HEREFORDSHIRE cider producers were the stars of a landmark event for the craft cider sector.

Eighty different cideries joined the British stars of the craft cider world for CraftCon 2019.

Organised by the Three Counties Cider and Perry Association, 140 delegates began the day with a masterclass on blending from Herefordshire cider maker, Tom Oliver of Oliver's Cider and Perry and closed with a panel looking into the future of UK cider, moderated by 'The Ciderologist', Gabe Cooke.

Along the way, delegates analysed 2,000 cider samples between them, took part in grafting masterclasses and presented their own ciders for expert scrutiny by four of the UK's most experienced cider makers, the Cider Doctors.

They also took part in a variety of other sessions, ranging from how to start a cider business with Ross Cider's Albert Johnson and Halfpenny Green's Tony Lovering to mastering the tricky arts of keeving, branding and mastering social media.

Whilst a panel session focused on key issues facing the industry, including legislation and duty reform, plus the urgent need for a cider lexicon which transcends geographical boundaries.

Broadcast on Facebook Live by Crafty Nectar, the session also covered the myriad benefits of collaboration.

Discussions continued late into the night with the CraftCon Cider Share. “Everyone there had a unique story and that made it such a celebration and gave a buzz to the whole event,” said The Orchard Project’s Rosa Fletcher.

“The Cider market seems to be at a pivotal moment, where retailers, consumers, discerning alcohol aficionados are all willing to open their ears and listen to cider producers for the first time,” said Albert Johnson of Ross Cider and Perry.

“We must all seize this moment and make sure that the cider and perry on their tongues is of the highest quality possible – in all senses not just in flavour and aroma but also products made with integrity, heart and passion.”

Cider enthusiasts keen to experience the cider renaissance first hand are invited to visit the Three Counties Cider and Perry Festival at the Royal Three Counties Show Malvern, June 14 - 16.