UPTON Noble Beer Festival chairman Dan Hurring has been telling BBC Radio Somerset Saturday presenter Simon Parkin all about tonight’s cider launch, sponsored by award-winning Batcombe pub The Three Horseshoes. The interview with Dan was broadcast at 8.55am (Saturday 15 April) and can be listened to on BBC iPlayer (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04yx1sz). While he was talking to Simon, Dan divulged the fact that the cider had yet to be delivered to Somerset from Derbyshire, where it was being bottled. 

It’s literally arriving any minute,” he revealed.

Dan also noted that Uptonogood Cider has its own unique taste. “Because a lot of the apples aren’t cider apples it actually creates a much sweeter flavour. While a lot of ciders are quite heavy, this one is really delicious,” he said.

In fact, the cider did arrive at 11am as scheduled. 

I’ve had a sleepless night,” said John White, whose company, Millwhites, had made the cider before it was sent to Derbyshire for bottling. “I was promised it on Wednesday, but then another order was put in before ours. By Good Friday I was very concerned, but the company promised that it would be here before the event, and they have fulfilled that promise. When I got to my company at 7am this morning (Saturday), the lorry was waiting outside my premises and I’d delivered it to Upton Noble Village Hall by 11am. I’m pretty relieved, but also really excited. This year’s cider seems darker and more full bodied than last years. I think it’s absolutely delicious.” 

The Cider Launch, sponsored by award-winning Batcombe pub The Three Horseshoes, kicks off tonight, 15 April, at 7pm at Upton Noble Village Hall (BA4 6AS). Entry costs just £4 per person. The Somerset Paddies will once again be providing the musical entertainment, along with popular folk musicians from neighbouring village Witham Friary. There will be cuisine to cater for all tastes, including vegetarians, plus beer and wine for those for whom cider is not their favourite tipple.

What’s happening tonight

The schedule will be as follows (some times are approximate): 

Doors open from 7pm onwards.

Food served from 7pm onwards from Gilcombe Farm and local chef Sophie Docker. There will be a vegetarian/vegan option.

Somerset Paddies play from approximately 8.30pm onwards.

DJ Poshratz will appear during the evening.

Music and the bar close at 12.30am. 

Kav Javvi, landlord of The Three Horseshoes Inn has noted that he is looking forward to the event. “The Cider Launch is an exciting venture for a village that has lost its own pub,” he said. “It promises to be a really exciting event and a great opportunity to sample some great cider as well as catch up with friends.”

Organiser Dan Hurring said: “The combination of the Uptonogood Cider launch and The Three Horseshoes is a winning combination. We are incredibly grateful for Kav’s backing this time. It can only enhance what promises to be a fantastic event.”   

The apples that have gone into making Uptonogood Cider this year were collected by more than 20 villagers one Sunday last October. The harvest was coordinated by John White. 

“We had a great turnout yet again from villagers, young and old to help with the harvest,” said John. “The enthusiasm was great to see, especially from the children who frantically climbed and shook the trees to maximise the amount of apples we were able to collect.”

Kindly villagers donated apples from trees within their gardens and orchards, while this time Hents Hill Farm donated apples from their orchard too. 

In total the apples collected enabled Millwhites to press 1,400 litres of juice, a significant increase on 2016’s 1,000 litres. The cider was then sent to Complete Bottling in Derbyshire, making around 2,600 bottles or 215 cases.

Anyone wanting to buy a case of Uptonogood Cider will get one bottle free. Cases cost £27.50. Details from John White, email: sales@millwhites.co.uk, or Dan Hurring, email: dan@danhurring.com.