cider demijohns in competition

RESULTS: British Cider Championships 2015, Royal Bath & West Show (UK)

COMPETITION REPORT!

What a year! I should get some facts and figures to be exact about how large the show is in terms of entries, but everyone is still so busy at the show, I'll have to edit them in later. Suffice to say, we've had more entries than ever, every category is up and each year another record is set in terms of numbers. This year, the International Sections where larger than ever (for a UK cider festival anyway!) and in total 62 Ciders and 7 Perries were judged. The awards are spread across the globe moreso than ever before with entries sent in by passionate cidermakers from USA, France, Asturias, Ireland and Poland. Fantastic!

I was fortunate enough to be asked to be on the judging team, and so reflecting on what the results say about my cider tastes I thought i should record and share them. The official website is terrible if you want an overview (its terrible in any case actually) so I've listed them all here on teh same page. Thinking about the results also helps me understand what experienced wine judges, such as co-judge Susanna Forbes from Drink Britain look for and enjoy, in a range of ciders not commonly found on these shores. Its a fascinating couple of hours, alot of fun, but also quite tricky in many aspects... after all: how do you judge and compare ciders that are meant to be very different from each other? Its complex.

Anyway - Susanna was a fantastic judge and I picked up some sound judging tips from her (thankyou!) She even managed to get a snap of me throwing an Asturian sidra, after insisting she "taste at least one sidra served properly today!" I've never actually tried the technique before. Champion pourers of Asturias enter a zen like state and, stare ahead as they pour, neither watching the glass, or the bottle. Their trance is often only broken when as they serve each customer. For me, (like surfing), its always been something to marvel at, rather than attempt. But when she insisted I had to step up to the mark and give it a go.

 

sidra pouring

Anyway, THE RESULTS!

These are taken from the official Royal Bath and West Show results page (AKA, the most difficult to use and out of date site ever) so I have summized them all into one place here:

NB: VHC (Very Highly Commended)

 

OC4     TWO BOTTLES OF CERTIFIED ORGANIC CIDER 

Gold        162     Dorset Nectar Cider 

Silver        161     Butford Organics 

Bronze    160     Berry Farm 

 

OC5     TWO BOTTLES OF CIDER - judged on taste of cider and presentation of bottle 

Gold        169    Armagh Cider Company 

Silver        195     Oliver's Cider and Perry 

Bronze    201     Sheppy's Cider Ltd 

 

OC6     TWO BOTTLES OF BOTTLE FERMENTED CIDER 

Gold        212     146 Cider Company 

Silver        219     Fowey Valley Cider 

Bronze    213     Berry Farm 

 

OC7     TWO BOTTLES NATURALLY SWEET, BOTTLE CONDITIONED CIDER 

Gold        235     West Milton Cider Co 

Silver        224     Cider by Rosie 

Bronze    232     Stone's Bittersweet Cider 

 

OC8     TWO IDENTICAL BOTTLES OF SINGLE VARIETY CIDER

Gold        272     Woodredding Farm Cider 

Silver        266     Thatchers Cider 

Bronze    256     Perry's Cider 

VHC        255     Perry's Cider 

 

OC9     TWO BOTTLES OF SINGLE VARIETY APPLE JUICE 

Gold        288     Mr David Roberts

Silver        282     King of Bridgwater CH, The RT Hon The Lord Tom 

Bronze    289     Mr David Roberts,

 

OC10     TWO BOTTLES OF BLENDED APPLE JUICE 

Gold        308     Rich's Cider

Silver        317     West Milton Cider Co 

Bronze    310     Mr David Roberts

 

OC11     TWO BOTTLES OF PERRY 

Gold        327     Haygrove Evolution Ltd 

Silver        331     Kington Cider 

Bronze    320     Broadpool Cider 

 

OC12     ONE GALLON OF DRY CIDER 

Gold        380     Ridgeway Cider 

Silver        353     Mr Christopher Brown

Bronze    394     Thatchers Cider 

VHC        392     Stone's Bittersweet Cider 

 

OC13     ONE GALLON OF MEDIUM CIDER 

Gold        421     Handmade Cider Co. 

Silver        450     Worley's Cider 

Bronze    422     Hecks Farmhouse Cider 

VHC        430     Rich's Cider 

 

OC14     ONE GALLON OF SWEET CIDER 

Gold         458     Burrow Hill Cider 

Silver        482     Stone's Bittersweet Cider  

Bronze    476     Mr Albert Rixen

 

OC15     TWO BOTTLES OF CIDER manufactured outside the United Kingdom 
Gold        534      Snowdrift Cider Co, WA, USA

Silver     527    Llosa Serantes, Asturias, Spain

VHC       515   Prau Monga, Asturias, Spain
VHC      540    Uncle John's Cider Mill, MI, USA
VHC      544     Marcin Wiechowski, Poland

 

OC16     TWO BOTTLES OF PERRY manufactured outside the United Kingdom 

Gold        553     Uncle John's Cider Mill, MI, USA

Silver        547     Mr Adam Bland, Normandy, France

 

OCC2     For the British Champion Farmhouse Cider - The Worshipful Company of Pewterers'' Perpetual Cup (PR29) & Certificate 

Champion    421     Handmade Cider Co. 

Reserve Champion    458     Burrow Hill Cider 

 

OCC3     For the British Champion Organic Cider - Westons Cider Organic Cider Cup (PR34) & Certificate 

Champion    162     Dorset Nectar Cider 

Reserve Champion    161     Butford Organics 

 

OCC4     For the British Champion Perry - Lawrence Reilly Perry Cup (PR35) & Certificate 

Champion    327     Haygrove Evolution Ltd 

Reserve Champion    331     Kington Cider 

 

OCC5     For the Champion International Cider - A Trophy presented by SFM Technology Ltd & Certificate 

Champion    534     Snowdrift Cider Co., WA, USA

Reserve Champion    527      Llosa Serantes, Asturias, Spain

 

OCS2     For the Best Apple Juice in Show - Vigo Apple Juice Trophy (PR36) & Certificate. 

Winner    288     Mr David Roberts

Reserve Special    308     Rich's Cider

 

Well done everyone! Its reassuring that cidermakers all over the world are sharing their cider with each other on a scale never seen before, the modern age is a good one for cider. Thanks must go to all the stewards and volunteers that make the show waht it is, and no, it wouldn't be the same with out them. Cheers all!