East met west at the weekend at the Malvern Autumn Show as cider producers and experts from Kazakhstan to the USA made the 15,000 mile trip to launch a brand new documentary headed for release on Amazon Prime.
Excerpts from the film Cider in Kazakhstan: A Cidermaker’s Journey to the Homeland of the Apple, were screened publicly for the first time at the Three Counties Showground on September 28th and 29th, right in the heart of the UK cider making country.
The documentary was produced by Alex and Aizhan Thomas, founders of Apple City Cider in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the first cidery in the country, along with director Matthew Speddings from Harrogate in Yorkshire.
The couple flew in for the launch of the film, which also features scenes shot at the showground itself as well as contributions from Gloucestershire locals, celebrity ciderologist Gabe Cook, Peter Mitchell who runs the Cider Academy and author Andrew Lea. Also jetting to Malvern from Boston, USA, is Ryan Burk from Angry Orchard, the country’s largest hard cider producer, who also stars in the documentary.
The film was launched in the Orchard Pavilion at the Malvern Autumn Show, where twice a day there was a panel interviewed about the movie and the cider industry. Apples and cider production is at the very heart of Herefordshire’s economy and is a vital business to the area, but it is a little known fact that Kazakhstan is the birthplace of the modern apple. The documentary explores this and follows the journey of Alex and Aizhan Thomas as they launch Apple City Cider, which will start producing cider this year.
Run in association with Westons Cider Mill, Malvern Autumn Show is a two-day celebration described as a fantastic harvest festival brimming with giant vegetables, stunning floral displays, superb family entertainment with lots of special guests.
“Cider is such a big business across Three Counties and to be able to bring all these experts to the show, and launch the documentary is quite something. There’s a lot we probably don’t know about the history and production of cider, and this will be a great chance to get an education of the industry which is so important to our community.” – Head of Shows Diana Walton, speaking before the event