Beards & Beer Part 2: The Cider Selections

Bradford Beer Festival Programme

Following Liz’s review of the Bradford Beer Festival from a beer lover’s perspective, it seems only right to balance things out by providing a cider fan’s take on the proceedings.

Cider is, after all, often the forgotten sibling at these events – a token gesture of a couple of boxes of scrumpy perched on a dusty table in the corner somewhere.   In Saltaire Village Hall the cider stand is tucked away in the far left corner with the (rather dubious) fruit wines, but the selection is always extensive and impressive, and this year there were a number of new names on display to be tried and tested.

A welcome development in recent years at the beer festival has been the introduction of 1/3 pint measures, which is a headache saver for cider fans, whose tipples frequently veer into the 7%+ strength range. The friendly chaps at the stand are also happy to provide taster sips to help you make you mind up, so you can taste a good range of ciders without getting tipsy.

Wrist with age verified wrist bandOfficially verified to drink cider….

My standout favourite this year was Picker’s Passion by Hogan’s – a  still, golden straw coloured cider which was a very drinkable 5.3% and and  had a gentle appley taste with a slight sweetness and a hint of earthiness (which I think is what the tasting notes meant by ‘peaty undertones’).

A close second was the Tumbledown by Snailsbank ciders from Herefordshire – another light (5.2%) cider but this was slightly more amber and a little bit more tannin and acidity.

Neither are widely available (Hogan’s retails online and in some selected stores), but keep an eye out for them at your local real ale pubs.

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