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28th March, 2017

“The Royal Bath and West International Cider Competition”, as it will be known, will complement the British Cider Championships at the show , and reinforce the Bath and West’s reputation as Britain’s number one showcase for the fast-growing craft and artisan cider industry.

“We have had a single international class for many years”, explains Orchards and Cider chairman, Anthony Gibson.  “It has been an important part of our mission to put the Bath and West at the heart of quality cider-making and to give the Orchards and Cider exhibition an international profile.  It is also very valuable in bringing cider-makers from around the world together, so that they can compare, contrast and learn from each other.  This year, for example, we will be welcoming a group of cider-makers from the United States.

“But as interest in cider has grown and the range of different types of cider being produced worldwide has widened, so the judging became more and more difficult.  It is very hard to compare, say, a traditional still cider from northern Spain with a champagne-style cider from British Columbia.

“So we decided that if we were going to have an international element to the judging we would need to do it properly, and we asked international cider expert Bill Bradshaw to suggest a range of classes that would broadly reflect the main different styles of cider worldwide.

“He has come up with four international classes for cider:  traditional cider, New World cider, bottle-fermented or keeved cider and Spanish sidra/Spanish-style cider, plus three classes for perries.  We may need to refine that structure as the competition develops over the years ahead, but it gives us a sound basis on which to work.”

Full details of the International Cider Competition are available here.

The Brothers Drinks Company at Shepton Mallet has very kindly volunteered to act as the reception centre for international entries.

Entries close on April 17.

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