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Real cider fest a Burton first

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 19, 2014

  • 17/02/14 Rockstock and Barrel - Burton mail Office/Town Hall, Burton Phil Riley and Deb jacobs - Organisers for the Rock Stock and Barrel event coming to Burton's Town Hall

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BURTON’S first ever real cider festival is to take place at the town hall in October.

Featuring two days of live music and more than 60 traditionally made ciders from far and wide, the event will also bring the feel of the outdoors summer festival indoors.

Organisers hope to announce a string of well-known bands to help attract hundreds of visitors to the event, which they are already planning to make an annual attraction.

The Rock, Stock and Barrel Festival takes place on October 3 and 4, the brainchild of Phil Riley and Deb Jacobs.

“Basically we like drinking real cider,” sid Phil. “We went to places like Somerset and Wiltshire and experienced what real cider was all about, but when you head northwards there are less opportunities and varieties – it’s all the fizzy, manufactured brands.

“It’s the smaller operations that make the real stuff.”

Deb said: “There is a CAMRA campaign for real cider like real ale, it’s just not quite as well known. So we want to champion that.”

There are local cider makers in Burton and Scropton and the Coopers Tavern in town champions real ciders, but Deb and Phil admit that you have to travel to areas like Somerset to see their favorite drink enjoy its proper place on the map.

“We want to champion the local cider makers but also to bring in ones you wouldn’t normally see in Burton from areas like the South West,” said Phil.

“It is Britain’s oldest alcoholic beverage and it’s still made very traditionally by families and farmers in the back of a shed, where there are big barrels and you wash your glass out at the tap and pour it straight out.”

Deb added: “People come to Burton to drink real ale so we are sure they can be encouraged to drink real cider.

“The aim will be to have different zones and to create a good atmosphere and even bring a bit of the outdoor festival feel indoors at the end of the season.

“There will be a real ale bar, some fruit wines as well as teas and coffees, and food will be very important.

“There will be gluten-free, vegan and veggie choices – not just your standard token offering.”

Phil and Deb are looking to organise a cider trail around Burton and the surrounding villages in the run-up to the festival to draw some attention to the event.

The bands for the festival haven’t yet been announced but will feature rock, punk, folk, blues and roots.

Entry will cost £12 for the Friday night in advance and £14 on the door, and £20 in advance for Saturday and £23 on the door for a whole day, 11am to 11pm.

There will be a dedicated website up and running soon, but in the meantime people can visit Facebook.com/rockstockand barrelfestival and twitter @rockstockfest.

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