Due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s unfortunately going to be quite some time before the cider community organises another fun filled cider festival.
Testing times like these strengthen the importance of supporting each other even more. After all, none of us should be going through this alone. And just because the world is in a delicate place right now, doesn't mean we can't have a little (very safe) fun!
So while it is uncertain when exactly we may all safely gather and celebrate this lovely, lovely beverage, we can always do so virtually :)
Cider makers of the South West have helped make that happen by kicking off a cyber Cider Week. Except, they've decided to sweeten the deal quite a bit and host the celebrations from 12th June to 21st June.
One and a half weeks of cider fun? Sign me up!
The itinerary for the celebration is packed with all the events we enjoy so much. We're talking cyber meet and greets, virtual tastings, online tours and a lot more! Our secret cider sources also tell us that there's an orchard walk scheduled and something for cheese lovers too! By the way, we hear that some cider makers might be offering attractive discounts on online sales so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that.
Cider enthusiasts and aficionados like you and I can become a part of this unprecedented event by checking out the details on their website www.swciderweek.org.uk and on their Twitter @swciderweek. Here, we can find all information pertaining to the event and what's planned so we don't miss out on any of the good stuff :D
The South West of England Cidermakers' Association or SWECA is organising this mammoth virtual event to celebrate the oldest drink produced in the UK. As Martin Berkeley of Pilton Cider puts it: “Sharing a glass of cider in good company is a fabulous thing and vital to many of the social connections we make."
Apart from giving us an opportunity to finally become part of the cider community again, this also gives our favourite cider makers and other businesses a great chance to bounce back from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
It's a win-win, really.
Here are Our Top Five Picks for #SWCiderWeek:
In chronological order...
1) Fowey Valley Cocktail Class | Wed 17 Jun 7:00PM
Fowey Valley, best known for their unmatched range of exquisite ciders and other beverages, are hosting an event to guide you through how to make a delicious cocktail using their cider. It’s going to be great.
If you’d like to join in (why wouldn’t you?), click here for details!
2) Ciderologist & The CiderCritic LIVE Instagram Tastealong! #FineCiderFriday | Fri 19 Jun 5:00PM Event
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🤯It's finally happening... Yessiree....The Ciderologist & The CiderCritic LIVE Instagram Tastealong! #FineCiderFriday 🍏🥂 Fri 19 Jun 5:00PM Event Two absolute heroes of the cider world, @Ciderologist & @TheCiderCritic are joining forces for one night only....a #FineCiderFriday Instagram Live Special They will be tasting two brand new 750ml releases as a Southwest Cider Week exclusive. The Newt Rose Cyder @thenewtinsomerset " The Newt - Rose Cyder - This limited release first vintage Fine Rosé Cyder is made purely from Red Love apples, whose juice runs deep crimson under our press at The Newt in the heart of Somerset, giving this fine cyder its intense colour. Cold-fermented in our state-of-the-art cellar, the resulting cyder is a fusion of strawberry with a hint of autumn fruits, delivered with a delicate balance of acidity and residual sweetness that’s perfect for cleansing the palate." Serendipity - @CraftyNectarCider & Stones Cider COLLABORATION "Made with apples from the ancient Glastonbury Abbey Orchard. This single orchard premium Somerset cider uses a mixture of bitter sweet and bitter sharp apples. The juice is the then keeved to leave a residual sweetness and bottled conditioned for a further 4 months to help soften the tannins. Expect a beautiful fruity nose and tones, delicately smooth mouth feel with a light sparkle." 🍏🛒These 750ml bottles can be ordered from our Somerset Legends box curated exclusively for the SW cider week. (link in bio!) #rethinkcider #craftcider #rose #finecider
Two absolute heroes of the cider world, The Cider Critic & Ciderologist are joining forces for one night only, a #FineCiderFriday special Instagram Live. They will be tasting two brand new 750ml releases as a Southwest Cider Week exclusive.
- The Newt Rose
- Serendipity - CraftyNectar/Stones Cider Collab
- Possibly a 3rd secret cider!
These 750ml bottles can be ordered from our Somerset Legends box curated exclusively for the SW cider week. The details of the event can be found here.
3) Cider Brandy Drive-Thru | (Multiple Dates)
Somerset Cider Brandy has set up a special drive-thru cider shop during the #SWCiderWeek. You can check out the dates and timings here. It’s going to be a really cool experience, with self-guided tours of the beautiful orchards and picnics (if you order in advance).
4) North Somerset Selection box | Sat 20 Jun 5:00PM
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This week is @swciderweek which was going to be a packed programme of tastings, open farm days, tours and al sorts of fun. F course that couldn't happen in the flesh this year but you better believe that there is a lot happening via mail order and zoom, and even some socially distant real life things. We were going to be part of a tasting in our friends @barleywoodorchard beautiful barn, alongside the other small makers from North Somerset. For argument's sake we are saying N Somerset is north of the Mendips and west of Bath... don't @ me about it!! These other makers are all passionate about orchards, just like us, and are all making delicious cider and perry. Never before have all these things been available under one roof, let alone in one box... You can buy a box of 6 for a very reasonable price and taste along with Mike and Isy from @barleywoodorchard in a live session, or drink at your leisure of course. It's going to be fun, and a good chance to try Mike and Isy's new releases too. All the details in the poster I think. Have fun! Also other @swciderweek stuff going on at @hecksfarmhousecider @sheppyscider @pullo.shop @findcider @piltoncider and more!
Top cider makers from the South West have teamed up to give us cider lovers an absolute treat – a handpicked selection of their finest ciders! The ciders on offer range from keeved, perries and single variety ciders from mastermind cider makers like Wilding, Ganley & Naish, Ex-press and Barley Wood Orchard. You can check out the complete list of ciders by following this link (the list contains several award-winning drinks, too). When you purchase the box, you can join the team for an exclusive live guided tasting session. If you’re serious about your cider, make sure you attend this event because you’ll get some great insights on pairing notes and such.
5) The BIG Reveal by Pilton Cider | Sat 20 Jun 6:00PM
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Sending out mysteries. Our new pinot skin-contact keeved cider is heading off to bottle shops this week with the label under wraps. Make sure you have yours to join in the big reveal on Saturday 20th June, when we will all unwrap and taste for the first time. Happening live here with co-conspirators Ingrid of @dunleavyvineyards who grew the grapes and Martyn @cidershit who put together the blend and is responsible for the label, which is just a little 'out there', shall we say. . #rethinkcider #swciderweek #keevedcider #somerset #skincontact #bottleart #dontmissout
This is the big one we’ve been waiting for. Pilton Cider will be revealing their newest Pinot skin contact keeved cider. It’s scheduled for Saturday, 20th June. Be sure to take a look at the event’s details for more info!
You really, really don’t want to miss this one…
. . . .
With the cider industry growing day by day, the first cyber South West Cider Week helps us celebrate the beverage. And just because the event is largely virtual this time, based on our top picks for the South West Cider Week, it will pack the same thrill, excitement and fun of other years’ events.
Not only do events like these help expand our cider horizons, but they also give us cider lovers a great chance to support the ones that make it all possible – cider makers. It’s also a great chance to interact and bond with the community and learn new things about ciders.
If you’re planning on joining this year’s cyber Cider Week, don’t forget to stop by and say a virtual hi to Team Crafty Nectar! We’d love to hear from you and chat about ciders :D
See you there!