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  • Writer's pictureCider Buzz Mcr

Cider and Food - the perfect match

Cider and Food with Marble Brewery

With its mix of sweetness, sourness, acid and tannin, cider is a natural food partner. Central Manchester CAMRA is pleased to be supporting the following events organised by Marble Brewery.

A celebration of cider and cheese

Friday 26th July - Cheese and Cider evening with Marble Brewery at 57 Thomas Street, presented by CAMRA’s very own John Clarke, from Stockport.

Marble Arch – Fine Food meets Fine Cider and Perry

Tuesday 1st October – Fine Dining and Cider at The Marble Arch, compered by John Clarke, with ciders from Ross Cider and Little Pomona introduced by Albert Johnson.

Below is a story of one of the cheeses on the list of twenty one cheeses on the Marble Cheese list – and the Perry we will be matching with it.

May Hill – a hill, a perry and a cheese

Flakey Bark - the pear, the tree and the perry
Flakey Bark - the pear, the tree and the perry - Charles Martell, the cheesemaker, also wrote this book about Perry Pears.

May Hill Green is a soft, almost runny, cow’s milk cheese with a gentle enigmatic flavour coming from the chopped nettles which coat the rind. It dates from 1999, when cider and perry maker, now famous award-winning cheese maker Charles Martell dreamt it up after an evening joining revellers at the top of May Hill, overlooking his village of Dymock in Gloucestershire.

The imposing hill is an important landscape feature of this part of Gloucestershire. Once the home of British poetry, counting amongst its residents Rupert Brooke, American Robert Frost and Eleanor Farjeon amongst many others.

Dymock lies at the heart of perry pear country on the border of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. It is the birth home of Gabe Cook, the ‘Ciderologist’ often seen on TV on ITV’s ‘Sunday Brunch’.

Gabe frequently tells the story of the origin of ‘Perry’. A perry pear is so dry and astringent as to be virtually inedible. Centuries ago this was discovered by a group of friends at the top of May Hill, on eating they spat the pear all around the hill, those pips took root and flourished, They later found that the pear must be crushed and the juice turned into perry and the perry pear had entered the mortal World.

It is for this reason that even today it is said that a perry pear tree will flourish best if it is growing within sight of May Hill.

So, do we have a Perry to go with Marble’s Mayhill Green Cheese? – we certainly do. It’s a perry variety discovered and identified by Charles Martell 15 years ago, when he spotted a small clump of trees over the top of a hedge near Dymock. Those were less than ten ancient perry pear trees, that he identified as Flakey Bark; and those are the last trees remaining.

Picked by their friend Rob, who helps them during pressing season, Ross Cider turn these remaining few pears into a delicious wild ferment perry.

The single variety Flakey Bark 2017 vintage perry is dominated by delicate but powerful astringency and bursting with tannins. It is complemented by slight sweetness and the gentle process of bottle conditioning. It has iconic wild ferment aromas, funky beyond compare. And does it match Mayhill Cheese – oh yes! With some matching clean sharp flavours and a contrasting sweetness to balance the astringency.

But then you might be able to try it for yourself if you come to the very special Cheese and Cider tasting on July 26th at Marble Brewery’s 57 Thomas Street Bar; it just might be one of the matches.

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