Those who are traditionalists when it comes to cider should head down to the festival at Brogdale Farm in Faversham on the 24th and 25th August, when over 70 ciders and perries will be on offer. The festival will celebrate Kent’s long history of making farmhouse-style cider, now widely known as artisan cider.
The Kent Cider Company, based in Faversham, is just one of the producers who will offer their beverages for sale over the weekend. Owner Mark Henderson will be at the festival with a traditional cider press, and will be demonstrating cider-making methods which have been used for hundreds of years. The Kent Cider Company use cider apples from the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale, as it preserves over 90 different heritage varieties.
Mark says, ‘We aim to produce ciders with depth, unique flavours and finishes. To achieve this we follow a rustic process starting with sourcing heritage apple varieties then press with a traditional oak press and leave for nature to take its course in fermenting the juice.’
The festival will have an added competitive element too, with producers entering a competition sponsored by the National Association of Cider Makers in the hope of being named the weekend’s winning artisan cider.
Bernie Cranfield, events and marketing manager at Brogdale, says, ‘The range and taste of ciders is extraordinary. Kent is a treasure trove of small producers and we are dedicated to bringing them together to showcase artisan ciders whilst giving our visitors the opportunity to taste and enjoy them over the weekend.’
There will be plenty of local food on offer to soak up the cider, including a wild food tent with foraged food and game. Visitors can also catch some toe-tapping live music from local bands, including headliners Coco and the Butterfields. There’s plenty for little ones to enjoy too, as Bernie explains, ‘The festival is growing into an event that can be enjoyed by the whole family. We are introducing more children’s activities including a creepy crawly tent and a barrel train pulled by a quad bike.’
If you’re sold on cider and are planning on heading to the festival, be sure to take advantage of the free shuttle bus running from Faversham station throughout the weekend. For more information, or to book tickets at a discounted rate, go to www.ciderfestivalkent.co.uk. You can also follow Brogdale on Twitter @BrogdaleKent or on Facebook.