Rugby's 'First Ever' dedicated Cider Festival

By Tim Dawe
Posted: 28/09/2009

As summer is here and people prefer more refreshing drinks, The Merchant’s Inn came up with the answer by holding their first festival dedicated to cider in the ‘Cider Barn’. The choice of 30 + ciders was very diverse as all type and flavours were available. There were even some ‘home made’ ciders produced by the staff!

New Forest Ciders located in the village of Burley. Snake Catchers Dry and Medium both of 7.4% described as refreshing. Thatcher’s who have made cider for over 100 years, located in Sandford, Somerset. Moles Black Rat Cider. A mild cider at only 6% and described in the festival programme as A strong dry premium blend cider full of flavour with a clean apple bite. Broadoak Moonshine, a white farmhouse cider at 7.5% not for the faint hearted.

As well as the ciders going down very well with the cider lovers and people, such as myself that don’t know much about the great range you can get was that 1/3 pint glass measures were available, even more you get 6 – 1/3rd pints for a very reasonable cost. I’m sure we all look forward to this new annual event.

This festival was great fun with people of all ages trying out this new venture. There was also a serious side to it as the pub had chosen ‘Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice’ to support during the weekend where over £650+ was raised and still growing. Zoe’s place has  centres in the UK in Liverpool and Middlesbrough  with  building is due to start in Coventry costing around £730,000 taking 9 months to complete and should be running by the end of summer 2010. Zoe is a Greek word meaning ‘Gift of Life’ and this charity is home from home for babies who have life limiting or terminal illnesses and special complex needs.

For more information on the charity go to