The last time I wrote anything in this blog was in 2016! Of course when this website went up I was going to contribute every month. Clearly that has proved completely unrealistic but maybe I will start from today again with renewed determination.
The intervening 3 years have not been idle ones and to try and catch up with everything in one blog would be impossible. Suffice to say that as of Tuesday May 16th 2019 cider’s journey continues at an ever increasing pace and with continued rise in sales and interest for whatever you might term the cider that we make, #rethinkcider has been born. CiderCon in the USA continues to impress and develop. A wonderful piece from Olivia Maki in Malus, a USA cider fanzine, has reminded us all that we must take care with the language we use and so the use of the word “heritage” is now so tarnished that alternatives must be found. Malus has inspired the arrival of Graftwood and Full Juice in the UK. Cider in print, surely another sign of the increasing interest in cider and it’s terroir, this agricultural product is taking orchardists, makers, blenders, chefs, bar tenders, sommeliers, merchants and distributors on a journey of discovery. In the wake of this revolution comes the consumer, with their mis conceptions about cider fuelled by inappropriate marketing over the years. We must be and are engaged in a long term discussion about cider which at it’s best is the perfect drink to pair with food at the table and at it’s widest point, the most interesting and satisfying of all long drinks.
Currently on tour with The Proclaimers, I bumped into Stu McKinlay of the Yeastie Boys in Wellington airport on Monday and that prompted me because he featured in my last blog, savouring and blending the delights of tannic vintage cider back in January 2016.
Last night being Wednesday May 15th 2019 in the UK and Thursday May 16th in Brisbane, Australia where I am today, I got a phone call from the Ciderologist, chair of the judges, to say that Oliver’s had won The Champion Cidermaker’s Cup at The Museum of Cider in Hereford’s Annual International Competition. Always pleased for everyone associated with Oliver’s with results like this but we relish this competition especially because every entry is a cider that can be bought in our shop. Albeit a few need labelling and the Dry “Writers” Perry needs bottling. No smoke and mirrors just cider and perry that you can buy everyday on line or in our shop or from the esteemed merchant of cider Felix Nash or Alice at The Real Al Company.
Coming up in a few weeks time is the Cider Salon #2 in Bristol on June 8th with many associated fringe events. Have a look at what is on offer and come and join some of the more impassioned cider makers from around the world who give up so much of their time and put so much energy into this intoxicating drink, born of the land and made from apples.
Oliver’s have the pleasure of celebrating the Salon with my great friend and wonderful cider maker Ryan Burk from The Angry Orchard Innovation Ciderhouse in Walden, New York with dinners in Bristol on Saturday night June 8th and up in Hereford on Sunday June 9th.