Blog: Only one bad apple at parliament cider meeting
Olly Wehring | 8 June 2006
A security alert at the Houses of Parliament turned a successful cider meeting slightly sour yesterday as departing guests, growers and MPs were locked in for nearly an hour.
But for me, with tasting notes available for a wide range of ciders and perry, a warm welcome from my hosts, and a distinguished location in the Common’s Terrace Marquee, my glass was most certainly half-full rather than half-empty.
The meeting, hosted by the Parliamentary Cider Group and National Association of Cider Makers, highlighted a boost to the industry from a standstill in cider excise duty and a remarkable growth and commercialisation of the apple-based beverage.
Growers such as Gaymers and Bulmers, who makes Strongbow Sirrus, can now gain from the sudden appeal of Irish cider Magners by targeting drinkers in their early 20s. On the back of this, vintage ciders could see a resurgence and ‘wine ciders’ are being coined as another alternative, with some designed to accompany Indian and Chinese dishes.
After a few hours of enthusiastic tasting and deliberating, an alert arose at 6pm, however, when a protestor flung white powder onto the marble floor of the central lobby area, before being detained by the many armed police on the scene. While the powder was tested, possibly for anthrax, there was no through passage out of the building for aggrieved MPs, Peers, Lords and me.
Eventually the incident was resolved to no negative avail and the feared substance thought to be wheat powder.
Such scares will not hinder this biannual occasion, I'm sure, but tasters may be watching the clock a little more closely next time around.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Heineken to stay "active player" in beer M&A - CFO
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- Focus - Heineken's Q3 Performance by Region
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- Diageo puts Beckham centre stage in Haig Club ad
- Smirnoff Ice gets India launch