What a year it has been so far. Back in May, after we had finished bottling our Anglesey craft cider we ventured down to Caldicot Castle, South Wales for the annual Welsh Perry and Cider Society Championships. It was our first official outing as Jaspels Craft Cider, being newbies from the North of Wales made it quite an adventure.
Our Heritage draught cider was stocked behind the main marquee bar along with a few bottles of Môn Katy for the Fizz Bar. We were excited to see what the response would be for our new Anglesey craft cider.
As we were one of the event sponsors, our logo was printed on the back of the festival T shirt. Jaspel the Red Squirrel was on his first public outing in the good company of other cider producers.
As the festival started the cidermakers and a few VIPs were invited into the tasting room for some blind tasting. Rows of cider were lined up and JASPELS HERITAGE cider was in the Dry Draught Cider category. This just happened to be the one with the most entries at 21.
What followed was lots of sipping and marks out of 2o, taking into account smell, taste and colour. There were lots of categories for both Cider and Perry. Dry, Medium, Sweet and Oak Aged plus a new category for bottle conditioned and artificially carbonated Cider and Perry.
THE AWARD CEREMONY
The following day, the moment of truth arrived where the winners were to be announced on stage. Dr Andrew Lea, a Food Scientist and author, specialising in cider made the presentations. He is Adrian’s idol in the Cidermaking world and as a scientist himself, Adrian has his own skilled way of making cider using a combination of traditional methods in the early stages and a modern approach towards the blending stages. This is particularly important when you are making cider from various unusual apple varieties, which is a characteristic of Jaspels Craft Cider to give it such a unique taste.
As you can imagine we were thrilled when Jaspels – Anglesey Craft Cider was announced as the Silver Medal winner in the Dry Draught category. Our first ever competition entry and to come 2nd out of 21 was amazing! We practically sprinted to the stage and shook hands with Dr Andrew Lea who said “Well done! A very nice cider you should be very proud” That, of course was an understatement and we went on to be awarded BEST NEWCOMER for 2017.
We received many compliments that day. We shook hands with other cidermakers, swapped notes and worked some shifts ourselves behind the main bar. Talking about Jaspels Craft Cider for the first time to the public, as an award winner was a fantastic feeling.
It felt right to get the approval of cidermakers and enthusiasts before launching our Anglesey Craft Cider to the eagerly awaiting locals. From that moment on, we knew we were heading into a very exciting and incredibly busy year.
Janet & Ade