Batlow Cider Co - MeatAndVegReviews
Batlow is a small country town located in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains region about 450km South- West of Sydney.
On one Saturday every year in May, up to 10,000 cider lovers descend on Batlow to celebrate everything there is about cider - as well as enjoy local produce, watch performances and to end the night at the local pub with new friends.
Batlow Cider Co. invited #MeatandVegReviews to the usually sleepy town of Batlow to experience the Batlow Ciderfest.
Launched in September 2011, Batlow Cider Co. was formed as a joint collaboration between the Batlow Fruit Co-operative Ltd and Sydney based brothers Rich & Sam Coombes. The brothers contacted the Co-operative to source apples to fulfill their cider-making dream in 2010. After spending time in the UK visiting their father in the early 2000’s they noticed a lack of quality craft cider available in Australia so set out to create their own using the best cider-making practices and best quality locally grown fruit.
We left Sydney on Friday afternoon and were in Batlow just in time for dinner. We headed out to the local pub and got ourselves a surprisingly delicious Thai dinner! Washed that down with a bottle of wine (probably a bad idea) and headed to our little room in Tumut (just outside of Batlow).
The next morning we were greeted by one of the Batlow Cider Co. team and escorted to Batlow. We stopped on the way for the tourist shot next to the Batlow sign (it’s a must).
When we arrived there was a lot going on. Stallholders were setting up shop – sausage rolls were warming, cider kegs were being prepped, The Man from Snowy River was being recited by a guy in a flannelette shirt and akubra. I got the impression of a town rich in tradition and local community spirit.
We headed to the local coffee shop (which happens to be owned by the guy who created the Ciderfest concept) and enjoyed a coffee whilst we waited for the 10am “official opening” – aka “Cider Time”.
The smell of local produce being prepared filled the air and breakfast was now imminent. Leading the breakfast calling were pork and fennel sausage rolls teamed up with fresh slaw – Rich from Batlow Cider Co. recommended this and Dane obliged – slamming down the most Aussie breakfast possible.
Renae went on the search for a vegetarian option and came across a small gozleme stall. The gozleme was SUPER thin and had minimal cheese (perfect).
We sat down to eat and watched a local character perform some more poetry including some classic Elvis moves which didn't get the crowd going half as much as I expected it to (those hips). On our way over to get some Batlow Cider we found ourselves a little chestnut van. Hot, fresh chestnuts were roasted with garlic, chilli and olive oil… dish of the day – hands down.
The cider is fantastic and there’s plenty of varieties on offer – although how can you be in Batlow for the Ciderfest and not indulge in Batlow Cider? We drank plenty – constantly dropping past the stall for a refill.
The Ciderfest winds down as it starts to cool down – a band plays and people start to relax. The vibe is BRILLIANT and you cant help get involved by either dancing or singing (or like us, cheering along those much braver than you.)
The night ends at a local pub where the whole town gathers for rounds of pool, food and of course, more cider.
A fantastic weekend away and something we recommend getting into your calendars for 2015. Book early though – we've heard one of the hotels is already completely booked for next year!