Since the early days of cider and perry campaigning and the formation of the APPLE Committee, the cider scene has changed dramatically, writes Apple chair Andrea Briers (pictured right).
In the early years you would struggle to find anywhere selling real cider or perry outside of CAMRA beer festivals and the various editions of CAMRA’s Good Cider Guide which when published were one of the best ways to find those which did. Thankfully the number of pubs where you can find these products have increased dramatically over the years and we now have nearly 7,000 pubs registered on CAMRA’s What Pub database, making WhatPub.com the go-to website for real cider and perry enthusiasts looking for a great cider pub. To complement this, we’ve launched our ‘Real Cider Sold Here’ promotional campaign, providing window stickers to pubs selling real cider and/or perry.
Our National Cider and Perry Trip happens every October and continues to be popular, with this year’s trip being based in Worcestershire. October has also been the focus of a national cider promotion since 2003 and, following feedback from branches, May has also been selected for a second national cider promotion.
In 1990 the first of four major Cider & Perry exhibitions in London took place and, although there are very few cider only festivals taking place nowadays, a large majority of beer festivals have bars with a good selection of cider and perry and some now include cider in their title.
With the growth in the number of cider producers, our National Cider and Perry Championships have also grown with Regional Cider Competitions taking place throughout the country to ensure that the best products available come through to the final rounds.
Another competition which has gone from strength to strength is our National Cider Pub of the Year competition, which started in 2005. From humble beginnings and a growth in the number of pubs selling real cider and perry, the majority of branches are now holding local competitions and putting their winning pubs forward into the national competition.
To recognise outstanding contributions to the promotion of real cider and perry, we have set up the Pomona Award, with the most recent winner being Richard Knibbs, who retired from running the Ye Ole Cider Bar in Newton Abbot.
We worked hard in recent years to step up our influence in Westminster and the European Parliament. When policies and legislation have the potential to threaten cider producers and, therefore, the choice available to the consumer we make sure that our voice is heard. In 2015, when the existing tax exemption for small cider makers was challenged by the European Commission, we handed a petition with over 26,000 signatures to Downing Street to persuade the Government to commit to keeping with exemption.
With the support of Anneliese Dodds MEP and Clare Moody MEP in the European Parliament, we managed to influence the European Commission, who have now announced their intention to create a small producers exemption at an EU level. We’ve also taken action back in Westminster, engaging with the Treasury recently to make sure that they are aware of the challenges that may be faced by traditional cider producers when a new band of duty for higher strength ciders is introduced next year.
Whilst cider and Perry are well positioned in the drinks market, there are still on going changes in the industry, that APPLE will continue to represent and inform consumers on , so that traditional cider and Perry are available for future drinkers.
- Spaces are still available on this year’s National Cider and Perry Trip to Worcestershire. It takes place on Saturday 13 October, leaving Worcester Shrub Hill Station at 11 am, returning to the station at 6 pm. The trip includes visits to Tardebigge Cider and Barbourne Cider and lunch is included in the price.
The price for the trip is £22 for members and £24 for non members and is payable in full when booking (no refunds are available)
If you are interested in joining us bookings open on Monday 6 August at 9 am. and can be made on (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/national-cider-perry-trip-2018). Those without internet access can book by phoning Liz Wickham on 01727 798459 with your card details.
If you have any queries please contact Andrea Briers on 07732 754888.
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