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Brogdale Artisan Cider Festival, near Faversham, August Bank Holiday weekend

Cider lovers might think they’ve been transported to heaven at a festival over the bank holiday weekend.

They will be able to drink as much hand-crafted cider as they like – arriving by train is a must if you plan to sample the brews on offer – and also discover how cider is produced.

Mark Mount of Bekesbourne with his Kentish Pip Cider and Mark Henderson of the Kent Cider Company at last year's festival
Mark Mount of Bekesbourne with his Kentish Pip Cider and Mark Henderson of the Kent Cider Company at last year's festival

It’s all happening at the Brogdale Artisan Cider Festival at Faversham on Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24. The festival is now in its eighth year and attracts around 3,000 cider fans over the weekend.

The Cider Barn will offer more than 70 different ciders and perrys, ranging from micro producers to some of the larger artisan producers such as the Kent Cider Company.

Live bands will play throughout the weekend, with music from Rudy Warman & the Heavy Weather on the Saturday and Bombus on the Sunday.

Kimberly Campion, Brogdale’s development officer, said: “The festival is becoming a central event for artisan cider makers in Kent to showcase their products.

Debbie Hickman of Tiddly Pomme checks out a glass of Woolly Pig cider
Debbie Hickman of Tiddly Pomme checks out a glass of Woolly Pig cider

“While the bar will feature some West Country ciders, it is our aim to bring all the Kentish artisan ciders to the event for visitors to sample and enjoy.

“Kent is starting to make a name for itself as a serious producer of top quality cider. Our small producers are on the rise and have barrels of new tastes and textures.”

Artisan ciders are hand-crafted by small producers, sometimes by individuals and are the cider equivalent of real ale micro breweries.

“You might get just four or five barrels produced on a local farm. We will be having some of these at the festival,” said Kimberly.

Enjoy some brews at Brogdale
Enjoy some brews at Brogdale

The festival’s main bar will be hosted by Brogdale-based Tiddly Pomme, which make its own cider intruguing called Woolly Pig. Other local producers will also be running mini bars of their own including the Kent Cider Company, Turners Cider, Biddenden Vineyards, Kentish Pip and London Glider.

Debbie Hickman, who produces Tiddly Pomme’s Woolly Pig cider, said: “This is our second year of producing our own artisan cider using Brogdale apples and it is going really well.

“We already have plans to increase capacity.”

Brogdale near Faversham
Brogdale near Faversham

Fun at core of juice fest

The Cider Festival will include a range of entertainment to enjoy. A juicing competition will demonstrate how the traditional pulp and press method stands against the strain method of obtaining fresh apple juice.

The pulp and press team will be led by Peter Eveleigh of Hardwood Crafts who will be using an electric mill and two manual presses, all of his own design. On the strain team, Nevin Stewart and his colleagues will put two high performance juicers to the juice and strain task.

Guided orchard tours of Brogdale’s National Fruit Collection will run throughout the day, both by foot and tractor trailer. The collections preserve around 100 different cider apple varieties, all with individual characteristics which contribute to the taste and texture of a cider. There’s also a festival food court, crafts in the Makers’ Tent plus children’s entertainment – kite flying, storytelling and creative crafts.


Tickets to the Brogdale Artisan Cider Festival are available at www.brogdalecollections.co.uk for a discounted price or can be bought on the gate for £8 adult, child £4 or £20 family. A complimentary shuttle bus will run from Faversham train station to Brogdale throughout the day.

Brogdale is home to the National Fruit Collection, the largest collection of fruit in the world. More details at 01795 536250.

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