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The competition for the Cider & Perry Pub of the Year is now underway has been announced.

The first pub to be announced is ‘The Orchard’, Bristol that wins CAMRA Cider pub of the year (South-West).

A prestigious award for any pub, the orchard has won the award for consistently serving a excellent selection of #realcider. Enjoyed by a variety of regulars and newcomers. From recent reviews, varying from 8 – 13 different ciders at any time.

Drinkers enjoying the award winning atmosphere at The Orchard in Bristol

Drinkers enjoying the award winning atmosphere at The Orchard in Bristol

Bristol is a fantastic place to enjoy cider at any time of year, view our list of cider pubs in the city, or view a map to the Orchard Pub.

Moved into a new house with an apple tree? Or need to know if you can make cider from the apple tree growing in your garden or field?

Now you can get any apple identified by two organisations offering identification services:

Send three well-formed apples, with a couple of leaves preferably, packed carefully to avoid being crushed.

You will then be sent back the name of your apple variety within a month.

Visit the sites listed for the postal address and costs for identification.

Here is a list of the basic equipment for Cider Making, you can get these items from any good home-brew shop or even ebay for a job lot.

  • Sterilising and cleaning: Sodium metabisulphite and nylon long handled bottle brush
  • Washing: Plastic tub or dustbin – to wash apples
  • Scratting: Sturdy plastic bucket and timber for crushing apples
  • Pressing: Cider press with medium mesh nylon bag
  • Fermentation: 1 gallon demijohns or 5 gallon plastic vessels
  • Fermentation: Fermentation locks, ‘bubbler’ type
  • Fermentation: Hydrometer
  • Racking off: 2 metre clear plastic tubing

The Apple boat in Bristol has fast become a popular cider haven in Bristol docks.

This converted Dutch barge is championing the produce of cider makers in the south west.

The Apple may no longer be able to sell this world-class locally produced Cider, please take a few seconds to sign the petition and forward the link to everyone you know who values The Apple and Real Cider.

Sign the petition

An old, but very comprehensive guide to finding cider is on the Independent newspaper web site.

Starting off with this statement

The Wurzels couldn’t get enough of it and Julius Caesar liked a tipple, too. Cider may be seen as an English drink, but discovers its appeal stretches from France and Spain to as far afield as South Africa and the US

Where exactly is cider country?

For our purposes, wherever cider’s the traditional tipple. Cider is now made all over the world from Oregon to Cape Town (the cider market in South Africa is the second biggest in the world after the UK). However, to experience traditional cider-making you should head for Herefordshire, Somerset, Normandy in France or Asturias in Spain.

The best place to start is in Somerset

Somerset has the greatest number of registered farmhouse cider-makers in England. Most are found around the fringes of the Levels, a flat land of big skies and big floods wedged between the Mendips, Quantocks and Blackdown Hills. Certain areas produce particularly good cider, and in Somerset these are located around Wedmore, Glastonbury and Martock.

Enter Roger Wilkins

Roger Wilkins

Roger Wilkins. Photo credit: Jonathan Latimer

For a good introduction to traditional Somerset cider, call on Roger Wilkins (01934 712385), whose farm sits on a sheltered slope in Mudgley south of Wedmore. In the business for 45 years, Wilkins is a well-known character among Somerset producers and in his unkempt barn he offers nothing but traditional scrumpy from the barrel (medium or dry). In summer there’s often a gathering of locals enjoying a glass of the deliciously fruity cider while they wait to fill up their containers to take home.

It then goes onto travelling farther afield to look at ciders in France, Spain and America.

Definitely worth a read if you are a newcomer to cider, or if you want to learn more about international ciders. Read the full article