Cider and real ale festival to showcase village

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A selection of ciders made from the lost apples of Yorkshire will take centre stage at the Real Ale and Cider Festival weekend at RHS Garden Harlow Carr on Saturday and Sunday September 19 and 20.

The ciders – which include unique Yorkshire apples – are being supplied by the Orchards of Husthwaite, a community enterprise set up in the village between Thirsk and York in 2009 to tackle the problem of Husthwaite’s vanishing orchards.

Cameron Smith from the Orchards of Husthwaite Co-operative said: “Husthwaite was known for many years as the ‘Orchard Village’ of North Yorkshire due to its history of commercial fruit growing and jam manufacture dating back three centuries.

“Many of the houses – known as garths – had large fertile gardens with productive orchards and villagers grew an abundance of fruit.”

One of the ciders that will be available at the Real Ale & Cider Festival is made from an un‑named Husthwaite apple cultivar that Cameron grew from a graft taken from a dying tree in the village.

Local experts from the Northern Fruit Group have so far failed to identify it, and have classed it as a unique local cultivar. It will be the first time this particular blend of cider will be available to the public.

The two-day event at Harlow Carr will also feature a range of real ales from the four corners of Yorkshire – all served direct from the cask –including well-known tipples such as Brown Cow Brewery’s Mrs Simpson’s Thriller in Vanilla Porter.

Live music will be on the lower lawn, courtesy of popular Yorkshire ceilidh bands Fiddlers Wreck and No Mean Feet, from noon–8pm each day.