The fightback begins here…probably.

I’m not a fan of Magners. Ice? In cider? Are you nuts? A few years ago you’d be sectioned for lobbing a chunk of frozen water in your pint but now – no matter what brand of cider you ask for – the bar staff look at you like some kind of freak if you refuse their request to ram your glass with half an iceberg. The iceification of cider isn’t all I dislike about Magners though. It’s just a pretty sickly artificial imitation of cider sold at a huge premium to people who aren’t given much choice in the nation’s pubs and clubs. This market intimidation reached a pretty vile conclusion this weekend at The Cornbury Festival (hence this blog). I’d noticed a small stand (Benson’s) selling local apple juice and ‘proper’ cider on the first day of the festival. Very nice it was too. £3.00 a pint and clearly made just from apples. Yum. I had a couple of pints during the Saturday then returned later in the day for another to be told that the Magners people had forced the festival organisers to shut them down. It appears that Magners had signed some kind of exclusivity deal on cider and saw a tiny fraction of their potential profit going to someone else. Now, I’m not a hippy. I (sadly) know all about the commercial realities of the world. But this was a real case of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Whilst Bensons were selling cider to a few of us, many people preferred the alchopop taste of Magners. That’s their choice. Good luck to them. At £3.70 for a very small bottle (I’m guessing less than half a pint) they need all the luck in the world. I happen to prefer a more natural taste. Clearly the folk at Magners would like to eliminate personal choice and force their sugary muck down our throats, wiping out independent producers and putting local people out of work in the process. This stinks. I’m sure the festival organisers had their hands tied (I’m guessing the money from the exclusivity deal paid for some of those loos) but I’d rather put up with a bit of other people’s shit than a whole load of the corporate variety.

If you drink Magners I urge you to try something else…anything else…preferably proper cider from a local producer. On the more mass market front Westons do some really good stuff (Old Rosie is awesome), Scrumpy Jack ain’t bad, I’ll drink Strongbow and Blackthorn in an emergency too.


6 Responses to “The fightback begins here…probably.”

  1. Jon Robinson Says:

    hurrah! about time too – I don’t like Magners much, and I get annoyed when it’s the only choice of ‘real’ cider, and the ice thing is annoying, I just get cold hands holding my pint – and nobody wants cold hands whilst drinking.

    I make my own cider, so I like the proper stuff, and Magners just aint it!

  2. boycottmagnerscider Says:

    Cheers Jon! Those new TV ads on getting on my nerves now too. As if Magners is produced by simple country folk driving tractors full of apples every day…cobblers!

  3. nobody ever put ice in my magners. I prefer Angry Orchard cider though.

    • boycottmagnerscider Says:

      Happily no ones ever managed to actually stick ice in my cider either but they still keep asking. Fools. Never had any Angry Orchard. It’s a US brand right? I’m happy to sample it if they want to send me a crate or two. I know…I’m a martyr.

  4. Lugh Lamhfada Says:

    At least over in England small cider-makers are allowed to sell their brew duty-free. Here in Ireland it’s different. As a small producer, I lobbied the government to see if the legislation could be brought into line with the UK (and the rest of Europe), but the response from the Minister of Finance was: “My hands are tied”. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to guess whose interest is best served by said hand-tying.
    Recently, a motion to impose taxes on drinks to which sugar is added was scuppered by the same minister (Michael Noonan) without explanation. It’s my belief that Magners/Bulmers are behind both things. Currently we here are under the whip of the most corrupt government in Europe, so it looks like it’s the old “moonshine” route for me! Keep up the good work – DOWN WITH MAGNERS!

    • boycottmagnerscider Says:

      Hi Lugh, good to hear from you but shocking that you’re being bullied by the big boys! There’s plenty of room for everyone but I guess once people taste real cider they’d never settle for the sugary muck ever again. Ha! I reckon you should smuggle a ship full or two of your cider over here…feel free to post a link to your website if you have one as well. Cheers!

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