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 visit­cider­fes­ti­ 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.

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