A chalkboard in the entrance to my local proudly boasts that they have nine ciders on sale. It's a Somerset pub in the heart of cider-producing territory so you would hope they have a decent offering. Let's take a closer look ...
On draught we have
Both of which are mass-produced carbonated rubbish.
4. Magners (Irish cider ... Hmmph)
Another couple of mass-produced, over-carbonated pop masquerading as cider.
5. WKD Core
6. Brothers Strawberry
I don't know how they can call either of these cider.
7. Aspalls Draught
8. Aspalls Dry
Not Somerset produced, and not a traditional cloudy scrumpy, but in the absence of anything better I like a bottle of Aspalls, particularly the 7% dry. It's got quite a distinct apple taste - not too sharp and not too dry. And the best bit is ... I'm one of the few people trusted with the special Aspalls glass!
9. Aspalls Blush
Although they don't actually have amy of this in at the moment, nor space on the shelves. Which doesn't bother me. The time I tried some it reminded me of being a teenager and drinking 'cider'n'black' on a nearby town's practically derelict pier and almost falling through the planking on the way home. Before being jolly ill.
Tonight the rugby is on, the place is packed, so far Enfland are winning. Everyone seems happy ... It's very noisy - the sort of cacophony you get when men get over-excited, but it's nice to see the place busy.
Later I shall probably venture forth for a kebab. The chef here tries his best, there are ham or cheese rolls behind the bar and the specials board features lamb shank or grilled bacon and everything comes with chips. But judging from the smell that emanates from the kitchen they don't seem to change the chip fat very often and that has always put me off grabbing a bite to eat here.
Cider - 3.5 (that score is purely for the Aspalls but then this place is not a free house, so I suppose they are doing their best!) Tuna - 0 (but the kebab is always good) Atmosphere - 5. It's my local after all.