Cider firm scoops festival awards

Manx Cider Company owners Benn and Vicky Quirk, centre, celebrate winning two CAMRA awards

Manx Cider Company owners Benn and Vicky Quirk, centre, celebrate winning two CAMRA awards

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A cider company based in Peel is celebrating after scooping two awards at a prestigious UK festival.

The Manx Cider Company took away two awards, after it won one category and secured a bronze award in another at the Greater Manchester Cider and Perry festival.

The bronze award came in the ‘North UK Cider’ competition, but the real star prize was that their medium cider, named ‘Jimmie Kickstart’, was voted ‘Cider of the Festival’ by the voting public.

The awards were presented by festival organiser Mike Robinson, who, along with several other Campaign For Real Ales members, travelled to the island to give Manx Cider Company owner Benn Quirk his awards.

The brief ceremony was carried out in the front bar of the Creek Inn in Peel where Benn launched his cider two years ago.

Mike revealed that he first came across the Manx Cider Company when he came to help out at the Isle of Man CAMRA beer festival in April. He was so impressed that he volunteered to take a sample back to Manchester and enter it into the Manchester festival.

‘I met Benn, liked his cider and said “let’s bring it over to the mainland”’, said Mike.

‘We talked about taking it over last year, but for one reason or another it just didn’t happen. This year I was determined to get it over so I took some back when I visited in April.’

‘I brought a spare suitcase over and took a 20-litre box back with me. I put it into the competition in June in Manchester, and it won two awards! One is the people’s choice cider of the festival, and also in the competition, where there are about 18 different ciders from the whole of the North of the UK, Scotland, Isle of Man and Ireland, it came third.’

Benn said that the award was a little unexpected, but he was delighted with the results.

‘We’re an award winning cider now, and that’s awesome!’ he said after receiving the award.

‘Mike suggested taking a box of cider over with him to enter into the Manchester Cider and Perry festival – I said yes, obviously, not expecting anything really. He took it away with him, and I kind of forgot about it. But then I got a call a few months later to hear that I had won cider of the festival! We’re very, very pleased.’

The Manx Cider Company has only been in existence for two years, during which time its distinctive skull-themed logos have become a familiar sight in the pubs around the island.

They sell dry, sweet and medium cider, and it is the medium which has won the accolades.

For a small cider firm to already be winning awards shows how far it has come, and Benn hopes that it can help boost the profile both on the island and in the UK.

They have recently begun to sell to a bar in Edinburgh, and the hope is that the Manx cider logo will soon be seen in more pubs across the water.

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