Perry-Maker Hopes Silver Lady Will Bag Him a Hat-Trick of Awards; Growing Thirst for Local Cider
Byline: Steve Dube Farming Editor
A WELSH amateur perry maker could make history if he wins again at this year's Welsh Perry and Cider Championships in May.
Richard Williams of Glynneath near Neath, has scooped Best Welsh Perry at the festival for the last two years running with his Bragdyr Brody Silver Lady.
A teacher at Aberdare Boys' School, Richard began making cider and perry as a hobby four years ago. He only makes enough for family and friends and if he achieves the hat trick it will be the first time anyone has won the championship perry three years in a row.
"Towin for a third time would be an astonishing achievement," says festival organiser Alan Golding of the Welsh Perry and Cider Society.
"Silver Lady is competing against larger and more established names in the industry and to maintain the quality and consistency of such an artisan product and win over so many judges is quite amazing."
The Welsh Assembly Government-sponsored event, which takes place fromMay 24 to 26, is now in its 7th year and is expected to feature some 30 cider and perry makers with 70 ciders and perries available over the three days.
It takes place at the Clytha Arms near Raglan, Monmouthshire, and is judged by the producers themselves.
Last year there were a record 87 entries from Welsh producers and it is hoped numbers will exceed that this year. The 2007 Champion Cider of Wales was Old Barn from Springfield Cider, Abergavenny.
Alan Golding said interest in Welsh perry and cider is growing.
"There has been a steady increase in the number of premium ciders on the market which has increased year on year, as people turn from the industrial-produced versions to find the real thing," he said.
"Unlike beer and wine, cider and perry are drinks indigenous to the UK, with Wales having its own unique varieties, yet perry - one of Britain's oldest drinks - is now seldomseen which is a pity."
In addition to organising the championships, the society promotes cider and perry as indigenous alternatives to wine for drinking with food. …