From when I was a kid I loved my pop music and indeed “pop music” has pretty much kept me afloat. 
When it comes to being from Herefordshire, of the bands to emerge from the local talent pool, one was The Pretenders, of which more at some stage, but the first up were Mott the Hoople. 
Their eventual lead singer, was Ian Hunter. IH recently celebrated his 75th birthday and ended a recent interview with Esquire magazine by saying “I’ve stayed fresh and vital because my head is full of tomorrow. I’m always writing something new. If you just sit around thinking, you’d go crazy. I even get bored doing “When I’m President” now. (his most recent album). The last thing doesn’t matter. For me? It’s always got to be the next thing.”
When am I getting round to something to do with cider you ask yourself?
Well here goes. 
It is these words that will ring in my head everytime i hear another argument about what cidermakers should and should not do, about what cider is and is not.
There are all sorts of criteria that might dictate your arguments and reasoning. Whether you pay duty, VAT, employ people, are convinced that 100% fresh pressed juice is the only way, that tradition and heritage must dictate the present, any other additions whether fruit or not are an abomination, the consumer does not know what a good cider is, the ingredients are all that matters, the end taste is all that matters, duty rates inhibit innovation etc. etc. 
I think though that Ian Hunter has helped me see a way through this quagmire. 
In order to keep the buzz going, keep making great (quality) “cider”, keep looking for new ways to engage the consumer, whether new tastes, packaging or matching with food. But it is always the next thing, no resting on any non existent laurels, just onto the next blend, making cider the way you need to make it in order to sell it, drink it, market it, the way you believe is the best way. Your way, not THE way, just your way.
We want this wonderful world of cider to blossom and flourish and for it to be possible to make a living from craft cider making. Please don’t put a noose round real ciders neck.

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