There are just four Liverpool city centre pubs accredited with selling real cider according to CAMRA. No shortage of the fizzy, tasteless variety of course but for those among us who appreciate a drop of the real stuff then letdowns have become all too familiar.
Real cider and perry is a distinctly regional beverage so the lack of it on offer up here is understandable. In the shires of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford as well as Somerset then the locally-sourced stuff is a much more frequent sight.
So, with this in mind it was refreshing to see a cider festival being hosted by the Everyman and Belvedere (one of the four who do regularly sell the real deal, the others being Ye Cracke, Swan Inn and the Augustus John). As a venue the Everyman proved to be just right for the soft selling of the visiting products.
With sixteen to choose from, the novice and expert alike could experience the relative pleasures of a dry cider or a sweeter Perry. Ranging from the weakest at 5.5 per cent to the strongest, a mind-altering eight per cent, it was pleasing to see customers glance at the board and seek advice from the well informed staff.
The future of cider and Perry in this city should be bright with the amount of pubs serving good quality, varied real ale.
If brands such as Magners and Bulmers can succeed then surely its rivals in the non carbonated and pasteurised stakes can as well. For a start the ‘stuff from the shires’ actually tastes like apples, or pears in the case of perry.
If more venues can stick their neck out and try guesting a few of the better examples then next summer could be one for quality scrumpy rather than something you have to drown in ice to be able to drink.