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A new competitive section is being introduced at this year’s Royal Cornwall Show to celebrate cider making.
The resurgence in popularity of cider has led the organiser of the show, the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, to include cider classes among the numerous competitive elements of Cornwall’s largest annual event.
The Cornwall Cider Championships will be open to amateur and professional cider makers, with entries encouraged from potential competitors from within the county as well as those based in other parts of the UK.
David Berwick from St Ives Cider, Chairman of the newly formed cider section committee organising the championships, is looking forward to the inaugural event.
“Cornwall has often been seen as the little brother when it comes to cider and I feel this competition is essential to promote the industry as a serious contender on a national, as well as an international, stage.
“Cornwall’s rich heritage in the cider business needs to come to the fore once again to show the industry what we can do. Our commercial makers produce some of the best cider in the country, winning awards regionally, nationally and globally.
“There is a wealth of amateur makers quietly going about their business making really good cider on a small scale. It is time we all had the chance to get recognition for what we are able to do.”
A special bar will form part of the new section where show-goers will have the chance to sample the largest array of Cornish ciders in one place.
Tipples from more than 20 commercial cider makers based in Cornwall will be represented with the bar manned by experienced, knowledgeable staff drawn from their number happy to discuss the products with interested visitors.
It looks set to be a very popular new addition to the Royal Cornwall and joint cider competition organiser, Tom Bray of St Mabyn-based Haywood Cider, feels it’ll be the “icing on the cake for this year’s show.” He said:
“It will be the perfect opportunity to indulge in some of Cornwall’s famous ciders as well as discovering ciders from the smaller and newer producers. Nowhere else will you be able to try such a wide range of Cornish ciders under one canvas.
“Local cider makers will be delighted with this new platform to showcase their craft to such a large audience, but I think it'll be the smaller cider makers that will benefit the most from the exposure the new cider tent will bring.“
This is not the first time cider has featured at the Royal Cornwall Show. The October 1800 event, held at St Germans by the then Cornwall Agricultural Society, offered a five guinea prize to the person who kept the “best cyder apple orchard”.
The same prize was offered to the author of an essay which provided the “best cyder making method”. The storage of the end product proved a big hurdle for cider makers more than 200 years ago, hence the drive to share techniques.
The prize schedule and entry forms for the Cornwall Cider Championships can be found by visiting www.royalcornwallshow.org/competitors/cider or by calling the show office on 01208 812183.
The closing date for entries is Sunday 1st April.
More than 120,000 people are expected to attend this year’s show which takes place on Thursday 7th, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th June.
Tickets are on sale online for this year’s Royal Cornwall Show by visiting www.royalcornwall.co.uk.
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