Saturday, 19 February 2011

Catching up - Again!

Where did the time go...?

Well here we are in 2011 and I see that the last time I scribbled anything on here was back in November 2010...

So what's happened since? Well, snow and lots of it, of course, which caused us major problems of frozen fruit, burst pipes on the water-feed to the cider-shed and worst of all, a shattered valve and tap on our water-heater in the washing and cleaning area of the cider-shed. The latter took a lot of time and expense to repair and replace, and stopped us dead. All is fixed now so we are up and running again.

We let some of our cider out to two festivals in February this year - way too early of course, but folks want it, so... The first was one box we sent out to the Chesterfield Beer Festival where it seems to have had a hit-and-miss reception - as we expected to be honest, with it being so young. However, over the weekend of the 11th - 12th February, we agreed to sort out some cider for the Hucknall Beer Festival & Farmer's Market, the first after an absence of seven years.

Rather then get the usual rubbish of national "ciders" often seen at small festivals, I wanted to match the beers, virtually all LocAle to Hucknall, that were being sorted by the good folk at Nottingham CAMRA. So I thought I'd see if the local folk were up for some Local and East Midland's cider and perry...? 

The East Midlands Ciders on sale at the Hucknall Beer Festival.

My first call was to Mark and Karen at Rockingham Forest Cider to see if they had anything I could beg...? I was offered a 2009 cider made with Worcestershire-grown cider apples and a 2009 single-variety 'Malvern Hills' perry. Perfect! To this I added a box of our popular "Floppy Tabs" cider made from a blend of Nottinghamshire-grown dessert apples and a box of our "Sheep Wash" cider which is also made with Nott's grown apples, with a good dash of tannic crab-apples thrown in.   

We opened at 11am on Friday 11th and by 7pm all of the Torkard cider was gone, quickly followed by the Rockingham Forest cider. The perry held out until closing time due to the mouth-drying tannic after-taste which we thought was great but was perhaps a little too stringent for the locals. So I had to get up early the next day and fill another 3 x 20L boxes of cider: two "Floppy Tabs" and another "Sheep Wash". These too were emptied very quickly and all had gone by 8pm on the saturday. I think that is known as a Sell Out.

We were very pleased by all of the great comments and positive feedback about the ciders - even the vicar liked our "Floppy Tabs" - and we hope to be involved in the planning and running of the 2012 Hucknall Beer Festival. Oh the beers? Well they all sold out as well - by about 9pm!  

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