Cider Festival: Does cider count towards your five a day…?

…If so I went way over my quota at the recent Cider Festival in Brunel’s Old Station near Temple Meads!

For those who have never been, the concept is as follows: for £7 a ticket you arrive to the wonders of 119 different types of cider – the quintessential drink for those from the South West! You then purchase a certain amount of tokens (in blocks of five) – that can be traded in for half a cider each. The danger is overestimating the amount of cider your body can take and buying far too many that you feel you should use up. Having arrived a little late I was quickly informed by my already quite merry friends that they needed to drink half a cider every 20 minutes (they stressed “including bar waiting times”) to use all their tokens by the 11pm deadline. Error.

The cider chip
One cider chip = one half of cider

You are then provided with a score sheet and a pen and sent off to taste and rate as much cider as you can fit in the 7.30 – 11pm slot (there is also an afternoon slot).

The ciders range vastly. There’s the usual Thatchers, Scrumpy and Westons for the traditionalists, all the way to various fruit flavours. The male attendees of my group acquired quite the taste for the mango perry, to the great amusement of the bartenders. With some a hefty 7.5% you see why a ticket is only for a few hours!

Then there is the entertainment. In true Westcountry style we were treated to the dulcet tones of the Mangledwurzels – a Wurzels tribute band. This is where you embarrassingly discover how many words you know to “I’ve got a brand new combine harvester” and “Where be that Blackbird to”… :-S

Even though I’m not the biggest cider drinker (I know its sacriledge – I just love my wine more!) the night had such a great atmosphere I cannot wait until the one in the summer. I will be acquiring a flat cap ready for the next one though – was severely jealous of other people’s more farmer attire last time!

Man with a horse's head
A man with a horses head – just one of the interesting sights you can see at a cider festival!

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