Cider and perry producers across Britain were honoured at the Campaign for Real Ale’s national cider and perry championships at the Reading Beer and Cider Festival.

Following more than a year of local tasting panels and regional heats leading up to the finals, Countryman Medium took gold in the cider category after impressing judges with its floral aroma, pleasant sharpness and refreshing taste.

CAMRANempnett Piglet’s Perry also scooped gold, in the perry category, with judges remarking that it had a well-balanced sweet taste with a dry finish.

The competition featured ciders and perries from across the UK, with each cider and perry judged on its individual taste, aroma, flavour, after-taste and overall appeal. The top awards were selected by a specially chosen panel of both experienced and novice judges.

Andrea Briers, CAMRA’s national cider and perry committee chairman, said: “The competition has shown that the quality of the real cider and perry continues to improve, and also demonstrates the standard of cider and perry being produced throughout Britain.”

Keith Balch, of Nempnett, said: “We’re delighted to hear that we’ve won gold, it’s absolutely brilliant. This is the big award that everyone wants to win.”