All posts tagged: Cider Pubs in UK

You have decided which ales you want to stock in your pub, but how do you now promote them?

In a competitive market an exciting good quality range of ales can be a key tool in helping you win and keep customers, but unless you tell them what you are selling now, and in the future, why should they come to your pub?

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Here’s a few ideas that might help?

  • Train your staff to have a basic knowledge of the cask ales you sell. In much the same way you would expect the staff in a quality wine outlet to know about the wines they stock, so a good cask pub should have staff who can show the same knowledge and passion for cask ale.
  • Advertise that you sell good quality cask ales – use chalkboards inside and outside the pub to promote ales of the week/month, network within the cask ale community, and use social media. The power of tools like Twitter, Facebook and Perfect Pint should not be underestimated in advertising both your pub and your range of ales. Likewise, a website (not matter how simple) is a vitally important tool to help sell your pub to customers. We are happy to discuss how to help with websites and social media marketing.
  • Sampling is a great way to encourage your customers to try different cask ales. At the very least let people try the ale before ordering, why not consider using third of a pint sample platters. Allowing sampling demonstrates your confidence in your full range of cask ales.
  • Take advantage of existing national promotions such as the annual Cask Ale week to promote cask ale, and in turn promote your business to a wider audience.
  • Your food menu provides a fantastic opportunity to introduce your customers to new and exciting beer and food matches. We think a great introductory book, which touches on this subject and all things beer, is Melissa Cole’s “Let me tell you about beer” (click to learn more).
  • Consider running your own real ale festivals to create interest and drive footfall, thereby increasing sales and hopefully winning a raft of new customers.

Nick is an IT Professional and a keen cider enthusiast based in Bristol. He has recently started sharing his thoughts on cider through his blog called ‘The Cider Blog’ (theciderblog.wordpress.com).

Here are his responses to our questions for cider drinkers:

  1. How did your love of cider start?
    Back in the early 2000’s, myself and a few friends got into cider mainly through Wetherspoons and in particular the Westons Old Rosie they had sold. From tasting that, I got hooked and i wanted to try more and more cider, and in particular different things to broaden my horizons. My cider experience got completely thrown wide open upon moving to Bristol in 2005. I soon discovered The Apple and The Cori Tap pubs and the rest is history as they say.
  2. What’s your favourite place to drink cider?
    Pretty much anywhere! A BBQ, cosy little pub, round a friends house/my house or even a cider festival. Wherever i can get proper cider, i will drink it!
  3. What’s your favourite cider, and why?
    It’s a really tough question to pick just one. Cider is so versatile, that there is one for me for every type of occasion and even mood. My cider palate is probably leaning more towards the medium/dry end, and for me, scrumpy/farmhouse cider definitely rules my cider world! I just love and appreciate pretty much any cider that is made in the traditional way(s).

  4. What makes cider so special, compared to other drinks?
    It’s a 100% (or as close as possible) natural drink that feels really good to drink and it is not pumping you full of chemicals, like you get with nearly every other drink out on the market. It just puts a smile on my face no matter how down i may feel and a real good pick-me-up. As i have mentioned previously, there is a cider out there for any occasion. With real cider, not every pint of the cider is exactly the same, which also adds to the excitement and pleasure of drinking it. I can’t think of any other drink that even comes close to matching it.

  5. What’s the perfect accompanient to enjoy your cider, special mug, cheese, pickles?
    There’s a few things that work so well with cider for me; they are cheese, pork scratchings, hog roast and pickled eggs. The pig and the apple were always meant to be together, so it’s definitely a natural combination that works a treat.

Recently I tweeted out for people to share their pubs cider boards, after a recent visit to Bristol to find this amazing selection, in the CAMRA award winning Orchard Inn.

We had a great response, cider boards from Dorset to Huddersfield were shared with us.

The photos below show a mouth watering selection, and proving that landlords who want to champion real ciders, and support cider makers have a fantastic selection to choose from. Proving that you don’t always have to attend a cider festival to enjoy a seasonal selection of craft ciders and perries.

If you want real cider delivered to your door check out The Buy Cider store.

Can your pub can do any better?

Leave your message and photos in the comments box below.

Cider selection at the Orchard Inn, Bristol

Cider selection at the Red Lion, Swanage

Cider selection at the Rat and Ratchet, Huddersfield

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, www.harpcoventgarden.com

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

View the full press release at CAMRA.

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 www.camra.org.uk/ciderstickers 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 www.camra.org.uk/ciderpubs 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

As National Cider Pub of the Year 2009, the Orchard Inn will be the first pub to be accredited as part of a new initiative from CAMRA.

As the number of UK pubs selling real cider and perry continues to increase, CAMRA is introducing a real cider sticker initiative to inform consumers where real cider is being sold. CAMRA hopes the scheme will make it easier for drinkers to recognise a cider pub, and give support for such pubs at a time when many are looking to diversify in order to offer something new to their customers.

Andrea Briers, Chair of CAMRA’s Cider and Perry Committee, will be placing the first-ever ‘Real Cider Sold Here’ sticker in the window of the Orchard Inn on October 1st, but is keen to stress that any pub serving real draught cider or perry all year round is eligible for this accreditation from CAMRA.

Briers said:

If a pub is serving real cider all year round, and it is of a good and consistent quality, we encourage them to contact us, as we’d like to do everything we can to drive custom towards their pub. This accreditation scheme is all about showcasing the availability of real cider, increasing sales of real cider and supporting pubs at a time when 52 are closing nationally per week.

For more information on the scheme, please visit the CAMRA website.