The first Powerstock Cider Festival was held at Powerstock Hut in November 2001. This was in response to a call to arms when the village hall had just been rebuilt and was totally bereft of funds.
Many credit this festival with the rebirth of cider making in Dorset. That may be quite a bold claim but Powerstock was certainly the only cider festival around in Dorset at that time and it did have quite a major influence in regenerating public interest in traditional cider drinking and the making of it. In 2006 the festival was awarded the prestigious innovation award from the Royal Bath and West show in recognition of it’s success in promoting cider.
Over the years the festival has attracted a growing number of cider makers from Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Kent, and as far afield as Yorkshire and Scotland.
During the afternoon a competition is held for the best dry, medium and sweet cider. It is judged by the producers themselves before serving the cider to the public. Cider tickets are sold for a third of a pint tastings to allow sampling plenty of variety. Soft drinks are also on sale as well as plenty of food.
Over the course of the years the event has raised over £43,000. The annual proceeds originally went towards the Powerstock Hut. As funds grew they were also able to support the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and many other smaller charities.
Powerstock Cider Festival has helped put Dorset cider back on the map and reintroduced cider to a new generation who have enjoyed the opportunity to meet the cider makers and taste their products.
The organisers of the Powerstock Cider Festival have decided to call it a day. Keen to keep the festival going, some local cider producers have taken it on and moved it to Melplash with the full support of Nick Poole of Powerstock Cide Festival fame. Thank you to Nick for supporting us in keeping it alive.