On a chilly November evening, we welcomed eight cider lovers to our very first Cider Masterclass Tour. This tour was going to be very different to our normal ones, as this night, these cider fans were going to learn how to blend cider into something they would enjoy drinking!

Starting with a cup of hot organic mulled cider, we all gathered in our cask area in the shop to introduce ourselves to each other.

We then sent this merry bunch out into the cold dark evening, with Bean Benson, our Director, to understand our pressing procedures, followed by more detailed information about how we make cider and why cider travels around the blending hall over several months.

It was then time for our novice blenders, to enjoy a couple of cheese and cider pairings, with an explanation of how we taste, using our olfactory senses. First was the deliciously tangy Hafod cheddar from Wales, on fresh baguette with our cider made, organic orchard chutney, paired with our medium sweet Premium cider.

This was followed by some Fig & Walnut crackers with the savoury Bath Blue paired with our delightful sparkling Perry.

All are available in our shop if you fancy trying these pairings yourself!

It was then time for the blending lesson to begin, so everyone huddled round the table to begin the lesson with Bean Benson. It was all very secretive, so our photographer had to sneak some photos out for you to see.

If you would like to know more about what happens at the blending stage of our Masterclass Tour, check out our website for new tours coming up.

Once the blending lesson had finished it was time for the last cheese and cider pairing…something very special to keep everyone warm on this chilly night. To go with our superb, refined Vintage cider, we offered our intrepid blenders, a baked Caws Cenarth Golden mini. This cheese won Supreme Champion at the British Cheese awards and it did not disappoint on this evening!

It was a match of heavenly desire!

If you would like to try our suggested pairings, why not pop into our Cheltenham shop where Alan, Ian or Trevor will be delighted to help you with our suggestions.