The Royal Cornwall Show 2018 will include a cider competition for the first time at the Cornish county fair. The deadline for entry forms is 7 April. The championship celebrates fast-growing interest in cider-making. It also revives an event dating back to 1800 but never before held at the show.
Judging for the Cornwall Cider Championships, which are open to all cider-makers, will take place at the showground in Wadebridge on 7 June. There will be three classes of entry: farmhouse cider in demijohns, open cider in 500ml bottles and pressed apple juice.
Prize for hobbyist cider
The top prize is a perpetual shield for the best cider exhibited by a hobbyist, given by Trevor’s Farmhouse Cider. There is also a £100 voucher special prize from Vigo Presses, which is sponsoring the competition. Prize-giving by Sir Nicholas Bacon, the president of the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, will take place in the marquee on Friday 8 June.
The judges will be Bob Chaplin of the Copse House Cider Company in Shepton Mallet and secretary of the South West of England Cider Makers Association; Chris Coles of Green Valley Cyder, Exeter, and Michelin-starred chef Paul Ainsworth from Padstow.
The cider must be made using apples grown in the UK. Each exhibitor may put in up to two entries per class at £5 an entry. The specific gravity used will be: dry up to 1.008, medium from 1.008 to 1.015, sweet from 1.015 and above. Apple juice must not be carbonated or flavoured.
Tickets for the show cost £20 but you get one free if your entries cost that much. The show will have a bar selling cider from some 20 Cornish producers. For the prize schedule and entry forms for the Cornwall Cider Championships visit the Royal Cornwall Show website or call the show office on 01208 812183.
Time to laud Cornish cider-makers
The organisers include David Berwick from St Ives Cider and Tom Bray of St Mabyn-based Haywood Cider. The Cornish Times quoted David Berwick as saying, ‘our commercial makers produce some of the best cider in the country, winning awards regionally, nationally and globally. There is a wealth of amateur makers quietly going about their business making really good cider on a small scale. It is time we all had the chance to get recognition for what we are able to do.’