The Jolly Judge is hosting a Real Cider Festival on Wednesday 15th of July to Tuesday 21th of July

After the huge success of our spring cider festival, The Jolly Judge will be hosting its annual summer real cider and perry festival.

The festival will feature over 25 different ciders and perries from Gwatkin, Gwynt Y Ddraig, Hecks, Olivers, Cairn O’ Mhor, Thistly Cross, Westons and many more still to be confirmed.

For over six years the Jolly Judge has been in the estimable position of being one of the few pubs in Edinburgh to actively promote real draught cider on a permanent basis, and with great success. This will be our eighth festival and hopefully, with your discerning assistance, the best so far.

We believe that this will be a unique event that will offer a chance for the Edinburgh public and visitors to experience an expertly selected and diverse range of ciders not normally available in the capital.



The team behind iconic east London pub Sebright Arms and The Miller in Bermondsey is excited to announce London’s largest cider Festival – coming to both venues in July.

Ciderdog will be held in East London for the first time for Shoreditch and Hackney cider lovers at Sebright Arms on Saturday 4 July. The festival will return for the third year to The Miller one week later on Saturday 11 July.

cider dog

Ciderdog at Sebright Arms will feature in excess of 40 British ciders including Black Dragon, Burrow Hill, Broome Farm, and Tumpy Ground. A huge variety will be represented from very sweet to bone dry. Award winners will appear alongside single varieties as well as blends, cloudy scrumpy, whisky and rum barrel aged, perry from 100-year-old trees and cider mixed with berries, elderflower, lemons, ginger and honey. The full range of more than 100 ciders will be available at The Miller. Ciders have been supplied by independent producers from across the UK and will feature alongside cider cocktails and a selection of London brewed ales.

Entry is free and all festival beers and ciders will be exceptionally good value at £3 per pint.

ciderdog flyer

Ahh, Springtime in Sussex – can only mean one thing – the largest cider and beer event on the South Coast – The Sussex Cider and Beer Festival.

It was my pleasure this year to be on the judging panel for the regional ciders that were submitted by 16 cider makers across the counties of Surrey, and East and West Sussex.

5 ciders were sampled between 3 groups, including the organisers of the Brighton Food Festival and Chris from Hallet’s Cider.

It was a mouth watering task, and great to have a team to bounce ideas off. However, it the ciders were graded on our personal tastes. On the following criteria – Aroma, Initial taste, finish / aftertaste, and personal enjoyment.

I would recommend you keep a note of ciders that you are trying, and mark out of 10 using this system. It’s really beneficial and will make you assess and understand the qualities of ciders and perries that are right for you. After all..

Don’t forget what may be one persons dry cider, may be someones elses medium!

My personal favourite ciders from this area are Oakwood ciders from Robertsbridge (who won last at years festival), and Wild Thing from Portslade. Both full of flavour, and very memorable, and they really stand apart from the crowd, which was the case for this tasting. They are also generally the first to sell out at the Sussex and South downs festivals respectively.

The overall winners of the 2015 cider competition at Sussex Beer Festival were:

1st – Village Green Cider ‘Medium Cider’
2nd – Portslade ‘Medium Wild Thing Cider’
3rd – Black Pig Orchard ‘Medium Dry Cider’

You will be able to taste these ciders at the next county Cider festival at Lewes in June. Otherwise get down to Middle Farm, where you’ll find them at the National collection of cider and perry.

It is great that others are enjoying the time and enthusiasm that goes into making Village Green Cider

Looking forward to showing some of CAMRAs cider drinkers around the cider house and the additional publicly and new drinkers the Village Green Cider will now have.

Ben Fairall, owner of Village Green Cider

We don’t need an excuse to visit the beautiful and grand venue of Stanmer House, near Brighton.

It’s based in Stanmer village which has an old Sussex feel, a great start, or finish to an adventure in the South Downs National Park.

Aspall's My wife and I attended an evening at Stanmer House hosted by the Suffolk cider maker Aspall. 8 generations of family members have hand crafted cyder in the market town of Debenham. I know of 6 generations of family members like Heck’s in Somerset, but I think to my knowledge, Aspall are the oldest craft cider makers in the UK.

The evening was intriguing as we were asked to compare how the wine and cider’s that we were tasted either complemented the food, or otherwise. There were about 20 people in the room, mostly wine drinkers.

So how did the Real Cider compare with the already established food and wine matching?

First up was scallops as a starter – we had the Aspall draught cider which really energised the pallette and the fruit taste brought out the seafood flavours. A genuine still real cider, a mixture of Eastern county bittersweet apples and West Country cider apples.

A memorable experience and great start! We also had a white wine which was far too acidic, and destroyed the delicate tastes from the scallops.

Imperial-Vintage-500ml-BottleThen main course, sliced duck fillet with a fruit gravy. Of course the wine choice was a rich red wine. Which, for me, numbed the pallette and striped the mouth of any flavours from this meal.

The cider on the other hand, the Imperial Vintage which was a pleasure to sip – a dry start with a sweet mellow finish. Enjoyed in a wine glass, and the ambience of Stanmer House – a strong contender and winner for me here.

Then an assortment of rich deserts, where we had a desert wine and a fruit cider containing redcurrant and blackberries, Isabel’s berry. Both complemented the deserts, and it really was a close match here, and I would say would depend on your own preference for sweetness, and whether you like sparkling or still. The berry was like a desert itself, floral and moorish. I can imagine this will be a popular drink this summer time.

The overall winner of the evening

.. was Cider, getting double the number of votes to wine. 24 to 12 respectively. Even the long standing wine fans were swayed by the apple!

All in all, a great event and a great opportunity to learn and enjoy Aspall’s fine ciders.

If you are in Brighton, look out for them on draught at Indigo pubs chains.