CIDER lovers in Gloucester may sometimes feel like a poor relation to the city’s strong real ale traditions, but that all changed on Saturday when hundreds of people packed out Blackfriars Priory for a new festival celebrating the alcoholic apple drink.
Organisers of the ever-popular Witcombe Cider Festival, which takes place again this August Bank Holiday, decided they wanted to give their fans something to enjoy now, four months before the party starts.
“We’ve never done this in Gloucester before, but we thought we would give it a try,” said organiser Joe Pointon, whose very own Pointon’s Cider has proved to be hugely popular – selling out on the first day of last year’s August festival. He added: “This is to promote what we are doing in August and it has been a bit of a test for Gloucester to see what folks think about real cider.”
The event kicked off with a battle of the bands to get everyone in the party spirit. Six bands and three acoustic performers went head to head in a bid to win a £250 prize.
But the event proves there is a real thirst for cider, Joe said. “I think there is a real passion for cider. There are a lot of local ciders on the market and at the festival we have got every corner of Gloucestershire covered,” he said. “We hope that people will try the real cider and come away from the lagers and ales.”