To me, the sound of a festival dedicated to sausages and cider sounds exactly like my cup of… cider?
When my sister and her boyfriend invited me along to the recent Sausage and Cider Festival that was held in Aberdeen, I was thrilled.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I had no idea what to expect. Festivals I’ve been to previously like Sessions Beer & Gin Festival have been held outside. That’s normal right? Well, this festival was held inside Aberdeen’s Music Hall which is a small music venue in the city.
So, none of us really knew what to expect. None of us even knew whether the ciders would be on draft? Or was it bottles? What brand were we even going to be served?
Sausage and Cider Festival: The Set-Up
The festival occupied the ground floor of the venue’s hall which was quite strange to start with. I understood why drinking was kept away from the balcony seats but it was odd to see that whole floor empty.
On the ground floor, there were rows of tables and chairs, which reminded me of how Octoberfest may be set up. The set up seemed encouraging of socialising but in reality, it just meant that everyone would leave 1 seat free between them which meant others struggled to find a seat. But that’s Aberdeen for ya!
Even though we couldn’t find a seat in the main area, there was still flip-down venue seating at the side of the hall which meant we could all sit together thankfully, rather than standing all evening which I thought we would be. The only downside to these seats was trying to get out of a row to nip to the toilet or top up a drink and then no table to eat the sausages, but we coped!
Sausage and Cider Festival: The Ciders
On arrival, we were handed a branded Sausage and Cider Festival plastic cup which was ours to be used for our ciders during the evening, along with a little booklet containing a list and description of all of the ciders available. From glancing, we could quite quickly tell that this festival was more about showcasing one particular brand of cider – Lilley’s – rather than an event to sample different craft ciders.
This was a little disappointing because I was looking forward to trying out different brands but there was a selection of roughly 16 Lilley’s ciders to choose from and each was pretty different to the next which did give festival-goers a decent variation during the event.
Another distinctive point to note is that all ciders available were still rather than fizzy. This turned out to be a saviour as the ciders bloated you much less.
We tried a fair few ciders, so I’ve picked out some to go into further detail on but there were also more obscure options like Rum Cider and Chocolate Apple Cider if you wanted to something different.
The first drink we all opted to have, mainly because it was the first drink on the list and we thought we’d be methodical (that didn’t last but it was worth a shot…) was Sunset.
Sunset is a gluten-free and vegan-friendly, apple cider. Normally I’m not a fan of apple cider but this one I enjoyed. It’s a medium sweet and fruity cider that is quite rustic in its flavour. It was a great first choice to settle us into the event and taste Lilley’s cider at its simplest before trying out all of the different flavours.
Next on our list was Lilley’s Strawberry cider. This strawberry and apple flavoured delight is sweet but sour and wholly refreshing. I love a Kopparberg Strawberry and Lime Cider so I knew I’d like this one but because this cider is still it does have a different vibe. It’s easy to drink and very juicy. Oh and it’s gluten free and vegan friendly also.
Perhaps my favourite, Tropical Cider is a cider that is exploding with tropical flavours. The cider is a blend of apple, pink grapefruit, pineapple, mango and lime – delicious! This is one that would be delightful on a warm summer’s day whilst relaxing outside in my back garden.
Sausage and Cider Festival: The Food
As the name suggests, sausages were the food of choice at the festival. There were two different vendors to choose from on the night – Simon’s Sausages and Fat Belly Bob’s Extraordinary Bangers.
Simon’s Sausages offered a range of classic sausages that we all know and love like German Bratwurst, Currywurst and a Vegan Sausage alternative too!
Fat Belly Bob’s Extraordinary Bangers served up some slightly unique sounding sausages like a Jalapeño Sausage and Smoky Maple and Chilli Sausages.
Not being able to make up our indecisive minds, my sister and I opted to share two portions of sausage and chips, one from each of the vendors. From Simon’s Sausages, we went for Bratwurst, which was lovely. The meat was succulent yet the skin was crispy on the outside. Exactly what you need when you are drinking the night away.
We opted for the jalapeño sausage from Fat Belly Bob’s. Anything spicy is a yes from me, so it was a definite choice. Much like the first, it was tender and juicy with that hint of spice. Covered with a sprinkle of crispy onions, this was a winner in my eyes. I’d quite happily have this one to eat again!
Overall, we had a fun time at the Sausage and Cider Festival. The drinks were tasty and the food was hearty. On the whole, I enjoyed the experience and would definitely consider going back again next year. I would like to see more seating and perhaps some more entertainment but other than that, it’s a good laugh.
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