Hereford – The farmers who got paid in cider…
Every now and again you learn something new which changes your whole outlook on life.
Like that Herefordshire farmers used to get paid in cider.
They would drink it instead of water.
A cut-out-the-middle-man policy that had the added health benefit of avoiding the risk of typhoid that drinking H20 brought.
After a long day working in the field – where as many of eight pints of cider would be consumed – these farmers would enjoy a few more drinks in the evening, while sitting round a fire.
They would sit in a circle and take turns to quaff their cider. As the evening unravelled, and they became more drunk, they would forget how far they had got round the circle – and return to the start.
It didn’t pay to be too close to the first drinker if you wanted a quiet night.
Such stories are the highlight of the tour of Hereford’s Cider Museum.
Located to the west of the city – a 10 minute walk from the city centre – the museum includes a large number of artefacts and exhibits.
The tour itself is quite long and, especially for those who would rather fast forward to the cider tasting at the end, perhaps delves a little too deep into the intricacies of production.
Without that, though, visitors may not learn little nuggets such as how horses working at the mills would only walk in a clockwise direction as cider makers believed moving moving anti-clockwise was devilish.
A working model within the museum makes the mistake of depicting the horse moving in an anti-clockwise direction.
The underground vaults containing bottle after bottle of, sadly empty, Champagne cider are also impressive.
Of course, most people will visit to sample the cider itself, and there is plenty of opportunity to do that in the company of an impressively sized Ploughman’s Lunch.
Beats working in a field for your beverage…