What we’re up to in October: Cider Season

We’ve decided it’s time to make a concerted effort to get our heads round cider which is why we’re declaring it the drink for us in October.

We reached this decision at The Orchard, one of Bristol’s best cider pubs with a long menu of examples of farmhouse scrumpy.

It frustrates us to be presented with so much choice and have so little clue.

We order almost at random and sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.

So, that’s our aim for the next few weeks: to try different makers, different styles, and form some Opinions.

We could read books – and maybe we will dip into the odd one – but this isn’t about hunting down world classics, it’s about knowing which of the products we’re likely to encounter in Bristol and around are worth ordering twice.

By way of a baseline, we’re going to make an effort to try and think about some of the big brands, too.

It also gives us a great excuse to visit or revisit all of Bristol’s cider pubs and understand better their traditions, rituals and history.

And who knows, we might even finally try a tin of Natch.

5 replies on “What we’re up to in October: Cider Season”

If you can get to wrington walled garden on Saturday they have a community cider pressing day with the on site cider producer barley wood orchard. Definitely worth trying to get to one of the many apple days this month to get a feel for things

I have always found the cider from Rich’s cider decent (I’m sure someone will shout me down!) but Rich’s medium is always a good option for my first pint of cider.

The Avon Packet has the full range of fizzy cider [on the assumption that “we’re going to make an effort to try and think about some of the big brands, too.” means fizzy] Thatchers Gold, Dry, Haze, Blackthorn dry and Natch on draught!! There’s normally so much good beer on in Bristol I don’t often touch the cider unless I really fancy one, but there are some good cider pubs around Bath/North Somerset.

will you have time for perry too? My favourite of the 2 orchard beverages. Only a few cidermakers produce it, it’s never a great commercial success, and so it is often a labour of love. A more consistent indicator of quality on a list of unknown producers. If you finish the month determined to investigate further, Susannah Forbes’ Cider Insider is very valuable. And don’t neglect snakebite. Surely the ultimate beer mix, and overdue a “craft” revival

Realistically, probably not. A month isn’t that long to attempt to get to grips with just cider.

You should read a book. Cider doesn’t take that long to get your hands around, but it’s a mistake to take beer brain into the endeavor. When I started writing about cider, I had to go through reprogramming to rid myself of hidden assumptions. If you’re going to spend a month on it, spending an hour thumbing through a book isn’t an onerous task. Pete Brown is a good place to start.

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