Oh What A Night!
Well what an evening!
Huge thanks to everyone at the BBC Food & Farming Awards for an amazing Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, set amidst the splendour of the National Museum Cardiff.
We were there as finalists in the Best Drinks Producer category, alongside Summerdown, peppermint tea producers and so much more, and Sugrue South Downs, English sparkling wine producers. Category judge Jaega Wise described us as a "dynamic bunch" and "living proof that the British drinks industry is just incredible". While we didn't win the award – that honour went to those maestros of mint, Summerdown – simply being a finalist was prize enough.
Four of our favourite ciders were served alongside Sugrue South Downs' The Trouble With Dreams - how lovely to meet Dermot and Anna - and Summerdown's Peppermint Tea, plus seriously tasty bites created by the students at Cardiff and Vale College - the perfect foil for flavour explorers, crafted using ingredients from fellow finalists.
The honour of sharing our ciders, the chance to see and meet some of our foodie heros and heroines, to be among so many inspiring folk - we were walking on air, I can tell you!
What the evening and the stories of the other finalists showed once more was the importance of the community, and the vitality and value of your team. Where a vision is shared, and your fellow journeymen are as determined as you are to reach your goals, whatever the weather (literally as well as metaphorically).
Wednesday evening for example, we were lucky enough to be joined by Burum founder and Little Pomona alumni Helen Smith.
And so we want to say a few thank yous: to those of you who nominated us - honestly, it's you who are pushing forward the cider renaissance. All those orchardists who supply us with wonderful fruit. Our family and friends, for being there, always. Our Cider Clubbers and regulars - we so value your support. The cider community. Where would we be without you? And thank you to the judges, to Jaega in particular, to the BBC, for shining the light on the craft cider scene, and sharing our story so eloquently.
"You give us hope that food and farming have a future", said the inspirational Sheila Dillon in her closing remarks. Well right back atcha! The scope and talent behind the Food Programme and Farming Today means that we know the issues that matter the most to those of us striving to create authentic products, ones that speak of the land, the year and the location, will be covered, aired and shared. In my mind, The Food Programme is not just for hungry minds, but thirsty ones too.
After a night with the stars, we are right back into it at the cidery, milling and pressing some more wonderful apples.
The Bottle Shop is open tomorrow, And - more of this in our next post - we have our 2022 Harvest Open Day on Sunday 20 November, 12-4pm. So if you fancy seeing behind the scenes, sampling some of our latest releases, and catching up with fellow cider lovers and drinks explorers, please come and see us.
Wassail one and all!
📸 Edina Nagy, Susanna Forbes, Jamie White