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What is the first thing that springs to mind when I say, “cider drinker”? A West Country lad, propped up on a bale of hay swigging from a jug of scrumpy?
The South West arguably do cider festivals pretty darn well – sometimes combining them with the harvest-homes, where you might stumble across country cider-drinking legends The Wurzels kicking up the corn. But there’s more to cider festivals than hay barns and hog roasts.
For a start, not all take place in the farm environment: you can sample your way through artisan ciders while strolling along beside the seaside at the likes of the Grand Pier Cider Festival; in historic grounds such as Nottingham Castle; in the midst of a national cycling centre as at the Manchester Beer & Cider Festival, or as part of a complete cider adventure, such as you find at the Welsh Cider Adventure (clue’s in the name).
Cider-making is an ancient practice; in fact it is so old its methods of production are documented on one of the earliest known written records, the Epic of Gilgamesh. Nowadays drinkers can find the most eye-watering, face scrunching home brews to sweet and fruity perries at cider festivals across the country.