Squirrel’s in orchards
Beer and cider, despite being very different drinks, have always been companions. The grain and the apple are often seen together: at beer festivals across the country cider sits next to casks of ale. The campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) also campaigns for the protection of real cider, and over the years various punters (mostly students) have mixed the two in snakebites to mixed levels of inebriation and debauchery.
At our own outlets cider makes up a fairly small (in comparison to beer) but steady proportion of our sales. We try and keep a varied range of packaged ciders in the fridge and, like our philosophy with beers, we try and keep our offering different from that which you might find in local supermarkets. Although cider is made with only the one ingredient, it can still offer a great complexity in taste with flavour profiles ranging from sweet to dry, fresh to musty, clean to funky and more. And it is this range and complexity that has attracted us to dipping our toe into the cider scene for the first time.
Cider production on the same kit as beer is not a good idea! For one the process’ of production are completely different and trying to force one kit to do both is the equivalent of trying to make ice cream in a bread maker. The second issue is that there is a huge risk of serious cross contamination, spoiling both products. With that in mind It was universally agreed that we would be unable to produce a cider by ourselves, we would need some help.
Therefore, we are very pleased to announce that we have teamed up with The Celtic Marshes, one of Herefordshire’s premium cider press’, to produce the first ever Mad Squirrel ciders: “Pulp Fiction”, and “Old Man Hicky”
Pulp Fiction is a 4.6% medium sparkling cider, served on keg. It is light, refreshing and clean, made with only the best Herefordshire grown apples, from the Celtic Marshes farm.
Just like its namesake film, we think it is a classic, worthy of repeated showings in your drinks repertoire.
Old Man Hicky
Old Man Hicky is a 5.2%, well rounded medium still cider, served via bag in box. Made with a blend of bitter sweet and sharp, Herefordshire grown cider apples. It is a more traditional cider than Pulp Fiction.
The name is something of an in-joke amongst the Mad Squirrel clan, referring to one of our management team, and his penchant for a good moan (plus he does also like a glass of cider).
The Celtic Marshes have been a fantastic collaborator throughout, listening to our cider preferences and tailoring their apple selections and blends to meet our needs. Several trial batches have gone between us until we were happy with the final product. We are very happy with the finished results, and hope you will be too!
Both ciders will be appearing on tap in the Mad Squirrel Tap & Bottle Shops over the next week. Both will also be available to order by trade customers shortly. If you’re a cider drinker hit us up on social media when you have tried them and let us know what you think!