Bristolians are a passionate lot and there are a few things that they hold close to their hearts: a dude in a tall hat, being descendants of pirates, Wallace and Gromit, hot air balloons and Banksy to name but a few. That said there is one thing that we love above all others, it’s a tradition that spans centuries and it’s the golden nectar the west country was raised on, and though people the world over may try to claim to make something similar, Cider will always have its heart firmly in the mighty west and her capital city of Bristol.
But what makes cider so good and why do we have such a strong love affair for the stuff? Sometimes you can’t explain love, you just feel it, but here are the top 10 reasons you insert more cider into your life…
1. It’s basically one of your five a day- it’s made from apples!
2. You can buy it by the flagon load from pretty much any farm shop.
6. Cider has the best drinking game: Edward Scrumpy Hands! (Amy Wine hands is also worthy of a mention but like most things, it’s better with cider)
7. A farm workers wage packed would have traditionally included 4 pints of cider a day, “proper job”
8. Cider is enjoyed by as many women as men, scrumpy is all about equality!
9. Cider apples have the best names, you can keep your Pink Lady, we’ll have us some Hangdown, Chibble’s Wilding and Brown Snout.
10. The ancient tradition of Wassailing still exists, people soak toast in cider, hang it on the tallest apple tree and dance and sing to appease the deities, whilst drinking cider of course.
Wassailing, dunking children and the Wurzles aside, modern West Country cider making will stand up to any wines and spirits. Cider pairs extremely well with a wealth of foods, not just cheddar and picked onions! The marriage of ancient traditions with modern techniques makes for some exceptional liquids, from keeved ciders to ice ciders there are some superb ciders coming out of the west county made by the hands of true craftsmen (since way before it was fashionable to be a craftsman).