The finest ciders and perries from Britain and around the world will be competing for the coveted cups and prize cards on offer at the British Cider Championships at the Royal Bath and West Show from May 30 to June 2.

The championships has attracted an entry of 475 ciders and perries, ranging from the most traditional West Country farmhouse ciders through to the very latest in hipster-chic products.

The top prize in this competition is the Fruiterers’ Trophy for the Champion British Cider, which was won last year by Lancombe Rising, a naturally sweet, sparkling cider, made by Nick Poole of West Milton Cider in Dorset.

Dorset also provided the winner of the other big prize, the Pewterers’ Trophy for the Champion British Farmhouse Cider, which went to Dorset Nectar of Waytown near Bridport.

A new feature of this year’s competitions is the “Cider Newcomer Award”, aimed at the many micro-producers and backyard cider-makers, producing less than 2,500 litres per year. It has attracted 42 entries, all of which will be given written feedback to guide them in the development of their cider-making.

The Orchards and Cider Marquee will also feature the ever-popular People’s Choice, in which members of the public get the chance to sample and judge for themselves some of the very best ciders from the dozens available on the bar, which will again be run by volunteers from the South West of England Cider-Makers Association (SWECA).

The Royal Bath and West Gold Medal for lifetime achievement in the cider industry will be presented on Wednesday 30 May, with the Coopers’ Trophy for Craftsmanship in the Cider industry being presented on Thursday 31 May.

Orchards and Cider chairman, Anthony Gibson, said: “There will be plenty of serious sampling and judging going on over the four days, but plenty of fun as well, in what is very much a celebration of one of Britain’s, and especially the West Country’s, abiding glories.”