I’ve recently arrived at the quaint, little Hebden Bridge Parcel Office pub, run by the Real Cider Company. Although it’s not the banging, crowded place my co-drinker and I were expecting, (just a couple of real ale appreciators and one or two hipsters), there’s more ciders here, than I know what to do with. Well, I’d know what to do with them, but I’d be going home in an ambulance. Good job this place in only open until 9pm.
The second drink is my good friend’s choice. After a little taster, I decide this one is worthy of a post and join her in a cheeky half (I’m hoping to cover more ground by sticking to halves). Straight from the (26 pint) box, this is a flavoured cider from family-run Glebe Farm in Cambridgeshire. They also make a ginger-flavoured cider, which, my guide tells me, is magic!
In the glass, this 6% cider looks like tough stuff, flat and cloudy (as a real cider should be) but is a pale, milky colour, like an elderflower wine. The whiff is that of elderflower, a summery hedgerow, without any cider smell. This is the slow, trundling rise to the top of the roller coaster. Having tried several versions of home-made elderflower wine, I’m preparing myself for, well, anything really. As I raise the glass, the car reaches the apex of the ride…
Weeeeeeeeee! Like going over a little country bridge in a fast car with the roof down. A mouthful of thick, sweet, elderflowery nectar. A little bitterness in the pleasant aftertaste brings it back from the sugar rush, and is the only hint of it’s cider base. Like an alco-pop, this could be dangerous, and my drinking partner has taken a liking to it. Easy-drinking, the cider-sense may sneak up behind you, a bit like waking up half way through a ride on ‘The Saw‘ at Thorpe Park.
Theme parks aside, this is a very nice drink, and in it’s own right would warrant a 5/5. However, it feels a bit like it’s defying the point of a cider, like putting a wedding dress on a tractor, (though I’ve heard they do that in parts of Cambridgeshire).
My round again, and I venture back to the bar for Part 3.