Sometimes you bump into people in the most unlikely of places.
A trip down to the Linen Green craft village last week ended with a coffee in the cafe : who should bump into me but Davy from Tempted Cider. He'd been delivering juices to the farm shop on site and was refuelling for the journey back to Portadown.
|Davy (right) with Mac's cider's Seán|
at Hilden Beer Fest August 2011
A cry of "cider!" led me to recognise him and we chatted a while about the apple harvest for the year just gone (pretty poor) and the year to come (signs are good at the moment) and success of his cider south of the border. Some orchards which had produced 16 tonnes in 2011 barely managed a tonne after last years wet weather.
For the first time; some cider apples have been included in the blend, sourced from orchards in the Republic. This should bring more tannin to the mix to make ciders more reminiscent of Somerset which I grew up on.
He's recently secured a large order for a well known large pub chain for their summer cider festival. It will be the first time that a Northern Ireland producer has been featured alongside those from across the water and another great sign that an area that was once dominated by the big boys South of the border is coming into its own with artisinal production. Hopefully they'll take their rightful place in Pete Brown's and Bill Bradshaw's new World's Best Cider.