When I moved to England in the late 80’s I was taken to my first beer festival. At the time I didn't drink beer so I found myself at the cider bar and it was a revelation. Having spent years drinking the standard fizzy cider that was available in pubs I discovered a drink that tasted of apples and you could taste the flavours coming through from the fruit. I also discovered the variety of drinks that were available. I quickly learnt that very few pubs sold real cider and that the only place that I could guarantee being able to find it was at the larger CAMRA beer festivals so I joined to find out where the festivals were and started travelling to those which were easy to get to.
Thankfully we now live in a very different world. We have seen the number of cider producers increase in recent years so many areas now have a cider producer somewhere nearby. Most beer festivals now sell real cider and perry, with even the smaller ones having a small selection. There are also a lot more pubs with at least one available and many stocking a good range. If you search for pubs that sell real cider in your county on the Whatpub website, you are given a choice of pubs. It is even possible to arrange cider crawls of larger towns and cities.
May is one of CAMRA’s cider campaigning months so, now that it is easier to find in pubs and at beer festivals, why not take the opportunity to try some real cider or perry and discover the variety of flavours that you can find in these drinks.
CAMRA has celebrated cider and perry during the month of October for a number of years now and, this year, we are introducing a second opportunity to celebrate this traditional drink in the month of May.
May might seem a strange time to celebrate a drink made from apples and pears but there is some logic in the timing. May is a time when the apple and pear trees in our orchards are in blossom and, without the orchards and tree blossom, we wouldn’t have the fruit to make the ciders and perries that are on offer throughout the year. Unfortunately many of the old traditional orchards have disappeared over the years but, thankfully, in recent years producers have started to plant new trees to keep the tradition of cider and perry production alive.
May is also the time when the juice that was pressed the previous year has fermented through and is ready to drink. Real ciders and perries differ from the more industrial products available in that they are not fizzy and the flavours of the fruit used in their production come through in the final product. So why not take the opportunity to visit some of the many pubs which now offer real cider or perry and give them a try. Check out our Liverpool Cider Pub Map for a cider pub crawl round the Georgian/University area of the city.
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