Blackthorn backlash brewing

Cider lovers unite against rebranding that 'panders to Londoners'...

West Country cider drinkers have launched a stinging attack on their formerly-beloved Blackthorn, claiming the drink's manufacturer has gone all cosmopolitan on them. The Gaymer cider company has rebranded the famous Blackthorn brew, cutting its alcohol content and sweetening it in a bid to get more people drinking the stuff. But the move has sparked outrage among traditional cider fans.

And despite cider drinkers' image as an old-fashioned bunch, proof of their opprobrium has come in that most modern of forms: a Facebook group dedicated to the new brew's destruction. Meanwhile posters in Bristol announcing the cider's relaunch have been defaced by traditionalists determined to take the fight off the web and onto the streets.

One Bristol barman claimed the rebranding survey must have been done in London, where they are not ‘real' cider drinkers. And although it's easy to feel a little sympathy for those who believe their favourite pint and way of life is being trampled on to pander to the metropolitan crowd, there's also a good reason behind the move. Blackthorn has been left behind in the cider stakes over recent years, overtaken as the likes of Bulmer's and Magner's became trendy drinks.

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