13th June saw the official London launch of our exciting new cider magazine 'Full Juice'. We had a West Country media launch in Bristol (as part of the innovative Cider Salon) and another imminently hosted by passionate Manchester cider community.
I'm impressed with Hawkes - it takes some guts to set up a cidery in a UK city but good on them for seeing an opportunity and grabbing it with both hands. I found them vibrant, fun and unquestionably passionate about cidermaking. They have a modern approach that some traditional might cidermakers wince at, but they are using real fruit in ways other British cidermakers aren't and their ciders taste good. Cider made from out of culinary varieties of apple and pear means you need to make some crucial flavour decisions right at the start of the process because as if your not using traditional cider fruit and the benefits their various tannins supply. Often culinary ciders taste somewhat uninteresting as a result, particularly to a traditional palate, but Hawkes have some great blends, some tannic, some not and as I was enjoying tasting my way through them, I became aware of my own prejudices - which is a always a blessing. Thank guys! I am very traditional when it comes to cider and cidermaking, particularly in the UK and cidermakers like Hawkes help me remind myself how important it is to keep an open mind and to be honest with yourself about your views. Its easy to get stuck in the gentle bosom of the past. I live in the bucolic landscape of Somerset, surrounded by great traditional cidermakers and acres of quintessentially 'West Country' orchards. Whilst I will always hold traditional approach in the highest regard, I like the space that high quality 'modern' and experimental cidermaking creates by allowing us to look back at that from a different standpoint. Producers like Hawkes gives consumers the opportunity to enjoy a high quality, modern alternative to that approach. In that space, between the 'old' and the 'new', the ying and the yang - whatever, is where I tend to point my camera too.
It was really kind of them to host the Full Juice launch, we had a decent turn out of some of the best and most interesting minds on the drinks scene (thanks for coming folks!) I hope we are leaving enough of an impression that we can get some chins wagging, initiate sensible discussions, discover new ways to enjoy, promote, educate and generally celebrate whats great about cider. As journalists and creatives, we're glad to have have a platform on which to discuss important things, like juice content.
As a fan of ending on a positive note, l'd like to pass on what my friend Sean Busby says:
'concentrate on the positive, not on the concentrate'.