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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Cider and perry festivals

All CAMRA beer festivals have a cider and perry bar where you can taste proper ciders that don't resemble Woodpecker or Strongbow in the slightest, and you can try a perry or two, a very rare drink that is hardly ever seen in pubs at all. A perry, for those who don't know, is a drink made in the same way as cider, but using pears. I find it is often less harsh tasting than cider, but I don't claim to be an expert. I do know that these drinks should not be drunk like beer, especially as they can be almost as strong as Riesling.

Some of the big cider makers produce a filtered and pasteurised bottled product that they call pear cider. I've heard CAMRA people say that there's no such thing - the correct term is 'perry', but they're wrong: pear cider is cider flavoured with pears, rather than a drink made from pears. Needless to say, the term 'real' doesn't apply to pear cider, and you'll never see it a CAMRA festival.

Two festivals should be a draw for lovers of fermented apples and pears at opposite ends of the East Lancs Road:

Liverpool: the Ship and Mitre is holding another of its regular and varied festivals. This time it's their Cider Festival, which runs from 17 to 23 June. The pub is close to Moorfields, Central and Lime Street stations, and also the bus station. It's at 133 Dale Street, Liverpool, L3 2JH.

Manchester: the 3rd Greater Manchester Cider and Perry Festival runs from 21 to 22 June. It's a CAMRA event at the Palace Hotel, on the corner of Oxford Street & Whitworth Street, Manchester, M60 7HA. There will be more than 60 traditional ciders and perries, and the festival includes the Celtic and North England Cider Competition. There will also be soft drinks - suitable for nominated drivers - and food available all day.

More facts about cider and perry here.

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