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16th March, 2018

The competition, which is the centrepiece of the giant Orchards and Cider marquee at the show, is geared very much to the quality end of the cider market, whether that be traditional farmhouse cider or the new and exciting craft and artisanal products that are taking the industry forward.  As such, it is very much in line with trends in the marketplace, as consumer interest in genuine ciders and perries, made from the fresh juice of British apples and pears with as little as possible added or taken away, has never been higher.

Organisers are expecting an entry of well over 500 ciders and perries, from all corners of Britain, as cider-makers large and small go in search of the Holy Grail of the British cider industry, the Fruiterers’ Trophy for the Champion British Cider. There are classes for every type of proper cider, including farmhouse, of course, but also sparkling, organic, single variety and bottle fermented, as well as for perries and apple juice.

The championship area in the marquee, with its row upon row of bottles and demijohns , of every shade from palest straw through bright gold to deepest russet, is one of the great sights of the cider world”, says Anthony Gibson, Orchards and Cider’s chairman.

The diversity and the quality of one of this country’s greatest gifts to civilisation is there for all to see. Couple that with all the excitement of the competition, as the judges go through their mysterious rituals of peering, sniffing, swilling and spitting, and you’ve got an event which has to be one of the highlights of summer.

The Championship has a new sponsor this year, in the shape of Barber’s Cheese. Giles Barber says “Barber’s are delighted to sponsor the British Cider championships. As the oldest Farmhouse Cheese makers in the country we felt the heritage and traditional process of craft cider making paired perfectly with our own approach to Cheddar making. The craft of traditional cider has many parallels with our own commitment to being the custodians of traditional live starter cultures used in our cheese making. This coupled with the preservation and maintenance of 30 acres of our own traditional orchards, at our Somerset farm, made our Barber’s Vintage Reserve Cheddar the perfect partner to traditional cider and to the British cider championships.”

To enter the 2018 British Cider Championships, visit the Competitive Entries page.

Entries close on April 17.

Click here to purchase your tickets for the Royal Bath & West Show at our fantastic super saver rate (available until 6th April 2018)!

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