I’m still at The Pembury Tavern, now one of my favourite cidering holes, it has stared up Amhurst Road for 128 years. It probably remembers when this was all fields.
Checking out the info on their website, I see they have biannual booze-fests. I intend to find out more about this, as a normal day at the Pemb, seems like a beer and cider fest, in this pub, so a festival would be a riot of real ales and ciders! They also allow pets, and don’t play music, though I can’t say I’ve noticed as it’s always buzzing and certainly loud enough. I always secretly pleased when there’s no music to drown out the high-brow discussions of my drinking buddies, and I don’t have to cup my hands over my ears to hear what’s said. Secretly pleased, as I’m sure it must be cooler to enjoy pubs with loud music. Perhaps I’m getting old, or going deaf.
This is a top pub, for a real cider lover. There’s always two real ciders on draft here. Tonight, following a Green Valley cider, I’m going for the Hallets Traditional. Though it has a slightly more prefessional tap sign, that’s no indication of a better cider. Indeed, the hand-written tap signs are quite exciting, suggesting that all the tap is hooked up to is a fruity old barrel of some barely legal, bumpkin moonshine.
After the strong Green Valley (8.2%), Hallet’s has a cool taste. Bit of a blue smell, like a fresh toilet. However, after a while, I start getting a more treacly taste, and the more I drink, the more treacly it gets! Like a sticky toffee pudding. Like me, it seems to become more acceptable with time. Or maybe my taste buds are failing as well as my hearing.
My ciderkick’s acquaintance tells me that people used to pee in cider. After an internet investigation into this, I can only find details of how cider stops you peeing or how it stops cats peeing in your garden. Phew, no wazz in me scrumpy, then. However, it may be possble that the wee has the same effect as the meat in cider, offering the yeast extra nitrogen for fermentation process. I suspect the acquaintance is just a gobshite.
I find out that Hallets is the same as Blaengawney, made at the Blaengawney farm near Caerphilly, South Wales. It seems the sweetness of the cider is due to their use of the traditional method of keeving. Ah, the old ways are the best. Saying that, I’m looking at a chap who looks like he should be younger then me, but has the whiskers and attire of a man of three score years and ten. It’s not even fancy dress. Well, at least all the anti-oxidants in these real ciders will keep my face looking young, and my liver looking preserved.
My medication reminder starts beeping, I turn down my hearing aid, and totter out of the Pembury, slip into my power assisted chair, and swerve up the street home, waving my stick and shouting incomprehensively, at rapscallions high on punk-rock.