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As you’d expect this review only includes thoughts and information about cider and perry at this years event.


Demand for real cider and perry continues to increase with new cider makers starting up throughout the UK every year – this was evident at GBBF last week with a fantastic selection of traditional west country and eastern counties ciders available at Earls Court, London.

Showcasing Britain’s most exciting cider makers

CAMRA‘s annual early-August event celebrates British drinking. With over 110 ciders and perries at the Great British Beer Festival this week, CAMRA showcased the largest selection of real cider and perry ever seen at the event.

The range included award winning ciders and perries from national gold medallists at the National Cider and Perry Championships, judged at the Reading Beer Festival earlier in May, including Virtual Orchard cider.

Gwynt y Draig, Two Trees perry and Black Dragon cider were among the three fastest selling drinks in the first three days of the Festival. Great news for Welsh cider makers. Catch them at this weekends International Cider Festival.

John Lewis, Cider Bar Manager (great job) has been delighted with the increased interest in ciders and perries:

‘All our ciders are selling very well, appealing across all tastes from dry to sweet with a broad range of people of all ages enjoying the large selection.’

What you said about the cider on Twitter

We also had a good response of ‘cider heads’ live tweeting their responses back to us on Twitter.

Cider bar training

As an added bonus this year, I had the pleasure of doing cider bar training with CAMRA’s Mick Lewis (chief cider head).

Mick guided us through what he defines as real cider and perry, following CAMRA’s guidelines. The group was made up of 10 people who were either starting to make their own cider, sell it at a cider event, or learn more about what makes a good cider.

The interesting aspect for me was the cider tasting, of course! where Mick explained you didn’t have to like them all, just appreciate the difference in the tastes by there location in the UK, and style of fermentation. We tasted around 12 ciders from all corners of cider land.

One aspect where the cider and perry selection should be applauded is supporting first time ciders at events. A great way of enjoying British apples all under one roof!

Photos from the event

Finally, here are some personal images of the event.

Hope you enjoy. If you did make it this year let us know what you thought by leaving your comments below. If you didn’t – hope to see you at the cider bar next year!

The cider and perry list has now been published on the Camra web site for this years Great British (Beer and) Cider Festival  – showcasing the selected cider and perries that will be available at the 5 day event in West London.

Recommended ones to taste

Great to see the Welsh ciders on show, representing not just West Country cider styles. I’m particularly looking forward to trying New Forest’s cider’s Kingston Black single varietal cider – a new line for them this year.

Also some new ciders from Cambridgeshire and Kent this year, cider makers over in this part of the UK use culinary apples that are more common here than true cider apples from the West country – which results in a clear, crisp and very pale cider. Some not for the faint-hearted at approx. 8% ABV!

View the full list online


On the site you can read the comments and reviews from other cider fans, and even create your own shortlist to print off and take to the event.

Hope to see you there!

I will be along for the tutored tasting session and also be helping a couple of afternoons, would love to meet you – so just ask for Jim Callender

Have you discovered the central London pub that has been awarded National Pub of the year by CAMRA this week?

If not, then we may have given you a very good excuse to go and hunt down this very traditional English boozer, offering a very good selection of traditional ciders from around the country.

The Harp pub, Covent Garden, London - in full bloom

CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year accolade recognises all the criteria that make a great pub, including atmosphere, decor, customer service, value for money, clientele mix, and most importantly, the quality of the cider.

Bridget Walsh, The Harp owner, tweeted me this week to share the selection of ciders and perries they have on:

Bridget also said:

‘This news came as a complete shock but of course we are delighted to be named CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year. We pride ourselves on the range and quality of our real ale and to be London’s first ever National Pub of the Year is a real honour. I would like to thank my locals, CAMRA members and particularly my brilliant staff, who made this a real team effort.’

Visit the pub to check out their fine selection of ciders:

The Harp, 47 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4HS. Tel. 020 7836 0291,

Agree, disagree with CAMRA’s choice – let us know by leaving your thoughts in teh comments below.

View the full press release at CAMRA.

Ye Olde Cider Bar, Newton Abbott, Devon

Newton Abbot landlord Richard Knibbs, licensee of Ye Olde Cider Bar in East Street, has received the National Pomona Award.

The award was made by the Campaign for Real Ale, who also campaign for real cider. CAMRA’s annual Pomona Award is named after the Roman Goddess of apples and is presented to the person, place or thing that has done the most to promote real cider or perry in the last 12 months or for their ongoing outstanding work in this field.

The award was in recognition of Mr Knibbs dedication to real cider and perry over the last 40 years.

Pomona Award winner Richard Knibbs said:

“I am absolutely delighted to win this award for my passion and dedication towards real cider over the last 40 years. I am also very pleased that CAMRA supports this wonderful, traditional drink. I am a person who does not like change and this is why the Cider Bar has been kept the same over the years with real cider being the core product sold.”

Ye Olde Cider Bar is one of the West country’s finest cider houses, selling only farmhouse cider. If you are in South Devon and fancy a pint of the good stuff, you will be in ‘award winning’ hands!

Link to CAMRA 2010 Pomona press release

CAMRA Toasts Greater Availability of Real Cider Across Britain (they are not all from the South West!)

More than 550 pubs affiliate to new Real Cider* promotion in first 12 months

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, as part of their Cider Month celebrations in October, has today raised a toast to more than 550 pubs that have signed up to a scheme that helps their outlet promote they sell ‘Real Cider’ to passing trade.

The main aim of CAMRA’s Real Cider initiative, which was launched 12 months ago in last year’s Cider Month, is to help pubs increase trade by advertising they serve Real Cider using a simple window sticker expressing ‘Real Cider is Sold Here’.

Andrea Briers, CAMRA’s Cider & Perry Campaigning Chair said, “We are delighted with the success of this simple campaign. In just 12 months, more than 550 pubs have signed up to our Real Cider promotion.”

Achieving accreditation to this scheme is simple. Pubs that serve one or more draught real ciders, according to CAMRA’s definition*, all year round, are asked to visit CAMRA’s website and list a selection of the Real Ciders they have sold in the past 12 months. These are then checked by CAMRA, accreditation is awarded and windows stickers are issued.

Andrea Briers continued, “There has been a huge demand for Real Cider at CAMRA’s beer festivals in recent years and more pubs are now homing in on this success. With almost 40 pubs closing every week, campaigns like this help pubs differentiate themselves from other pubs. By affiliating to the scheme and displaying to passing trade you sell Real Cider in your pub, you are opening your doors to more new customers who are searching for a drop of the real stuff!”

“They are not all from the South West!” Despite 17% of the pubs that are affiliated to the scheme being located in the South West of England, an area traditionally known for producing and selling cider, there are plenty of pubs offering Real Cider from all of the other regions of the UK.

Number of Pubs per Region that have affiliated to CAMRA’s Real Cider promotion:

  • South West – 94
  • Yorkshire – 73
  • Surrey & Sussex – 67
  • Greater London – 43
  • Central Southern – 43
  • North East – 42
  • East Anglia – 32
  • Merseyside, Cheshire & North Wales – 29
  • East Midlands – 27
  • West Midlands – 25
  • Kent – 22
  • Wessex & Channel Isles – 20
  • West Pennines – 11
  • Greater Manchester – 8
  • South & Mid Wales – 8
  • Scotland & Northern Ireland – 7

Please visit for a full list of affiliated pubs by region.

Briers said, “To have pubs accredited to the Real Cider scheme from all regions is very pleasing. This goes to show that pubs all across Britain, and not just typical cider heartlands, are now realising what Real Cider can do for the pub’s business. We would like to encourage more pubs to consider signing up to this scheme. Of course, offering Real Cider may not work for everyone but if the pub sells a lot of the cold, gassy ciders like in the majority of pubs then why not see if your consumers would like to enjoy a pint of Real Cider instead. I think they will be pleasantly surprised!”

Link to original CAMRA press release

CAMRA’s National Cider and Perry Championships 2010 in Reading featured 24 ciders and 24 perries, selected from different regions of the UK.

The ciders and perries are assessed on factors such as aroma, flavour, overall balance and finish by a judging panel consisting of publicans, drinks writers and CAMRA members.

Delighted at the news of the cider competition, Barnaby Butterfield of Sandford Orchards cider, said:

‘I’m staggered, as we’ve been making cider by artisan methods for many years, and we always endeavour to use old fashioned methods. It’s having this recognition that makes all the hard work worth it – I’m totally gobsmacked!’

On hearing the results of the perry competition, Dereck Hartland of
Hartlands, said:

‘It’s wonderful news, and to say I’m delighted is an understatement. I can retire a happy man and it’s the highlight of my year!’

Andrea Briers, CAMRA National Cider and Perry committee chairman, praised
the quality of this year’s entrants. She said:

‘The competition today brought out a wide range of tastes and aromas, and was a real showcase for the craft cider and perry industry. CAMRA just hopes that any future Government puts in place measures that will protect this historic industry, and ensure these award winning producers are able to continue producing such quality.’


  1. GOLD – Sandford Orchards, Cider (Crediton, Devon)
  2. SILVER – Gwynt y Ddraig, Black Dragon (Llantwit Fardre, South Wales)
  3. BRONZE – Pickled Pig, Porker’s Snout (Stretham, Cambridgeshire)


  1. GOLD – Hartlands, Farmhouse Perry (Tirley, Gloucestershire)
  2. SILVER – Rathays, Brandy (Sutton St Nicholas, Herefordshire)
  3. BRONZE – Ralph’s, Old Badland Perry (New Radnor, Powys)

View previous years winners of ciders and perries –