Thirty years ago, when I first moved to England, places where real cider drinkers could find their favourite drink were limited to CAMRA beer festivals and a few pubs dotted around the country. We live in a very different world now, with customers being able to find at least one real cider in many pubs, with some selling a good selection. The increase in producers also means that some are able to support local businesses. This means that during my travels around the country, there is generally a pub nearby where I can enjoy a real cider, but there are times when I miss out on this opportunity because I haven’t noticed that it is available. This is something that happened on a number of occasions on a recent tour of pubs around a city I was visiting.
As someone who appreciates a quality real ale, on each occasion when entering a pub I would see an interesting range of real ales prominently displayed. Having bought something to my taste, while walking round the pub or sometimes when leaving, I would find a discreetly positioned list of real ciders that I would have loved to have tried. So, what would have helped me to spot the ciders and perries on offer? On entering the pub, make sure that the products are clearly noticeable in all parts of the bar, particularly where customers will be making the decision on what they would like to drink. If it is not possible to list all the products available, a poster or notice letting them know that real cider is available will prompt them to look for the full list or ask at the bar. Posters to demonstrate that real cider is available can be obtained from the CAMRA Office or via your local CAMRA branch.
Hopefully, by promoting and publicising that you offer real cider, it will not only help visitors who already appreciate it, but may well encourage new people to try it.
Andrea Briers, Chair of the Cider & Perry Campaigns Committee (aka APPLE)