1st May 20 1 0
Check out the latest line-up for Glastonburyâ€™s 40th Birthday!
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To rise or not to rise... The Wurzels discuss the budget. What kind of cider drinker are you? Find out inside!
Learn how to make our own cider!
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Richâ€™s Farmhouse Cider
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Fancy a taster?
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Many happy returns as Glastonbury turns 40!
To rise or not to rise?
Fancy a tour at Torre...
What kind of cider drinker are you?
Make your own cider!
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Rich’s Farmhous For a huge fan of cider, there is nothing better than trying new brands, flavours and strengths and what better way to do this than experiencing the cider making process and tasting it straight from the barrel, Lucy Needs gives us a taste. RICH”S CIDER FARM is one of the biggest we had so many pubs to deliver to! However, in the South West and has been making because of the recession and other mishaps over cider the traditional way for over 50 years. the last few years this is no longer the case.” The cider making process is a long one and Being a family run business when walking around and therefore a lot of patience is being given the guided tour, Martin Rich needed. The fermenting process spoke not only of the process but also “You could takes place after the apples have of his childhood and how he grew up on probably argue that been collected and pressed until the farm having worked there all his life. The farm, based at Watchfield has in fact our cider is all the juice has been retrieved. It is then placed into one of the three undergone many changes since its healthier than 10,000 gallon oak cider vats and is founder Gordon Rich started pressing left there for a minimum of three apples, although, it has always prided water!” months fermenting and collecting itself on producing traditionally made all it takes to make Rich’s taste. No cider using traditional Somerset cider apples and the original vintage machinery. When Gordon preservatives or yeast is added to the cider, it has Rich passed away the farm continued on working under been produced purely by apples and the 3 months it the command of Gordon’s wife Jan, who has helped takes to turn it from a juice to an alcoholic beverage. encourage the business and maintained its success. The farm, like many things today, has increased in size over the years and expanded their business selling their ciders to pubs up and down Somerset. In fact this year saw Rich’s sweet cider be awarded best sweet cider in the South West by ‘Top Traditional’ cider tasters. Situated just outside Bridgewater, Rich’s income was heavily influenced by the local pubs that first purchased regular batches of the cider. Bridegwater, back when the farm was first founded, was famous for its amount of pubs as it had the most amount of pubs per square mile than any town in the whole of the UK. Martin said: “Because of this I think you can see why the first Cider is poured fresh from the barrels. few years of the business where blooming because May CiderSet Page 4
se Cider Fellow employee Russell Salway said of the process: the cider has fermented and been distributed into “You could probably argue that in fact our cider is numerous barrels of all shapes and sizes, the cleaning healthier than water, because all we do is pick and of the vats is the next job and when cleaning them press the apples and the rest is left up to nature, unlike it has to be a two person job and not just because bottled water that has been purified by preservatives.” of the size. The cleaning process must be done in stages as the fumes from the vats Although, the process is not as easy after the cider has been removed, as it would appear and it is important “The fumes from the is so strong that it can kill you. to make sure that the right brands of With original ciders like apples are used because different vats after the cider has Scrumpy slowly on the decline types of apples produce different been removed, is so due to mainstream ciders like flavours and therefore the reliability strong that it can kill Strongbow and Blackthorn, of a decent batch can be rare and Rich’s main form of income has there has been occasions where full you.” become unstable, which brought batches of cider has had to be binned about the newest addition to because the taste is just not right. It is a very natural process even to the fact that the the cider farm, the Cider Press Restaurant. The apples used for the cider have not been picked but have restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner fallen, this is important because it means that the apples and offers a huge range of homemade cakes, are ready. The older the apples the better the taste of desserts, cream teas and a Carvery on Sunday. All the food at Cider Press has been produced by the cider and although bruised apples cannot be used to make apple juice, with cider, the bruising is what locally grown products produced by local farmers can create that sweet taste. But a process that appears which helps to provide visitors with a ‘true taste of to be an easy one, can be extremely dangerous. Once Somerset’, which has become the motto for Rich’s.
Below: Barrells in the shop enabling regulars to come for their re-fills.
(Left to right): Matin and Russell stand proudly in
Images: Lucy Needs
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The huge scale farm houses a small farm shop that serves vast amounts of products including; country fruit wine, liqueurs, real ales, locally made ice cream and locally made pottery. But it does not stop there, its host to wonderful days out and provides tours for visitors with free parking, a children’s play area and a vintage farm machinery museum. The tour itself is fantastic and rest assured that by the time you leave you will have been entertained by the likes of Martin Rich and Russell Salway and will know everything possible about the cider making process with a new found taste for ‘real’ cider. If you find yourself in Somerset and in the Highbridge area of Bridgewater, I suggest that Rich’s Cider Farm is definitely worth a look. The fact the it is a family run farm definitely shows through as the staff are all really friendly and welcoming. To book a tour of the cider farm call 01934 744127 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, opening times are Monday – Saturday 9am - 5pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm.
Proud employee: Russell looking incredibly minute next to one of the huge 10,000 gallon cider vats.
Proud employee: Martin stood next to the sorting machine which ensures stones are removed before press. Images: Lucy Needs
From (left to right): Company bottle logo, vintage Rich’s cider sign and apple sorting pool. May CiderSet Page 6
Fancy a taster? This May once again welcomes the Royal Bath and West show which provides us with annual Cider tasting competition, which, being the biggest in Britain, promises not to disappoint. Shepton Mallet sees the return of the Royal Bath and West show this coming month. The country’s finest live stock and tradesman travel to the show ground in order to provide us with the chance to experience what it is that makes this country great. With over 600 stalls, the National Cheese Awards and of course one of the UK’s biggest cider competitions this event is sure to provide entertainment for all young and old alike. With Gaymer’s Cider Company being a regular sponsor, the annual cider competition is the biggest in the country and is long awaited every year. Not only are you given the chance to taste traditional home-made ciders but there is also advice given to those who wish to give it a try with the opportunity to purchase the latest juicing equipment. Newest addition to this year’s Images: Somerset County Council
event is Ladies Day, which starts the wheel. The event is also home on Thursday 20rd May. This will to sheep shearing, farming for the see ladies of the South West be family, a floral marquee and an art given the chance pavilion to to be crowned best be marvelled dressed lady as well and enjoyed. as walking away Tickets cost with a VIP prize. from £20 Although, it doesn’t for adults stop there, you can and £6 for children, with under 5 years-old going free. Although there are saver tickets available with the family ticket (including 2 adults and 3 children 5-15 years) costing a mere £42.00, not too much for a fantastic family or friends day out! also try your chances at a best hat competition! For those who are after an adrenaline rush whilst relaxing in the summer time, there will be a 4x4 off road show that will be sure to excite your senses and provide you with the chance to be behind
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Many happy returns Michael Eavis himself. NEXT MONTH sees not only the their Somerset produced The festival offers an return of but the 40th birthday of dry, mediums and sweets. unbelievable range of tastes the world famous Glastonbury Around 178,000 fans will for music lovers up and down festival that brings people and set up camp on the 900 acres the country, with every single music together for of Worthy Farm in flavour including, dance, pop, Around 178,000 Somerset this June, one weekend only. rock, jazz, gospel as well as the Glastonbury festival fans will set up with an enormous opportunity to hear unsigned is the largest music camp on the 900 array of acts including bands and of course the and performing arts headliners, U2, Muse acres of Wor thy chance to experience the most event in the world and and Stevie Wonder. popular Somerset tipple, Cider. Farm in SomerThis epic weekend has set the standard for To catch a glimpse at any of many of the popular does not just include set this June the above ensure festivals to date. music, but One of the biggest a l s o “Your best memo- you get in line events of the year remains the a huge range of ries of the festival now, the festival is renowned for biggest cider seller as the public foods, drinks, and will be of the new its structure that take on the life of the country and market stools for things that have could perhaps only all those that attend drink it by the gallon particularly startled you with be recognised as with the return of the Somerset to feast upon. a mini city and cider bus which is now recognised This year also sees their brilliance.” definitely has as a Glastonbury festival icon. a change to The something for The Burrow hill invention of Jazz World stage everyone, Eavis says of the which is set to be re-named cider dispatch through a vintage festival “Your best memories double-decker bus has become West Holts, as a reminder of of the festival will be of the a regular feature at the festival what the field originated from new things that have startled and is never seen without a in the farms milking days, as you with their brilliance.” queue, serving in the thousands chosen by festival founder
From (left to right): A sight to behold, the millions of campers, a group of students enjoying the rarity of sunshine, as the sun sets ready for
Images: Lucy Needs
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To r i s e or not to rise ? Despite the first failed attempt the Wurzel’s are still fighting to hit the number one spot by May 6th as a protest against the budget. Last month saw them take part in a high profile internet campaign in order to re-ignite the success of their 1970’s hit ‘I am a cider drinker’. But the attempt fell flat when the song failed to get into the top 40. After the success of Jon and Tracy Morter’s Facebook campaign which saw X factor lose its Christmas number one for the first time in five years, Facebook attempted to repeat its success as a protest against chancellor Alistair Darling’s tax rise. But despite over 80,000 fans becoming a part of the group, it failed to sell enough copies to make the song chart. After the budget on March 24th cider duty saw a huge 10% increase adding an extra 10p to a pint of cider. This has not only caused outrage to pubs up and down the country but also to cider drinkers everywhere, who, after the recent recession saw an end to their enjoyment of a pint of cider. But, despite the fail the popular country and western group have lengthened the protest in an attempt to chart on the week of May 6th, which is Election Day. Wurzel’s front man Pete Budd has Image: Wurzel press
said of the protest; “The support has been great and we are glad to be a part of something that will help highlight the issue. I would expect no more from the west country.” Despite the fact that cider drinkers only cover a mere 1% of the drinking trade, this issue has highlighted that there are a lot more of us than first thought and we are all willing to protest against it. After all of the upheaval caused with the increase, the government have now decided to drop it, and although the Tories and the Lib-Dems welcome the move Labour have said that it will be re-introduced if they are to be elected. So, for the time being, the question as to the cost of your next pint of cider remains unanswered until then. With this in mind The Wurzel’s will continue their battle to reach the number one spot in May and have stated that if everyone who joined the campaign had of downloaded the song they’d have got to number one, as it was among the most downloaded songs on the internet the week of its release.
If the increase goes ahead than small cider farms that have been serving the South West for a minimum of 50 years would have to look at alternative possibilities of income as the 10% will see small business that rely on the trade be run out of business. Cider loyalist Rosie Davies, of Withycombe, Somerset said: “I am 100% behind all the campaigns to call of the increase, it is unfair to assume that cider’s the problem. I think it is awesome that so many people have got behind The Wurzel’s and have even gone to the extent of setting up their own political parties. It shows that we are dedicated to the fight, my fingers are crossed and the single is downloaded.” So, if you’re a fan of the odd pint of cider, particularly with the light summer nights creeping upon us then join the campaign and sing along with the Wurzel’s because even if the protest does not end as some would hope, all the royalties from the sales of the single will be donated to Sport Relief. May CiderSet Page 9
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Torre cider farm, based at the bottom of a valley in the South West, has been serving locally for over 20 years. Lucy Needs talks to Jill Gillman about what it takes to aquire the taste.
Images: Lucy Needs
SINCE ITS BEGINNING the farm has grown squeezed out it is heated above 35 degrees in order to and now not only provides a range of ciders kill off any yeast which is vital in the fermenting process. produced by apples of their own orchards but Jill Gillman, the owner and cider maker for Torre cider also has a successful tea rooms and animals farm has strong feelings about the recent budget, she for all visitors to explore, eat and said; “It will ruin small businesses like feed on a typical summer’s day “How is it that this because people just cannot afford with free admission. The farm is price increase, but most children carton apple juice the renowned for its video viewings do not come here, they binge on shop and live cider making expeditions does not ferment bought alcohol, not the real stuff.” and there is never a dull moment The farm are keen on recycling, with all and therefore turn in peak seasons, as the place the waste pulp from the press of the cider is busy with hustle and bustle alcoholic?” being used for animal feed and providing from both locals and travellers. Cynthia the Gloucester Old Spot pig and Regular visitor and helper, Keith Honey the Pygmy Goat with their tea for many a month. Payne, was on hand during my visit to help explain The shop offers a wide range of local delicacies from to me how the farm runs and why it is he prefers across Somerset including traditional cheddar, clotted homemade cider as opposed to shop bought. I was cream, honey and country wines, which can be served surprised to learn that although most of the apples used have been grown and brewed on the farm, in order to brew different tastes and strengths some apples are ordered, as apples provide different tastes when grown in different areas. Unlike shop bought fizzy cider, the cider brewed on the farm only includes natural sugars from the start of the brewing process in October until its ready between 6 – 9 months later. One question that I was dying to ask was how is it that carton apple juice does not ferment and therefore turn alcoholic? For which, the answer was simple. Apple juice is created from the first press, which once the juice has been fully May CiderSet Page 10
by the glass and cider poured in freshly from the As I sat down to enjoy their most popular cider barrel. Hugely popular throughout the summer the ‘tornado’ by name and nature I am led to believe farm tends to struggle through the winter months; as it stands at a high 8.4%, I am left chatting once although, for staff there is never again to life cider drinker Keith a dull moment with the farm up Payne, who talks me through “In the summer we keep itself keeping them busy. the process of cider making and have travellers from explains what it is about rough Shop assistant Tracey Wright said; “I thoroughly enjoy ciders such as; scrumpy and all over the country working here, we all help each tornado that makes it his drink of other out and get all jobs done sometimes even world, choice. “It doesn’t include all the together. It’s a lovely atmosphere, to come and taste our preservatives that are put in shop especially in the summer when bought ciders and because I’ve cider.” we have travellers from all over seen the process and helped them the country sometimes even press I know exactly what’s in it.” world coming to taste our home brewed cider.” Although there are cider farms galore within Somerset, there are many brewing companies up and down the country that provide guided tours and free samples for your pleasure, after a lovely day being showed how everything works, if you are a keen cider drinker it makes an excellent day out.
From (top to bottom): The various range of ciders made and sold at the farm, old machinery that was once used there, a range of jams that are made locally and a brief description of the cider making period. Images: Lucy Needs
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their cider preference. Are you a summer sipper, one The sun is shining and the bank holiday weekends are in full swing and for one product in particular, who prefers their cider in the summer over ice? Or cider. Over the past five years the cider consumption a true try, someone who likes to try different types has risen a whopping 8% and after interviewing in different places? Or a local loyalist, one who has always been a cider drinker and therefore only drinks people on the streets of Somerset, Ciderset have cider? One would believe that in the festival period come up with three main types of cider drinker, the summer sippers, the true taster and the local loyalists! the majority of ‘summer sippers’ would stick out Ciders, just like ale and lagers, have many different like a sore thumb, as the sun tends to be shining and types that are consumed by many what better way to cool down then different types, but what kind of “You can certainly a lovely pint of Magner’s cider over However, in consideration of cider drinker are you? Shortly after tell who is a cider ice. this what about the local loyalists or venturing out, the true country bumpkins immediately shone as no one devotee as opposed the true tries, or do they too change was too busy to answer my questions their yearly habits for a refreshing to a dabbler.” change when the sun begins to shine? and many didn’t quickly run away but Tim Willis owner of the White instead stayed to discuss further about Horse in Washford said: “You can their enjoyments of cider and the certainly tell who is a cider devotee as opposed sunny days that have crept upon us since early April. Although, it was not too long before a trend began to a dabbler because the devotees tend to stay away from the fizzy stuff and ask you what local to blossom and the results already appeared to speak ciders we have. The youngsters tend to stick to for themselves, with age being a prominent feature more modern ciders like brother’s or Katy’s.” in the types of ciders that seemed most popular and I myself, being Somerset born and bred and a regular in Ciderset’s newly created ‘type of cider drinker’. Glastonbury goer have had my fair share of a vast So in consideration of this, Ciderset has decided to range of ciders and consider myself to be between find out what type of cider drinker dominates the a summer sipper, as I enjoy it the most in the South West and to help those who wish to discover Images: Lucy Needs
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sunshine, and a curious true try because I love to try the – 35, who tended to experiment with their ciders homebrewed and high percentage ciders, which I like when holidaying and the local loyalist who tended to call a ‘real’ cider. However, with the recent budget to be in the 50’s and stuck to the more obvious ones, there is a growing fear that cider, despite the belief its from which they had drunk for a very long time. income should increase, the extra 10% begs to differ. Summer sipper, Laura Salter, of Carhampton said: “I The White Horse Inn itself has had to raise their prices think that when it comes to cider there is definitely and believe that this already has had a huge effect. an age appreciation. For those younger I think Hayley Lewis-Jones, bar manager for the country that the more fizzy popular brand ciders, and for pub said: “Already I’ve served regular cider drinkers those older, who have recognised the growing cider alternative drinks because they just can’t afford the brand and perhaps followed for years have more price tags. A pint now, in a small country pub, can range appreciation from where in which it came from, from £2.80 to £3.50 and unfortunately rather than just enjoying its taste.” because of tax and everything we just “I only drink cider “I only drink cider in the summer can’t sell it for any lower. Although, because I find Magner’s and in the summer I’m sure as the summer nears, they Bulmer’s refreshing, but when it will eventually find their balance just comes to the traditional farm made because I find like they have done in years before.” ciders I wouldn’t have a clue what Magner’s and After tremendous amounts of research I liked and therefore would opt for and many an interview, Ciderset found the obvious well known brands.” Bulmer’s that their three types of drinkers tended There we have it, Ciderset’s refreshing” to range between three different age discovery of what kind of ranges. Summer sippers tended to be the cider drinkers there are in the younger generation between the ages of South West. So now, the sun is 18 – 25, particularly those still in education throughout still shining, get down to your local pub and their summer breaks. The true tries ranged between 26 discover what kind of cider drinker you are. May CiderSet Page 13
How to make yo
ON A WARM summer evening, whilst your enjoying a lovely cold glass of cider in your garden... Just think, what would be better than cider? Perhaps, a cold glass of your own home made cider? Yes, it would appear at first thought that this would be a long and time consuming process but Ciderset has decided to produce a quick and easy way to produce your own taste of the apples! If all ingredients are obtained previously then the process can be done in one night and then, left in the warm for three months untouched... Easy! Cider making is all about patience and is nothing more than aged apple juice, although not shop bought apple juice as it contains too many preservatives. But, if you fancy a fun challenge that will be reimbursed by the wonderful taste of you own brewed cider, heres how to do it!
Cider Fact: There once was 365 different varieties of cider apple. All you need is: - Some apples, amount depends on the container... better to have more than less. (You can also use already made apple juice but not shelved ones, it would need to be obtained fresh from an orchard.) - A bucket (one with tall sides to avoid spillage.) - A masher - A fermentation container (glass or wooden) needs to be air-tight, you can acquire one of these at numerous places, a cider farm or an Ikea.
Letâ€™s begin... Get your juice When choosing your apples it is important that they are all of the same type, as different types give off the different tastes. For example; Bramleyâ€™s provide a bitter dry taste and Granny Smithâ€™s provide a sweet medium taste. If you feel that to start from scratch would be too time consuming then you can always go along to your nearest cider farm and purchase some fresh apple juice, the ones from stores contain too many preservatives and therefore would not ferment. However, if you are starting from scratch, begin by chopping your apples in to small pieces. This way it will make it easier for you to mash. Mash your apples in a tall sided bucket until you are sure that you have all the juice possible, you may wish to sieve and press also, to make sure that there are no lumps, depending on personal preference.
Cider Fact: When cider was first
being produced the lumps were often left in as they believed it added extra flavour and was a tasty reminder of the cider making process. May CiderSet Page 14
our own cider... Cider Fact: Cider makers ensure that all apples that go into the
process have fallen and not been picked... The bruises help to add to the fermenting process, making the cider sweeter.
Store the juice... Firstly, get a glass or wooden fermentation container in which to store your juice, it can be anything as long as its air tight and can hold the volume your intending to produce. Pour in your juice. The container must be filled to the top, leaving any space for air will make the cider vinegary which would be a waste if you are waiting three months to taste the result! By using either fresh orchard obtained apple juice or by mashing your own means that no yeast will need to be added as that is what the fermentation process is for, the apples will create their own yeast. Image: Lucy Needs
Now leave it alone... Once full seal your fermentation container and let the waiting commence. You can leave your cider for as little as a month, although, most cider farms will leave the fermenting process for three months or more. The longer it is left, the stronger the alcohol content. But, by next summer you will be sure to have your very own batch.
Cider Fact: Farm workersâ€™ wages in earlier
times used to include four pints of cider a day, which was placed into your very own four pint cider barrell. Some cider farms still carry this tradition including Richâ€™s Farmhouse. Image: Lucy Needs May CiderSet Page 15
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A magazine focussing on the West Country's popular export, Cider. Produced by Lucy Needs.