On Thursday the 16th May, I was proud to invite the legend behind Hogan’s Cider, Allen Hogan to join us for a “Meet the Maker” night.
Hogan’s have always been one of my favourite cider makers in the business. Growing up, I was not a cider drinker, just like many people from Birmingham. In this city it is all about beer and cocktails, and that’s exactly what I used to drink. After I turned 18, I moved to Worcester for University. This is where my love for cider began.
In Worcester, cider is everywhere and with being a stone’s throw away from the Malvern Hills, every pub and bar tends to have more cider than beer. This means you’d be stupid not to give it a try. For three years, at every pub, every bar and every house party, my friends and I would sample as many ciders as possible, and when we left University, this continued.
It wasn’t long after leaving University that I started working for The Stable and I still remember drinking Hogan’s Draught after my trial shift, a selection that our General Manager, Jon chose for me. I was so surprised with the quality of it. It was unlike any cider I had ever drunk before. It was crisp, a little bit sharp but incredibly smooth. Its aroma was reminiscent to a farmyard, but with that aroma I was just hit with this gorgeous natural apple. My mouth was in astringent heaven [if that’s even a thing!]. This was the start of my relationship with Hogan’s Cider.
But anyway, no more reminiscing and back to Allen. I respect and like Allen for what he does and I knew he had to be the first Meet the Maker to invite down to Birmingham. Despite it being a quiet night, it did not stop myself and Allen treating the people of Birmingham to his quality cider.
Allen, of course, arrived with goodies for the customers and staff. He brought in some bottles of his Wild Elder, a delicious, delicate and fruity elderflower infused cider, Killer Sharp, a fresh, fierce and sour cider, Libertine, an multi-award winning rich, decadent and bittersweet cider, and the best of them all – a brand new, cherry and brandy infused cider which fellow Cider Master, Lewis and I were treated to, being a few of the first people outside Hogan’s to sample it (IT WAS SENSATIONAL!).
After chatting away, Allen set off on sitting down with guests and doing little cider experiences for those who wanted to get involved. Throughout the night we had a big selection of his products available in keg, BIB and bottles – Wild Elder, Hazy Rays, Harvest Press, Draught, Lonely Partridge, Panking Pole and High Sobriety. It was pure Hogan’s heaven and it was a shame I was working, because all I wanted to do was drink it all!
It was a great night of cider and everyone from myself, to the staff and the customers loved meeting Allen and getting an insight into what he does. He is down to earth and a champion of keeping craft cider unique and independent. On my behalf and the Stable team, thank you Allen for coming down. It was an absolute pleasure!
Until next time,