Countdown on to festival celebrating cider
Souvenir glasses have arrived and anticipation is building for Nelson to play to host to New Zealand’s only dedicated cider festival.
More than 80 varieties from approximately 18 cider producers from across the country will attend the festival held at Founders Heritage Park on November 4.
The festival debuted last year and has been timed to coincide with the New Zealand Cider Awards, held the day before.
Organiser Ali Lawley said they had an excellent line-up of cider makers booked for the festival, from small producers through to larger commercial brands including Old Mout, the festival’s gold sponsor.
‘‘There’s a massive variety and we’re very excited about the uptake this year,’’ Lawley said.
The festival will play host to a number of homegrown musicians and will also feature talks from industry experts.
‘‘Nick Widley from the Cod and Lobster is doing his very popular talk on making cocktails with cider, which was a sellout last year. We’ve also got Kevin Hopgood doing a food and cider matching, with all of the awardwinning ciders.’’
Some of the cider producers were crafting new ciders specifically for the festival, but she said the tasting notes were ’’secret squirrel’’ until festival day.
Last year the team from Golden Bay’s Mussel Inn produced a chilliinfused apple cider for the festival, which proved so popular they added it to their standard range.
‘‘It’s a really good way for people to sort of dip their toe into the market with a new product and get some consumer reaction before they go into mainstream production.’’
Co-organiser Amanda Sears said ticket sales were going ‘‘really well’’ and it was expected to be ‘‘even bigger and better’’ than last year.
More than 1000 people attended the festival last year.
‘‘Cider really deserves to stand out on its own.’’
Nelson was picked to host the festival was because the region produces 60 per cent of the country’s cider. Attendees will have a chance to rate the cider varieties, with a new app planned to accompany the festival allowing revellers to vote for a People’s Choice award.
The festival is pitched as a family-friendly event.
They had plenty of nonalcoholic options on offer, as well as food provided by brasserie Cod and Lobster, along with local food carts.
For more information visit http://www.nzciderfestival.com/. Pre-sale tickets are available for $25 plus; children under 18 are free.
More than 80 varieties of cider will be on offer, produced by around 18 cider-makers from across New Zealand.