Although the 2. Britisches Bier- & Cider Festival (2nd British Beer & Cider Festival) that took place from 29 September – 1 October 2017 in Loch Ness Scottish Pub & Whisky Bar in Berlin may give you an impression of a huge event, it is different from the other festivals that occur in the city and that you have previously attended. What makes it unique is the fact that it’s the only festival organised in a pub (not a stadium or anything like that). In addition, there were no 700 ciders to try. Only a selection of 5 real bag-in-box ciders, all from a UK cider maker, Kentish Pip. If you include bottled cider from Annings, Brothers, Bulmers, Crabbie’s, Thistly Cross and Westons, the number will increase to 26.
Your 10 EUR (15 EUR on Saturday as it included live music) entry fee got you admittance to the Festival which included, a festival guide, 2 tokens for 1/2 pint beer or bag-in-box cider and a card for stamp collecting (1/2pint gets you a stamp, after collection of 12 stamps you get the 13 half/pint for free). Because of this festival, I got the opportunity to taste a selection of cider from Kentish Pip. Here are my tasting notes.
Company: Kentish Pip Cider
Place of Origin: Woolen Farm, Bekesbourne Canterbury, Kent, UK
Kentish Pip Craftsman (5-6%, medium dry)
Appearance: pours a slightly cloudy pale amber with no carbonation. Body is low. Aroma/Nose: the aroma is tannic and sweet with notes of caramel, red crisp and juicy apples. Taste: it begins slightly sweet with a very low, barely detectable level of acidity. Subsequently, you get a strong tannic kick that makes your mouth dry followed by a watery taste with notes of red apples, apple juice and apple seeds. It finishes dry with a taste of juicy red apple and cinnamon with a hint of the apple seeds-like bitterness. Overall: it has a straight cider apple taste with strong tannins and nice structure. It could taste less watery though. 4/6
Kentish Pip Pear & Russet (6.5%, cider perry made with Russet and conference pears)
Appearance: pours a slightly cloudy pale golden with no carbonation. Body is low. Aroma/Nose: the aroma is funky and fruity with notes of barnyard, pear, elderflower with floral notes. Taste: it begins watery and moderately sweet with a very distant acetic acidity. On the mid-palate notes of pear, candies, cinnamon, paint remover and light funk. The finish is dry with a lingering cinnamon flavour and gentle astringency. Overall: a quite pleasant cider perry that perhaps will not appeal to everyone (I found it too sweet), but will definitely find an audience that can appreciate it. Again, it tasted too watery. 3.5/6Kentish Pip Wild Summer (4%, elderflower cider)
Appearance: pours a slightly cloudy pale yellow straw with no carbonation. Body is low. Aroma/Nose: the aroma is sweet, fruity and floral with notes of elderflower, pear and something green. Taste: it starts quite spicy with no detectable acidity and moderate sweetness. Elderflower, crisp yellow and red apples with green notes, candies and gently astringent tannins on the mid-palate. The aftertaste is dry with a spicy and herbal flavour. Overall: I guess I’m not a fan of elderflower after all as the Wild Summer was not exactly to my liking. It tastes very unique and natural and is not overly sweet as some elderflower cider tend to be, so I think, it may appeal to many. But it’s just not my cup of tea. 3/6
Kentish Pip Forager Hedgerow Berry Cider (4%, cider with hedgerow berries) – my phone died by then so I couldn’t take a picture.
Appearance: pours a clear ruby with no carbonation. Body is low. Aroma/Nose: the nose is funky, tannic and fruity with notes of barnyard, berries and burnt caramel. Taste: it begins watery with moderate sweetness and low acidity. Raspberries, blackberries, black currant, red currant, red apple, caramel and light funk on the mid-palate. The aftertaste is dry with a lingering black currant flavour and light astringency. Overall: One of the best berry cider I had in a while. If not the watery taste I would rate it higher. 4/6
There was one more cider left to try from Kentish Pip, the Firespice Ginger, but the Festival was closing at 10pm, so I didn’t manage to give it a try. Another time perhaps.
Summarizing, each cider from Kentish Pip tasted pleasant and natural with a nice variety of flavours. I found the Craftsman to be the most to my liking as it gives one the strong tannic kick that I like yet tasted quite refreshing. I hope there will be more real cider to try next year at the 3rd edition of the Festival at Loch Ness in Berlin. Cheers!