No, it’s because Westons, which is effectively a regional producer, now has the leverage to invest in such activity.
While Stowford Press remains some way below market leader Strongbow in the draught-cider market, it’s certainly going in the right direction, having grown by 36% in value sales in the year to 21 January (CGA Strategy).
The tie-up takes me back five years to when Marston’s Pedigree became the Official Beer of England Cricket. Then, I was new to writing about the pub trade, and like so many unquestioning consumers, knew plenty about my mainstream lagers and not much else.
Pedigree’s involvement with cricket took the beer into the mainstream, and into the mindset of people like me, who had previously succumbed to believing ale belonged to a generation other than my own.
Even though I haven’t been so naive with cider and enjoyed many a pint of Stowford, such sponsorships will go a long way to growing the sector. After all, cider and cricket are a perfect match. As long as the sun is shining, of course.