Street also have ciders from Three Choirs Vineyard, Gwatkin, and Lyne Down Farm. Thank heavens for that!

This weighty tome would certainly have been considered 'modern' in 1956 when it was first published, but there's still plenty in here of relevance to the fruit grower and orchardist today. It's got some nice pictures in it too.

This little scrumpy-swilling fella came with a 50p price tag, and will take pride of place amongst my collection of jars and jugs in the ciderhouse. I've decided to call him 'Little Ray', for no particular reason...
We've also got the aforementioned Blue Tubs, so next weekend I'll be racking the perries, and needless to say blogging about the experience here.

1 comment:

John said...

Hi Mark, I've become an avid reader of your blog and find it enjoyable and readable.
I'm attempting to follow in your footsteps to some extent and this year my son and I have gone from making a few gallons for our own use, up to just over 2000 litres. We're not sure how our cider is going to turn out, but our fingers are very much crossed.
Keep up the good work with both the cider and the blog
John Cooper ( aka Bodger)