Archive for Event Reviews

Bristol Cider Shop Cider & Sausage Festival 2012 @ The Gryphon Review

Address: The Gryphon, 41 Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5AP

Date: 5th & 6th May 2012

Date Visted: 5th & 6th May 2012

Review:

After a rather amazing day at the Reading Beer & Cider Festival the day before, I was in the mood to carry on my cider drinking in the same fashion, which is where the Bristol Cider Shop Sausage & Cider Festival came in to save the day (and the weekend!) perfectly.

The concept of the festival is simple and yet effective. There are lots of sausages and lots of cider…..what more could you possibly want?!?! The choice of venue is possibly not for everyone’s taste, as it is in a metal pub, but I think it adds to the charm of it.

Unfortunately this time I didn’t get to sample the sausages, as they had sold out before I got there on Friday evening, but the choice of cider was yet again top notch. There was a good range of cider which included anything from the very sweet to the very dry and everything else inbetween. My only down point I would say is it sometimes felt a little cramped at times. This was purely down to them not expecting as many people to turn up as they did I guess! Fingers crossed for a larger venue for the next one and let this good cider festival grow! Whenever the next one is planned, then you can guarantee I will have to visit at some point and it is a cider festival not to miss.

Some ciders sampled:

Burrow Hill – ‘Alf and ‘Alf Ross-On-Wye – Balls Bittersweet Dunkertons – Perry
Millwhites – Rum Cask Dunkertons – Organic Cider Orgasmic Cider Company – Brown Snout
Severn Cider – Somerset Redstreak Perrys – Vintage Reserve Butford Organics – Medium

Session Times:

Sat 5th May: 12pm-12am

Sun 6th May: 12pm-12am

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18th Reading CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival 2012 Review

Address: Kings Meadow, Napier Road, Reading, RG1 8BN

Review

After having an amazing time at Reading last year, it would be rude to not see if it could live up to it again this year, right? So off I booked my train tickets with a few days to spare in advance and I was like a kid waiting for Christmas until the big day arrived.

The journey up on the Friday flew by as I was looking through the cider list and picking out a mixture of ciders and perries I wanted to try. All in all I had an ambitious target of around 20 I wanted to try from different corners of the country and also trying to try ciders from the guys I chat with on Twitter. It’s not often I get to try ciders from say the far north, so this was a damn good opportunity to do so.

When I got there the queues were fairly non-existent (I heard the Saturday was packed though!) and I went straight on in to the huge marquee that was holding all that beautiful cider and perry. After getting a drink in I met up with Paul (AKA scrumpydrinker) and his other half, who would end up being my cider drinking companions for the day.

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Bristol Cider Shop Cider Making Trip To Herefordshire Review

Address: Bristol Cider Shop, 7 Christmas Steps, Bristol, BS1 5BS

Date Visted: 24th September

Review:

Having read in the latest Bristol Cider Shop newsletter about the launch of their cider making day trips to Herefordshire, I thought I would pop on down and see what it was all about with my friend Emily (from Bristol Bites fame). After previously having been on a cider making course run by Peter Mitchell (Cider Academy), this was not a new experience for me, but I was just seeing how things would compare.

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Bishopton Supper Club: Cider Dinner Review

Address: Bishopston, Bristol
Date: 19th August 2011

Review:

Bishopston Supper Club is a wonderful little supper club, which is run by a lovely friend of mine called Danielle, in her home up in Bishopston, Bristol. The basic concept is to have a quality meal out, meet new people and all done within the confines of a homely environment. I’m not really a ‘foodie’, so I don’t always appreciate a fancy meal, but when I saw there was a cider dinner (with the cider supplied by Bristol Cider Shop) coming up I just had to jump at the chance. Food & cider is surely onto a winner, especially as it wasn’t long ago being my birthday?!?!

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International Craft Cider Festival 2011 Review

Address: Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Gelligaer Road, Nelson, Treharris, CF46 6ER

Date: 12th-14th August 2011

Date Visted: 12th-14th August

Review:

The International Craft Cider Festival has been a festival that has been on my cider radar for a long time now. From the moment I heard about it and then finding it coincided with my birthday weekend, it was something I just had to go to. With it being about craft cider, then how could I pass up an amazing opportunity like that?!?

One of the first things I had noticed about the location when we got there was just how out of the way it was. Not in the sense that it is in the middle of no where (there was civilisation!), but more to do with the fact it wasn’t near a big town/city and was a little off of the beaten track. I think this added to the charm of it, as you were surrounded by Llancaiach Fawr Manor, which seemed like a nice manor.

The grounds were huge and had ample space for camping/parking, music stage and the cider tents. The layout just seemed to work, even if I did nearly go round the one way parking system the wrong way! I blame it being early and the signs not being up for the one way system. Or maybe I was just tired. No one was harmed in that though!

All the food served from the stalls, by the music stage, was of good quality and not something that just seemed to be rushed out at a cheap cost. My personal favourite was the curry from Samosaco; the curry in a naan bowl was just inspired. It reminds me of when I was in Latvia and they had soup served in a carved out loaf of bread. It just goes down well in my opinion and a nice little novelty too.

The indoor market stall was definitely worth a look too. There were lots of nice chutneys and cheeses amongst other things. I bought a lovely cider mug, even though it wasn’t cheap, it felt a good quality one to drink my cider from. The highlight of the indoor market for me was the jerkys. This was nothing like the standard jerkys you get in a supermarket, but proper flavoursome ones.

My only gripe with the food was the lack of an early morning breakfast option. The likes of the guys selling bacon and eggs could have made a killing if they had opened before 11am or 12pm. We did have a bacon or sausage sandwich in the café at the manor, but I wasn’t necessarily best impressed with it. It was alright but nothing special.

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7th Bristol Cider Festival 2011 Review

Address: Brunel’s Old Station, Clock Tower Yard, Temple Meads, Bristol, BS1 6QH

Date: 5th-6th August 2011

Date Visted: 6th August (Evening Session)

Review:

One of the highlights of the Bristol cider calendar is the bi-yearly cider festival organised by Lilleys cider (CLS tickets). This is held at the Passenger Shed, right next to Bristol Temple Meads train station, which has fairly ample room for plenty of cider and cider drinkers.

This year saw the usual 4 bars stocked with 115 ciders from 17 different producers. If you have been more than once, then the same familiar names come up again and again, such as Broadoak, Gwynt y Ddraig and Mr Whiteheads. If you are a sweet cider drinker then head to bar 1, for all other cider tastes then head to any of the 3 other bars.

My first piece of advice if you want to get a table, then go early. I got there around 7:45pm and every table was taken, so like many others, we had to sit on the floor. This wasn’t a huge issue for me, but for others who like their comforts, then it’s something to bare in mind.

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The Great British Beer/Cider Festival 2011 Review

Address: Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA

Date: 2nd-6th August 2011

Date Visted: 4th August

Review:

Ah The Great British Beer/Cider Festival….the mecca for a real ale enthusiast, with hundreds of drinks to try, but how would it fare for the cider drinker?

The event is set at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, where it has been held for the past 6 years (2006-2011). My first impression of the inside of the venue was just how huge it was. Without the help of the map in the programme, navigating it would have been a struggle! There was 2 designated cider bars within, both of which were equally far apart from one another.

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