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UK National Cider Competition Winners

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Herefordshire and Somerset cider and perry producers took top honours in this year’s CAMRA cider and perry championships. Ooh Arr!

Gwatkin’s Yarlington Mill cider of Abbey Dore, Herefordshire, and Broadoak Perry of Clutton, Somerset, won Gold medals at the Reading Beer and Cider Festival over the May bank holiday weekend.

The Championships featured 24 ciders and 20 perries, selected from different regions throughout the country, and assessed on aroma, flavour, finish and personal enjoyment by a judging panel including award-winning producers and publicans.

In the National cider category, Gwatkin of Herefordshire won the Gold for Yarlington Mill, which judges described as a ‘smooth and rich cider with a spirit aroma and taste that resonates with the taste buds to surprise and delight.’

Gwatkin are a family firm, which have been producing cider and perry for generations but began selling commercially in 1991. The fruit used in their winning products is produced locally, with their apples coming from a neighbouring farm.

The Championships proved a doubly special occasion for them, after also picking up the Bronze medal in the perry category for their Blakeney Red perry.

Said Denis Gwatkin:

‘I am over the moon to hear that both my cider and perry have won CAMRA awards. The fact that I planted the trees and have seen them come to fruition makes it even more special.

In the National perry category, Broadoak Perry of Somerset won Gold for what the judges described as a ‘lovely, drinkable perry with a true pear aroma that starts with a medium sweet taste and is followed by a dry finish.’

Brian Brunt, Broadoak’s producer, started making cider and perry as a hobby 30 years ago.

He said :

‘This is an award I simply was not expecting to win. I’ve been perfecting this perry for the last 30 years and I’d like to dedicate this award to the late Geoff Williams, formerly of the Long Ashton Research Institute, for teaching me the methods I have since used to produce cider and perry. He was a great friend, and one of the greatest figures in the world of cider-making.’

Speaking of the high standard of entries in this year’s Championships, Andrea Briers, Chair of CAMRA’s National Cider and Perry Committee, said: ‘The winners of the competition, like many producers of real cider and perry, are not large businesses and are helping keep the tradition of cider and perry production alive in Britain’.

The majority of the winning producers feature in CAMRA’s new publication, ‘Cider’, released last month. ‘Cider’ is a lovingly-crafted exploration into the world of cider and perry, and can be purchased from all good retailers, as well as the CAMRA shop (www.camra.org.uk/shop)

The full results are:

CIDER

GOLD – Gwatkin, Yarlington Mill (Abbey Dore, Herefordshire) (Contact 01981 550258)

SILVER (Joint) – Orchards, Wye Cider (Brockweir, Gloucestershire) (Contact 01291 689536)

SILVER (Joint) – Rosie’s, Triple D Cider (Llandegla, Denbighshire) (Contact 01978 790222)

PERRY

GOLD – Broadoak, Perry (Clutton, Somerset) (Contact 01275 333154)

SILVER – Seidr Dai, Painted Lady Perry (Cardiff, Glamorgan) (Contact 029 2075 8193)

BRONZE – Gwatkin, Blakeney Red (Abbey Dore,Herefordshire) (Contact 01981 550258

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Saturday, November 25, 5:43 am

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