Country charm shines through as Castle Inn wins CAMRA’s National Cider Pub of the Year

A traditional 16th century thatched roofed pub in a small Dorset village has walked away with CAMRA’s top Real Cider award after being named Cider Pub of the Year.

The Castle Inn, West Lulworth, has been crowned the best place in the UK to enjoy a pint of Real Cider by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.

The pub has been run by the Halliday family for over thirty years – Alex Halliday is the current landlord and the third generation of his family to run the pub,

“It’s absolutely fantastic to win the National Cider Pub of the Year competition. We’ve been pushing real cider for years now and hope that us winning this award will put Dorset cider on the map.” Alex Halliday, Landlord at The Castle Inn.

Located near to the beautiful Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door of the Jurassic Coastline, the pub is a hit with regulars and visitors alike, with the choice of real ciders and perries being a significant draw for many.

“At any one time we have around fifty to sixty different real ciders available in the pub and we believe that once people try proper real cider they will realise how much better it is than commercially produced stuff, which often only contains around thirty percent apple juice!”

Real Cider is made from 100% natural apple juice with no additives or chemicals and is served naturally still, unlike commercially produced cider which is force-carbonated to give it fizz and, as Alex mentions above, can often contain as little as 30% apple juice. Real perry is produced in exactly the same way as real cider but with pear juice instead of apple juice. Sarah Newson is the organiser of the Cider pub of the Year competition and had this to say about The Castle Inn,

“The Castle Inn is a very worthy winner of this much coveted award. Their commitment to real cider and perry is second to none and the quality of drinks they have in the pub at any one time is truly staggering. As well as that the pub is a beautiful place to enjoy a drink, with all the country charm you could hope for.”

The announcement of the award marks the start of CAMRA’s October long Cider Month campaign. CAMRA is urging pubs around the country to try stocking a real cider this month and to encourage their patrons to give this traditional British drink a try.

The Cider Pub of the year Award will be presented at 01.00pm today at The Castle Inn, Main Rd, West Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5RN. The other three finalists were the Rising Sun in Berkhamsted, the Railway Arms in Downham Market and the Hop and Vine in Hull.

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