Merrydown scoops top award

Merrydown Medium Cider has scooped the trophy as Overall Winner of the inaugural International Cider Challenge.

The Sussex cider also won gold for Premium Medium Cider in the competition, organised by Drinks International in association with Off Licence News.

Christian Davis, chairman of the judges and editor of Drinks International, said: “We had ciders from places such as the Czech Republic, the US, South Africa and Canada, so we were really pleased to have such a good response.

“People think cider is an English drink but the competition shows it’s truly international.”?Gold medals were also awarded to Neige Première Ice Cider, Gaymers Stewley Orchard Reserve, Waitrose Organic Vintage Cider and Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider.

Judge Simon Russell, of the National Association of Cidermakers, said: “It was great to see the level of interest and breadth of different products.

“A truly international line-up gave us, as judges, a challenging but enjoyable task of finding the best from a great number of producers. What was clearly evident was product quality – we found few, if any, with flaws – testament to the improvement in quality in the category.”