Leicester CAMRA Beer Festival (half a dozen of which are known to occasionally read this blog), I felt it was high time I revisited my magnum opus, the reasonably well-received Cider in Leicester - A Pub Guide. So here it is.
This list is probably best used in conjunction with a few halves at the superb Leicester Beer Festival Cider Bar, and is best viewed using the 'entirely-free-to-download' Leicester Real Ale Trail glossy leaflet add-on-with-map doohickey.
Please note: This is not a campaigning blog and I therefore make no judgement on the quality of any of the ciders mentioned, some of which will inevitably not meet everyones criteria with regard to being 'real' or 'traditional'. Also note that this list represents my own knowledge of the current cider scene in Leicester, broadly encompassing an easily walkable area from the beer festival site up to the rail station. If I've inadvertently omitted any pubs, or the information has in any way become inaccurate or obsolete subsequently, I apologise in advance. I'd had a bit to drink you see...
- Ale Wagon, Rutland St/Charles St, LE1 1RE - Traditional corner local close to the rail station. Wide range of ales, and a house cider from a large Somerset producer
- Barley Mow, Granby St, LE1 6FB - Recent Everards Brewery refurbishment close to the rail station. Guest cider(s) from Everards range*
- Black Horse, Foxon St/Braunstone Gt, LE3 5LT - Lovely interior to this two room Everards Brewery pub, which received a sensitive refurbishment quite recently. Guest cider from Everards range*, though usually this is Westons Old Rosie
- Criterion Freehouse, 44 Millstone Lane, LE1 5JN (0116 2625418) - Pioneering Leicester ale and cider house, with the added bonus of regular live music, beer and cider festivals, fabulous pizza, and all-round city-centre grooviness. Occasional outlet for our own cider or perry (hopefully the case during the festival weekend), but always something interesting on the dedicated guest cider handpump, plus usually another draught cider or perry from the cellar.
- The Globe, Silver St, LE1 5EU - Everards Brewery ale house in the very centre of town, now featuring a couple of guest ciders from the brewery range*
- High Cross, High St, LE1 4JB - The only Wetherspoon in the city centre which regularly features real cider. Usually two available, often GwyntY-Ddraig or Westons, but occasionally something more unusual
- King Richard III, Highcross St, LE1 4NN - One of Leicesters great unspoilt locals, close to the Highcross shopping disaster. Everards ales, and a guest cider from the brewery range*
- Kings Head, King St, LE1 6RL - A proper local in the town, and a rare outlet for Black Country Ales in addition to numerous guest beers. Guest ciders from larger regional producers such as Gwynt-Y-Ddraig or Sandford Orchards
- Polar Bear, Oxford St, LE1 5XW - Recently improved beer range at this 'Scream' pub included a Westons Cider on a recent visit
- Rutland & Derby, Millstone La, LE1 5JN - Smartly refurbished with a strong emphasis on food. Guest cider from the Everards Brewery range*
- Salmon, Butt La, LE1 4QA - Smart but traditional ale house near the main bus station.Popular with both beer enthusiasts and rugby fans. Usually two guest ciders from the cellar, often from regionals such as Gwynt-Y-Ddraig, or occasionally smaller local producers including Charnwood
- Sir Robert Peel, Jarrom St, LE2 7DD - Recently refurbished Everards ale house, close to the rugby and football grounds. Two guest ciders, often from smaller producers, including those from the brewery range*
- Swan & Rushes, Oxford St/Infirmary Sq, LE1 5WR - Home of Leicesters original Cider & Cheese Festival, the Swan is a noted beer enthusiasts venue close to the rugby and football grounds. The guest cider was from Orchard Pig when I visited recently, bottled Thirsty Farmer Cider also available
- The Tudor, Tudor Rd, LE3 5HT - Another recent Everards Brewery refurbishment, sensitively done and retaining the two-room traditional layout of this backstreet local. A guest cider from the brewery range is usually available*
- The Western, Western Rd, LE3 0GA - Steamin' Billy pub which usually features a couple of draught ciders. Bottles of local Thirsty Farmer Cider are also available