Fans of cider and perry are in for a treat this month as the North’s biggest beer and cider festival opens in Manchester.
A staggering 77 ciders and 26 perrys picked from 63 different producers are set to pip last year’s record-breaking choice. Organisers of the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival have a reputation for showcasing the best from traditional cider and perry producing regions alongside the developing northern scene. And for this year they travelled to the far south west to curate a selection of Cornish ciders from small producers.
The fermented fruit drinks have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in recent years. Real cider and perry are traditional products made naturally from selected varieties of apples and pears; a world away from the industrially-produced cheap namesakes.
The natural yeasts from freshly-pressed apples or pears ferments the juices, producing alcohol and CO2 and are matured in barrels before being released to enjoy. Real cider and perry are never carbonated or pasteurised, a status they share with real ale.
Cider and perry bar manager Mike Robinson said: “Devon, Somerset and Herefordshire are usually regarded as the core area for production, but Cornwall has a thriving scene. This year we are offering half a dozen from the county – topping the list is the Cornish Supreme Champion Cider, Touchwood Medium Cider from Mithian near St Agnes. I believe this is the first time these six have been on sale in the North.