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Cider is called “seidr” in Welsh. And there has been a lot of seidr enjoyed the last few months!

With reason to celebrate Welsh cider after the recent award to Gwyntt Y Ddraig at the International Cider and Perry awards.

With more and more small artisan producers emerging onto the competition and festival scene, it’s exciting times for the revival of traditional real cider in Wales.

The Welsh Cider and Perry Society is proving to be a catalyst for these producers. The societies aims are to encourage a greater appreciation of these natural craft drinks, spearhead a new era of orchard planting and promote Welsh perry and cider as an indigenous alternative to wine.

Welshcider festivalThe last bank holiday of May, Welsh cider makers and fans, gather for the annual competition and festival in the grounds of the Clytha Arms in Monmouthshire for the Welsh Cider and Perry festival. I’ve been for many years, and is exciting as the Clytha is a fantastic pub anyway, the festival adds another dimension with around 40 different makers producing many different ciders and perries, and  various  live bands on to entertain the drinkers throughout the weekend.

This years event, despite the rain there was a good turnout. The weather improved on the Sunday and by all accounts it was another successful weekend.

The results for the Welsh Perry and Cider championships that are held at the festival are as follows:

Welsh Perry & Cider Championships 2010

Cider

Dry Draught Cider

  • Gold: Palmer’s Upland Cyder Cheeky Jackdaw Cyder
  • Silver: Des Devlin Drunk Dragon Dry
  • Bronze: Blaengawney Heartbreaker

Medium Draught Cider

  • Gold: Seidr Dai Knotted Kernal
  • Silver: Rosie’s Triple D Medium
  • Bronze: Ty-Bryn Cider, Oak Barrel Medium Sweet

Sweet Draught Cider

  • Gold: Springfield Dabinett
  • Silver: Seidr O Sir Cantref
  • Bronze: Rosie’s Triple D Black Bart

Spirit Cask Cider

  • Gold: Rosie’s Triple D Wicked Wasp
  • Silver: Berriew Bettws
  • Bronze: Troggi Penallt

Bottled Still Cider

  • Gold: Springfield Dabinett
  • Silver: Rosie’s Triple D Rampant Ram
  • Bronze: Blaengawney Heartbreaker

Bottled Sparkling Cider

  • Gold: Ty-Bryn Cider
  • Silver: Blaengawney Dabinett
  • Bronze: Ty Gwyn Medium

Champion Cider

  • Gold: Springfield Dabinett
  • Silver: TyBryn Medium-Sweet
  • Bronze: Rosie’s Triple D Wicked Wasp

Perry

Dry Draught Perry

  • Gold: Llanblethian Orchards Pick ‘n Mix
  • Silver: Three Saints Burgundy
  • Bronze: Bragdy Penywern Dry

Medium Draught Perry

  • Gold: Ty-Bryn Blakeney Red Medium Sweet
  • Silver: Seidr Dai Hellen’s Early
  • Bronze: Bragdy Brodyr Silver Lady

Sweet Draught Perry

  • Gold: Raglan Cider Mill Old Vicarage
  • Silver: Troggi Llansoy
  • Bronze: Gwynt Y Ddraig Two Trees

Bottled Still Perry

  • Gold: Blaengawney Perry
  • Silver: Three Saints Divine
  • Bronze: Rosie’s Triple D Perfect Pear

Bottled Sparkling Perry

  • Gold: Troggi 2008-EP
  • Silver: Ty-Bryn Medium Sweet
  • Bronze: Palmer’s Upland Cyder Blakeney Red

Champion Perry

  • Gold: Ty-Bryn Blakeney Red Medium Sweet
  • Silver: Raglan Cider Mill Old Vicarage
  • Bronze: Troggi 2008-EP

Follow @ArfurD for more Welsh Cider updates and the Brew Wales blog.

If you want to attend a Welsh cider festival this weekend (10-12th June), get along to Cardiff and the Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival. Cheers!

Class 1 Two bottles of sweet cider
1st Gaymer
2nd (joint) Alan Berry and Thatchers
Class 2 two bottles of Medium < cider
1st Glastonbury Abbey
2nd Orchards Cider and Perry
3rd Burrow Hill VHC Rosie’s Triple D
Class 3 Two Bottles Dry Cider
1st Sheppy and Son
2nd Perry’s cider
3rd Helen McDonald
Class 4 two bottles of organic cider
1st Sheppy and Son
2nd Butford Organics
3rd G Travis
Class 5 two bottles of cider
1st Perry’s cider
2nd Gaymer
3rd Olivers VHC J Mitchell
Class 6 Two bottles of cider bottle fermented
1st –
2nd –
3rd –
HC Olivers  E Whale
Class 7 two bottles of single variety cider
1st Sheppy and Son
2nd Alan Berry
3rd John Hecks
Class 8 two bottles of single variety apple juice
1st Bridge farm cider
2nd Peter Dart
3rd Woodston manor partnership
HC Patricia Thompson
Class 9 two bottles of blended apple juice
1st Woodstone manor partnership
2nd Patricia Thompson
3rd Messrs Winsor
HC Butford Organics
Class 12 One gallon dry cider
1st Rose’s Cider
2nd R Wilcox
3rd Bridge farm cider
Class 13 One gallon medium cider
1st Alan Berry
2nd Rose’s cider
3rd Country man cider
HC West milton cider company
Class 14 international two bottles of cider
1st Iberica
2nd Rosquijeau
3rd Matlock
Class 10 Two bottles of perry
1st Lizzie Hecks
2nd Gwatkin cider
3rd New Forest Cider
Trophies
Supreme champion cider
Glastonbury Abbey Reserve Rose’s cider
Arthur Davies cup (classes 5 and 7)
Perry’s cider reserve Sheppy and son
Champion farmhouse cider
Rose’s cider reserve bridge farem cider
Vigo apple juice trophy
Bridge farm cider reserve Wooodston manor partnership
ESS Perry cup
Lizzie Hecks reserve Gwatkin cider co
Westons cup – best organic
Sheppy and son reserve butford organics
Common ground special award
Dorset nectar
Industry Coopers trophy – craftsmanship within cider industry
Albert Rixen

Results are in from this year’s Royal Bath and West show.

The biggest event in the rural calendar had great weather the entire week, and also with over 300 Cider and Perry entries which was a record for this event. With the average attendance each day being over 40,000 people!

It was my first time to the Bath & West, the size of the showground and the diversity of rural and farming practices you could see demonstrated was staggering. Also the care and craftmanship that had gone into making the produce that was being judged.

This year was great for local Somerset cider producers, Heck’s who scooped multiple awards, the highest was for their bottled Perry.

The results are as follows:

Class 1 Two bottles of sweet cider

  • 1st Gaymer
  • 2nd (joint) Alan Berry and Thatchers

Class 2 two bottles of Medium cider

  • 1st Glastonbury Abbey
  • 2nd Orchards Cider and Perry
  • 3rd Burrow Hill VHC Rosie’s Triple D

Class 3 Two Bottles Dry Cider

  • 1st Sheppy and Son
  • 2nd Perry’s cider
  • 3rd Helen McDonald

Class 4 two bottles of organic cider

  • 1st Sheppy and Son
  • 2nd Butford Organics
  • 3rd G Travis
Judges tasting the high standard of cider and perry entries at the Bath & West 2010

Judges tasting the high standard of cider and perry entries at the Bath & West 2010

Class 5 two bottles of cider

  • 1st Perry’s cider
  • 2nd Gaymer
  • 3rd Olivers VHC J Mitchell

Class 6 Two bottles of cider bottle fermented

  • 1st –
  • 2nd –
  • 3rd – HC Olivers  E Whale

Class 7 two bottles of single variety cider

  • 1st Sheppy and Son
  • 2nd Alan Berry
  • 3rd John Hecks

Class 8 two bottles of single variety apple juice

  • 1st Bridge farm cider
  • 2nd Peter Dart
  • 3rd Woodston manor partnership / HC Patricia Thompson
photo-2

Cider and Perry entrants marked on the producers map at the Bath & West 2010

Class 9 two bottles of blended apple juice

  • 1st Woodstone manor partnership
  • 2nd Patricia Thompson
  • 3rd Messrs Winsor

HC Butford Organics

  • Class 12 One gallon dry cider
  • 1st Rose’s Cider
  • 2nd R Wilcox
  • 3rd Bridge farm cider

Class 13 One gallon medium cider

  • 1st Alan Berry
  • 2nd Rose’s cider
  • 3rd Country man cider / HC West milton cider company

Class 14 international two bottles of cider

  • 1st Iberica
  • 2nd Rosquijeau
  • 3rd Matlock

Class 10 Two bottles of perry

  • 1st Lizzie Hecks
  • 2nd Gwatkin cider
  • 3rd New Forest Cider

Supreme champion cider

  • Glastonbury Abbey Reserve Rose’s cider
  • Arthur Davies cup (classes 5 and 7)
  • Perry’s cider reserve Sheppy and son

Champion farmhouse cider

  • Rose’s cider reserve bridge farem cider

Vigo apple juice trophy

  • Bridge farm cider reserve Wooodston manor partnership

ESS Perry cup

  • Lizzie Hecks reserve Gwatkin cider co

Westons cup – best organic

  • Sheppy and son reserve butford organics

Common ground special award

  • Dorset nectar

Industry Coopers trophy – craftsmanship within cider industry

  • Albert Rixen

Gwynt y Ddraig Cider, is now one of Wales’ biggest cider producers. It’s not hard to see why they are one of the biggest producers as they have a wide range of ciders for all types of cider drinker. Run by Bill George and Andrew Gronow, the family cider farm started out as a hobby which grew into a full strength business. As well as stocking supermarkets and pubs they also host a cider festival with music and madness to draw in the crowds.

Last weekend was the 20th Sussex CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival

A 4 day event held at Hove town hall. A sell out every session, even with 1000 person capacity. Tickets for the Friday evening session sold out with a week on going on sale!

Thirsty drinkers were queueing up eager to taste local ciders and perries, and ones further afield from Herefordshire, Wales and the West country.

I was fortunate enough to be volunteering on the cider and perry stall so it was a treat to get up and close with the ciders, as well as meet the drinkers who enjoyed the different varieties.

Most seemed to know what they wanted, and others we chose for them – there were some great ‘entry’ ciders, like Gwynt Y Ddraig’s Haymaker – a medium at 4.8%, extremely drinkable!

Jackie Johnson who has been the regional cider co-ordinator for Brighton & South Downs CAMRA for the last 6 years did a great job of sourcing a fine selection of perries and ciders from around the country for the festival.

There were 29 ciders and 12 perries on, compared to just 6 barrels of cider 6 years ago. Proof that demand and appreciation of traditional ciders have increased.

My top 3 ciders of the festival

  • Oakwood Cider, East Sussex – Medium 6.4%- Organic, culinary and desert apples. Extra, extra dry with a bit like a cold shower.
  • Montgomery ‘Old Monty’ Cider, Powys – Dry 4.8% – Cider apple varieties. Full of traditional character
  • Gwatkins Stoke Red Cider, Herefordshire – Sweet 7.5% – Single varietal, sumptuous, succulent, full bodied.

If you haven’t been to a cider festival or want to know when the next one is check out our events page.