Real Cider and Perry
In 1988 CAMRA committed itself to campaigning for real cider & real perry as well as real ale.
The county of Somerset has long been famous for its Cider and Perry and there is an ever increasing number of producers within the county, raging from the long established Family producers like Hecks and Sheppy's to the more recent small producers like Tricky and Uncle Dicks. See our Somerset Cider and Perry Producers page for a list of producers that we are aware of. If you know of any new ones, or any that we are missing please let us know.
A map showing the locations of key Somerset Cider Producers can be downloaded in pdf format by clicking this link: Somerset Cider Map.
Our Cider & Perry contact is Steve Hawkins, click the link for contact details:- Cider and Perry.
He lives in Watchet, home to Pebbles Tavern which won the accolade of CAMRA SOUTH WEST REGION CIDER PUB of the YEAR in 2014 & 2015 and CAMRA SOMERSET BRANCH CIDER PUB of the YEAR 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018. Please send any news relating to Cider and Perry to Steve, who collates this for the branch and CAMRA Nationally. Many thanks.
Our list of pubs offering discounts on Real Ale to CAMRA Card Carrying Members also includes LocAle and pubs offering Real Cider and Perry
Click here to download it: Pubs offering LocAle and Real Cider (updated October 2018).
Award for Torre Cider Farm
Presentation by Chairman Mick of the certificate for Cider of the Festival 2018 for Bees Knees to Neil, Gemma and baby Maggie at Torre Cider Farm in Washford. Torre Cider Farm are producing a perry called "Pear Ambulance" which, along with some events at the farm, will help to raise funds for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Their cider and perry will be available at the Diesel Gala Beer festival at Washford Station, which will be run by Somerset Branch CAMRA in conjunction with the West Somerset Railway. The event runs for four days, from Thursday 6th June to Sunday 9th June 2019. They have also installed a small brewery and are working on producing a real ale this year. For more information see https://www.torrecider.co.uk.
Quantock Brewery have been working with Sheppy's cider to produce a cloudy bottled cider. Quantock Cider is a beautifully balanced, expertly crafted cloudy cider, with tonnes of aroma and flavour. You’re sure to be sold on this scrumptious number from the first sip. Serve Chilled. It is 4.% ABV and comes in 500ml bottles.
Roger Wilkins in the news
Somerset heritage cider-maker Roger Wilkins was featured in The Daily Telegraph on 4th October 2017 and this led him on to be interviewed on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 the next morning. On one side of his Somerset farmhouse is the 19th-century press that is still used today. The wall opposite the barrels is covered with photographs and cuttings, including a yellowing page from an old Q magazine interview with the late Clash singer, Joe Strummer. Encircled is his description of happiness: “Chilling in Somerset with a flagon of Wilkins Farmhouse Cider.” The rock star connection doesn’t stop there: Chris Jagger, brother of Rolling Stone Mick, lives next door. “Johnny Rotten, Nick Cave, Dave Gilmour – they all come here,” Roger Wilkins said. See his website at http://wilkinscider.com.
New Kid on the Somerset Cider Block - Watchet Cider Co.
Available in Pebbles Tavern in Watchet. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/Watchetciderco or e-mail moc.liamg@ynapmocredictehctaw.
Somerset cider Harry’s Scrummage named best in Britain by CAMRA
Above: Harry Fry from Harry's Cider with the award-winning Scrummage, named best cider in Britain by CAMRA
A Somerset craft cider has been crowned the best cider in Britain at CAMRA’s National Cider and Perry Championships. Following more than a year of local tasting panels and regional heats, Harry’s Scrummage was selected by a panel of judges as the best cider in the country. Each cider in the competition was judged on its individual taste, aroma, flavour and overall appeal.
Made by Harry’s Cider in Long Sutton near Langport, Scrummage is a blend of bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples, grown by cidermaker Harry Fry and his son Toby in the orchards on their family farm. It is a well-rounded medium cider, fresh and fruity with a golden colour. Judges described it as “a sharp but easy drinking cider that stretches to a long lingering and pleasant aftertaste.”
Cidermaker Harry Fry says, “This award is a great achievement for us, in recognition of the hard work our family team has put in over the last few years. The name ‘Scrummage’ was borne out of my passion for the game of rugby, and it felt well suited to our family ‘team’.
“We never imagined that our orchard would produce champion cider. We are all very proud, with a huge desire to continue improving our techniques and achieving further successes.”
Harry’s Scrummage is not the only cider in the range that is attracting attention, as Harry’s Dabinett sparkling cider was recently awarded a Silver award in the International Cider Challenge. The Dabinett is also the reigning champion of the Arthur Davies Cup at the British Cider Championships, presented to the overall winning cider in the taste and presentation class.
Scrummage is available in 3 litre retail pouches and 20 litre ‘bag in box’ formats via selected retailers and distributors. It can also be purchased direct from the Harry’s Cider farm in Long Sutton, which is open to the public on Saturdays between 10am and 4pm.
Harry’s Cider is a family business and fast-growing brand that produces traditional and sparkling ciders in the heart of Somerset ‘ciderland’. Based on the family farm in Long Sutton, Harry and his son are the farmers, growers, producers and processors, giving total control over the end product. For further information, visit https://www.harryscidercompany.co.uk.
· 2018 CAMRA National Cider and Perry Championships Gold Champion Cider
Harry’s Dabinett Cider:
· 2018 International Cider Challenge Silver Award
· 2017 British Cider Championships Gold Award
· 2017 British Cider Championships Arthur Davies Cup for Taste and Presentation
· 2017 Great Taste Awards Star
· 2017 Somerset Cider Championships Silver Award
· 2017 Taste of the West Silver Award
· 2016 International Cider Challenge Bronze Award
· 2016 South West of England Cidermakers’ Association Champion Cider
· 2016 Taste of the West Gold Award
· 2016 Cotswold Artisan Drinks Gold Award
Harry’s Original Cider:
· 2017 Taste of the West Silver Award
· 2016 British Cider Championships Silver Award
· 2016 International Cider Challenge Bronze Award
· 2016 Taste of the West Silver Award
About Harry’s Cider:
Harry’s Cider is produced by Harry Fry and his family on their farm in Long Sutton. It is a family business with its roots firmly in Somerset – five generations of Harry’s family, on both sides, have worked within agriculture in Somerset, all within 30 miles of where they are today. For more information see https://www.harryscidercompany.co.uk.
National Cider & Perry Championship 2018 Winners
GOLD - Harry's Scrummage (Somerset)
SILVER - Whin Hill, Browns (Norfolk)
BRONZE - Orgasmic, White Jersey (Herefordshire)
GOLD - Nempnett, Piglet's Perry (Somerset, Bristol Branch)
SILVER - Oliver's, Perry (Herefordshire)
BRONZE - Whin Hill, Perry (Norfolk)
National Cider & Perry Championship 2017 Winners
GOLD – Countryman, Medium (Devon)
SILVER – Salt Hill, Autumn Gold (Berkshire)
BRONZE – Gwatkin's, Captain Gwatkin's Rum Cask (Herefordshire)
GOLD – Nempnett Thrubwell, Piglet's Perry (Somerset)
SILVER - Waulkmill, Mooseheid Perry (Dumfrieshire)
BRONZE – Hartland, Perry (Gloucestershire)
National Cider & Perry Championship 2016 Winners
Gold - Harding's 3 Peace Sweet from Cambridgeshire.
Silver - Dunkerton's Cider, Herefordshire.
Bronze - Green Valley Cider, Devon.
Gold - Hartland's Farmhouse Perry, Gloucestershire.
Silver - Burnard’s Stray Perry, Norfolk.
Bronze - Heck’s Perry, Somerset.
Ciderthon! You may have missed it this year, but it is sure to be repeated in 2019
Although not in our region, on Sunday 29th April 2018 there was a Ciderthon with a route around Wells. The Ciderthon is a half marathon with a cider taster at every mile, where you will be earning every step of your way. In completing the Ciderthon, you will become a part of the heart of Somerset, experiencing the very best cider from the very best producers. You will be introduced to a community of people who work hard, play hard, and run damn hard too. And as a team you will do whatever it takes to get yourself, and others, to the finish line.
Become a CIDERTHONER: 13 miles 13 ciders. See https://ciderthon.com/home for full details.
National Cider Pub of the Year
Ye Olde Cider Bar, 99 East St, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2LD. https://www.facebook.com/yeoldeciderbar.
The Unicorn at Bayford was voted National Cider Pub of the Year. Although in the County Somerset it is east of Wincanton in Herts of Wessex Branch, Wessex Region. See https://en-gb.facebook.com/The-Unicorn-Inn-Bayford-316908432015342.
Any one wishing to visit by Bus can do so via Wincanton. Service 58 or 58A from Yeovil ( 58 is the quicker of two) to Wincanton Memorial Bus Park. Or 667 from Street and Glastonbury. Alight walk back to main road turn right and it is less than a mile on left, approximately a 20 minute walk. There is a bus past the door but is very infrequent, only 3 a day Monday to Friday.
Full details of The Unicorn via ‘What Pub’. and Bus Services via Traveline SW.
Robin Hood & Little John, 1 Church Street, Arnold, Nottingham, NG5 8FD.
Older results can be found at http://www.camra.org.uk/cider-poty-previous-regional-and-national-winners.
Quantock Brewery launches it's own Cider
Come along and taste their very own " COPPER KNOB " Craft Cider at the Brewery Tap in Bishop's Lydeard. Made exclusively for them , this much awaited gem is a fantastic addition to their range.
Secret Orchard British Cider Championship gold medalists 2017
NETTLECOMBE Court cider makers and childhood friends Joe Heley and Todd Studley have beaten off hundreds of entries to win a gold medal at the biggest cider competition in the world. Their company, Secret Orchard Cider, won best medium cider and reserve champion in the British Cider Championships, narrowly missing out on the Supreme Champion ‘winner of winners’ award which went to a cider from Dorset. Todd (pictured on the right) and Joe, who both grew up in Minehead, have been making cider at Nettlecombe Court for five years. Fruit from the estate is supplemented by other small local orchards and production has increased gradually each year.
Secret Orchard Farmhouse Cider from Exmoor is going from strength to strength
A small batch craft cider producer in Somerset is celebrating after releasing its best vintage to date. Secret Orchard Cider, a small-batch craft cider produced in deepest darkest Exmoor, is set to release its third vintage with a promise that it will be the biggest and best yet.
Cider enthusiasts and best friends Joe Heley and Todd Studley have been perfecting their pruning, picking and pressing techniques at historic orchards on the Nettlecombe Estate since 2012. They reaped the rewards with a bumper harvest in 2015 - resulting in unprecedented quality levels and high yields.
Joe said: "We have perfected our hand-crafted methods while staying true to our principles of low intervention – for example we don't use any chemicals in the orchards or add manufactured yeasts and it's is really paying off."
Secret Orchard Cider is made in small batches from 100% juice, which means no concentrate or sulphites are used, as well as wild yeasts and fruit from a single harvest. Joe said the result is a complex yet refreshing taste which remains true to its Exmoor roots.
Secret Orchard Cider is based on the historic Nettlecombe Estate, where ancient walled orchards are surrounded by rolling hills and where he oak trees here were specially chosen for the English fleet which defeated the Spanish Armada.
The cider is made from 100% apple juice, sourced from orchards where no chemicals have been used. No concentrated syrups are used and wild yeasts provide a natural and slow fermentation.
All Secret Orchard ciders are aged for close to a year to ensure proper flavour development.
This year Joe and Todd have made a dry and a sweet version of their signature cider, as well as several single variety batches for the connoisseur.
Todd said: "We are particularly proud of the single variety ciders, which are something really special; they are distinctive but also hugely drinkable.
The 2015 harvest was said to be the best for 20 years on the Nettlecombe Estate and the other West Somerset orchards that feed into the Secret Orchard brand.
As well as looking after the ancient walled orchards at Nettlecombe, Todd and Joe collect apples that would otherwise go to waste from local various orchards, giving owners cider in return.
Secret Orchard Cider will also be available at a growing number of restaurants and local stores – current stockists include Pebbles Tavern in Watchet, Reeves Restaurant in Dunster, The Old Ship Aground in Minehead, and Dunster Village Shop & Deli.
Source: Secret Orchard Cider and the Plymouth Herald