There are a number of cider producers you can buy online who can deliver a wide range of ciders to your door.

Their products vary throughout the year, have a look at the sites below for the best current deals:

Cider Producers

Cider Suppliers

Cider homebrew Supplies

Each producer advertises on this page – for £50 per annum. To sign up please click on the button below –





Here is a list of Cider and Perry makers by county in the UK – England, Wales and Scotland.

Please note that not all are open to the public, so please check the listing, and if neccessary call the farm before visiting. You may also want to take your own containers to save plastic, and cash, rather than credit cards.

If you have any new producers or want to be added as a producer yourself, just email us your details.

Want to buy cider online?

Visit the buy cider page on Real Cider.

Bedfordshire

  • Eversheds Cider The School House, 97 High Street, Odell, Beds., MK43 7AS. 01234 721798
  • Franklins Cider 10 Chapel Street, Dunton, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 8RW 01767 310 424
  • Harrold Calvados, Harrold, North Bedfordshire
  • Stanbridge Brothers, Stevington, North Bedfordshire

Berkshire


Bristol

  • Elms Farm, Burnett, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 2TF Tel: 0117 9864276)
  • Riddle Cider Oak Farm, Oldbury Lane, Thornbury, Bristol BS35 1RD Tel: 01454 413263
  • BristolCiderworks, Bristol, tel: 0117 9521360, mob: 07713 173825,

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Buckinghamshire

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Cambridgeshire

  • The Cambridge Cider Company, High Street, Bassingbourn, SG8 5NE 01223 636844
  • Cassels Cider, Manor Farm, Bourn, Cambridgeshire CB23 – 07767855615
  • Old Bill’s Ciders, Lodge Farm, Coltenham, 01223 832 928
  • Watergull Orchards 383 N Brink, Wisbech, PE13 4UN 01945 585 707
  • Pickled Pig, Orchard House, High Street, Stretham, Ely CB6 3JQ 01353 648087
  • Tree of plenty cyder Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7

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Cheshire

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Cornwall

  • Apple Blossom Cider, The Cornish Cider Company, Trevean Farm, Coombe Lea, nr Truro. 01872 77177
  • Cornish Orchards, Westnorth Manor Farm, Duloe, Liskeard PL14 4PW 01503 269007
  • Haywood Farm Cider, St Mabyn, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 3BU 01208 840140
  • Haye Farm Cider, Haye Farm, St Veep, Lostwithiel PL22 0PB 07787 504 725
  • Healeys Cider Farm – Penhallow, Truro, Cornwall TR4 9LW
    01872 573356
  • Lizard Wine & Cider Company, The Lizard Cider Barn, Predannack, Helston TRl2 7AU 01326 241481
  • Penpol Farm Cider, Middle Penpol Farm, St Veep, Lostwithiel PL22 0NG 01208 872017
  • Polgoon Vineyard, Rosehill, Penzance, Cornwall, TR20 8TE.
  • St Ive’s Cider – The Old Mushroom Farm, Halsetown, St. Ives, Cornwall. TR26 3LZ. 01736 795 267
  • Touchwood Cider Touchwood Cider, Mithian, St Agnes, Cornwall, TR5 0PZ
  • Davards Cider & Apples, Trevilla, Linkinhorne, Callington, Cornwall, PL17 8QP. Tel: 07816 577952
  • Skreach cider Penzance, 01736 361456
  • Haye Farm Cider, St Veep, Lerryn, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, PL22 0PB. Tel: (01208) 872250

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Cumbria

  • Foxfield Brewery, The Prince of Wales, Foxfield, Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA20 6BX.
  • Dyken Cider Co Foxfield, Broughton in Furness, Cumbria.
  • Solway Cider Tel: 07914 813202
  • Cowmire Hall, A,O,C (ancient orchard cider), Cowmire Hall, Crosthwaite, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8JJ.

 

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Derbyshire

  • Ashover Cider Company, The Wheatcroft, Butts Road, Ashover, Derbyshire S45 0AX, 07812187770
  • Scropton Cider Chasey Croft, Watery Lane, Scropton, South Derbyshire DE65 5PL 01283 814730
  • Woodthorpe Hall Fanshaw Gate Lane, Holmesfield, Derbyshire S18 7WA. Tel: 07765 098906
  • Three Cats Cider Morley Tel 01332 880041

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Devon

  • Ashridge Cider,Barkingdon Farm, Staverton, Totnes, TQ9 6A, 01364 654749
  • Bollhayes Cider, Bollhayes Park, Clayhidon EX15 3PN, 01404 890262
  • Brimblecombe’s Farmhouse Cider, Farrants Farm, Dunsford 01647 252783.
  • The Cider House, Ye Olde Cider Bar, 99 East Street, Newton Abbot 01626 354221
  • Countryman Cider – Felldownhead, Milton Abbot, Tavistock +44(0)1822 870226
  • Crebers Rock Cider, Mammoth Trees, South Brent, TQ10 9JE
  • Gray’s Farm Cider, Halstow, Tedburn St Mary, Exeter EX6 6AN, 01647 61236
  • Hancock’s Devon Cider, Clapworthy Mill, South Moulton EX36 4HU 01769 572678
  • Heron Valley Crannacombe Farm, Loddiswell, Kingsbridge. 01548 550286
  • Lower Grimpstonsleigh Cider East Allington, Kingsbridge. 01548 521258
  • Luscombe Juice & Cider Luscombe Farm, Buckfastleigh, South Devon TQll OLP 01364 643036
  • Lyme Bay Winery, Shute, Axminster, Devon EX13 7PW, Contact Jacqui Barker, 01297 551355
  • Ostler’s Cider Mill, Eastacott Lane, Northleigh Hill, Goodleigh, Barnstaple, 01271 321241
  • Ventons Devon Cyder, Willis Cottage, Clyst St Lawrence, Cullompton, East Devon, EX15 2NL, 07811 963853. @Ventons_Cyder
  • Real Drink Ltd, Yarde Farm, Stoke Gabriel TQ9 6SJ, 01803782461
  • Roger Hunt’s Devon Farm Cider, Higher Yalberton Farm, Paignton TQ4 7PE, 01803 557694
  • West Lake Farm, Chilla, Beaworthy EX21 5XF, 01409 221991
  • Yearlstone Vineyard, Bickleigh EX16 8RL, 0)1884 855700
  • Winkleigh Cider, Western Barn, Hatherleigh Road, Winkleigh EX19 8AP 0183 783560
  • Sampford Courtenay, Solland Farm, Sampford Courtenay, EX20 3QT 01837 851638

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Dorset

  • Dorset Nectar Strong Orchard, Pineapple lane, Waytown, Dorset DT6 5HZ
  • Wolfeton Cider, Wolfeton House, nr Dorchester DT2 9QN 01305 263500
  • Cider by Rosie Winterborne Houghton, Blandford, Dorset DT11 0PE, 01258 880543
  • Lulworth Skipper (Dorset Cider) Culeaze Lodge, Culeaze, Dorset BH20 7NR Tel 01929 471853
  • Lyme Bay Cider Shute, Axminster, Devon, EX13 7PW 01297 551355
  • Castles Cider Crabbs Bluntshay Farm, Whitchurch, Canonicorum, Bridport, Dorset DT6 6RN 01297 489064
  • Marshwood Vale Cider, Hillside, Stony Knaps, Thorncombe, Dorset, TA20 4NY Tel: 07789 076481
  • West Milton Cider 1 Pear Tree Cottages West Milton Bridport Dorset DT6 3SH – 01308 485235

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Essex

  • Delvin End Cidery, Blooms View, Delvin End, Sible Hedingham, Sible Hedingham, CO9 3LN. Tel: 01787 461229
  • Matching Cider Company, 4 Mill Lane, Moreton CMS 0DN. Tel: 01277 890519
  • Park Fruit Farm, Pork Lane, Great Holland, Frinton-on-Sea C013 0ES. Tel: 01255 674621

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Gloucestershire

  • The Beard and Sabre Cider Company, Unit 2B, Norcote, Workshops, Cirencester, GL7 5RH
  • Brook Apple Farm Cider & Perry, 24 Rendcomb, Cirencester, GL7 7HF 01258 831479
  • Barnes and Adams 11 Bradley Street, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, GL12 7AP – 07970 637 449
  • Hartland Farmhouse Cider & Perry, Tirley Villa, Tirley GL19 4HA, 01452 780480
  • Hayles Fruit Farm, Winchcombe 01242 603320
  • Minchew’s Real Cider & Perry, Rose Cottage, Aston Cross, Tewkesbury GL20 8HX, 01684 773427
  • Ragman’s Lane Apple Juice, Ragman’s Lane Farm, Lydbrook, GL17 9PA, 01594 860244
  • Orchards Cider & Perry Co., Yewgreen Farm, nr Brockweir, Chepstow. 01291 689536

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Hampshire

  • Godshill Cider Co., The Cider Barn, High Street, Godshill, Isle of Wight, 01983 840680
  • Hamstead Vineyard, Homemead, Hamstead Road, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, PO14 0YB, 01983 760463
  • Hill Farm Orchards Hill Farm Orchards, Droxford Road, Swanmore, SO32 2PY 01489 878685
  • New Forest Cider, Littlemead, Pound Lane, Burley, Ringwood BH24 4ED 01425 403589
  • Rosemary Vineyard, Rosemary Lane, Ashley Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight, 01983 811084.
  • Swamp Donkey Cider, Hawkley Inn, Pococks Lane, Hawley GU33 6NE 01730 827205.
  • Mr Whitehead’s Cider Co., Hartley Park Farm, Selborne, Nr. Alton, Hampshire, GU34 3HS 01420 511733

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Herefordshire

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Hertfordshire

  • Apple Cottage Cider, Pinnocks Lane, Baldock, Hertfordshire, SG7 6DF. Tel 07549 003255
  • Mayfly Cider, Middle Farm, Throcking, Herts – SG9 9RN. TEl 01763 281403 / 07759 900737.

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Kent

  • Biddenden Vineyard, Little Whatmans, Biddenden TN27 8DH, +44(0)1580 291726
  • Big Tree Cider The Knoll, Church Road, Hartley, DA3 8DT
  • Castle Cider Co., Nestlewood, Wickhurst Road, Weald Nr Sevenoaks TN4 6LY, +44(0)1732 455977
  • Double Vision Ralph’s Farm , Wierton Road , off Heath Road , Boughton-Monchelsea , NR Maidstone . ME17 4JW . 01622 746633
  • Dudda’s Tun Cider, Pine Trees Farm, Doddington, Sittingbourne, ME9 0AX
  • Kent Cider 54 St. Peters St Canterbury Kent CT1 2BE – Marcus 07738 573 818
  • Kentish Pip, Woolton Farm Bekesbourne Canterbury Kent CT4 5EA 01227 830525
  • Little Stour Orchard Church Lane, West Stourmouth, Canterbury, CT3 1HU 07771 711252
  • Moor Organic Juice, The Old Farmhouse, Nichol Farm, Deerton Street, Teynham ME9 9LJ, 01795 522612
  • Pawley Farm Cider, Pawley Farm, Painters Forstal, Faversham ME13 0EN, 01795 532043
  • Pippins Fruit Farm, Maidstone Road, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells TN2 4AB 01892 824569
  • Rough Old Wife Cider, Great Holt Farm, Elmstead, Ashford, Kent TN25 5JY 01227 700757
  • Wise Owl Cider, High Halden, Kent
  • Full list and map here – www.kentcamra.org.uk/kent/cider

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Lancashire and Great Manchester

  • Moss Cider, Unit 15, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Manchester, M16 7WD
  • Red Bank Cider Unit 22B Bradleyfold Trading Estate, Radcliffe Moor Road, Bolton, BL2 6RT – 01204 402222

Leicestershire

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Lincolnshire

  • Brandy Wharf Cider Centre, Waddingham, Gainsborough DN21 4RU, 01652 678364
  • Skidbrooke Cyder Co, The Grange, Skidbrooke, Nr Louth, Lincolnshire, LN11 7DH 01507 339368.

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London


Norfolk

  • Banham Cider and Cider Shed, The Appleyard, Kenninghall Road, Banham, NR16 2HB, 01953 888593
  • Greenwood’s Apple Juice & Cider, The Ashes, Carlton Rode, Norwich NR16 1NN 01603 403386
  • Norfolk Cider Company, and Norfolk Apple Juice Ltd, Wroxham Barns, Tunstead Road, Hoveton, NR12 8QU, 01603 784876
  • Norfolk Raider Cider Ltd, The Cider Shack, White House Farm, Salhouse rd,Norwich Norfolk, NR13 6LB,   01603891638
  • Whin Hill Cider Ltd, The Stables, Stearman’s Yard, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1BW 01328 711033

Northamptonshire

  • Windmill Vineyard – Windmill Hill Farm, Hellidon, nr Daventry, NN11 6HZ 01327 262023

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Northumberland

  • Northumberland Cider Company. East Park Farm, Prudhoe, Northumberland. Tel 01434 606789

Nottinghamshire


Oxfordshire

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Shropshire

  • Brooklyn Farm Cider, The Swan Inn, Aston Munslow, Craven Arms SY7 9ER, 01584 841415
  • Fernihough’s Cider, Ashdown, Worcester Road, Boraston, Tenbury Wells WR15 8LL, 01584 819632
  • Mahorall Farm Cider, Nash, Ludlow SY8 3AH, 01584 890296

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Somerset

  • Bere Cider Company Woodpecker Lodge, Bere, Aller, Langport, Somerset, TA10 0QX 01458 250166
  • Burrow Hill Cider, Kingsbury Episcopi, Martock TA12 5BU  01460 240782
  • Bridge Farm Cider, Bridge Farm, East Chinnock, Somerset, BA22 9EA 01935 862 387
  • Hecks Farmhouse cider, 9-11 Middle Leigh, Street, BAl6 OLB 01458 442367
  • Fosseway Cider, PO Box 4426, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 9BN.Tel: 01749 600400
  • Naish’s Cider, Piltown Farm, West Pennard, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8NQ 01749 890260
  • Chant Cider, Piltown Farm West Pennard, Glastonbury. Somerset BA6 8NQ 07940853099
  • Lawrence Cider, Corton Denham Sherborne Dorset DT9 4LS, 01963 220650
  • Pennard Cider, Avalon Vineyard, The Drove, East Pennard, Shepton Mallet BA4 6UA. 01749 860393
  • Porlock Cider Mill Porlock, 07821 043356
  • Millwhites Cider,Orchard Barns, Rooksbridge, Nr Axbridge, Somerset. BS26 2TG
  • Perry’s Cider, Dowlish Wake, Ilminster TAl9 ONY Tel: 01460 52681
  • Rich’s Farm Cider, Mill Farm, Watchfield, Nr Highbridge TA9 4RD (+44(0)1278 783651
  • Sheppy Cider, Three Bridges, Bradford on Tone, Taunton TA4 1ER 01823 461233
  • Torre Cider, Washford, Watchet, Somerset TA23 0LA 01984 640 004
  • Thatchers Cider, Myrtle Farm, Sandford, Winscombe B525 SRA (+44(0)1934 822862
  • Tricky Cider, The Stables, Lower Willand Farm, Church stanton, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 7RL 01823 602782
  • Wilkins Cider Land’s End Farm, Mudgley, Wedmore. 01934 712385
  • West Croft Cider, West Croft Farm, Brent Knoll, Highbridge, Somerset TA9 4BE  01278 760762
  • Worley’s Cider, Dean Farm, Shepton Mallet BA4 4SA. 01749 880016

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Staffordshire

  • Woodys Cider, 7 Nicklaus Close, Branston, Burton on Trent, DE14 3HP 07740395544

 


Suffolk

  • Aspall, The Cyder House, Aspall Hall, Debenham 1P14 6PD 01728 860510
  • Castlings Heath Cottage Cider, Castings Heath Cottage, Groton, Sudbury 01787 210899
  • James White Apple Juice & Cider, Whites Fruit Farm, Helmingham Road, Ashbocking, Ipswich IP6 9J5 01473 890111
  • Shawsgate Vineyard, Badingham Road, Framlingham, Woodbridge IP13 9HZ 01728 724060
  • Stoke Farm Cider Ltd, Stoke Farm, Battisford, Stowmarket IP14 2NA 01449 6112020

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Surrey

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East Sussex

  • Battle Cider, 3 Bedford Road, Hastings TN35 5JS. 01424 429588
  • Battle Cider, 10 Tillington Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex, TN35 5JS.
  • Hidden Spring Vineyard and Orchard, Vines Cross Road, Horam, TN21 0HE, 01435 812640
  • 1066 Cider, 3 Bedford Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN35 5JS. Tel: (01424) 429588
  • Gospel Green, Gospel Green Cottage, Haslemere, Sussex, GU27 3BH. Tel: (01428) 654120
  • Kent & Sussex Apple Juice and Cider Centre, Perryhill Orchard, Edenbridge Road, Hartfield 01892 770595
  • Mayfield Cider, Pennybridge Farm, Mayfield TN20 6QB 01435 873173
  • Middle Farm, Firle, Lewes BN8 6LJ 01323 811324
  • Jolly Dry Cider, Wilmington House, Wilmington, Polegate, East Sussex, BN26 5SJ, 01323 870445
  • Sedlescombe Cider, Sedlescombe Vineyard, Cripp’s Corner, Sedlescombe, Nr Robertsbridge TN32 5SA 01580 830715
  • Hunts Sedlescombe Cider, Norman Hunt and Sons, Waydown Wood Farm, New England Lane, Sedlescombe, E.Sussex, TN33 0RD 01424 871102
  • Wobblegate Cider & Juices, Wobble Towers, Old Mill Fruit Farm, Bolney, West Sussex, RH17 5SE. 01444 881356.
  • Yellowcoate Cider, Ringden farm, Flimwell, East Sussex. 01580 879385.
  • South Downs Cider, The Lodge, The Green Wilmington East Sussex BN26 5SP 01273 926629

West Sussex

  • Appledram Farm Products, Pump Bottom Farm, Birdham Road, Chichester PO20 7EH 01243 773828
  • Portslade Wild Thing, 154 Mile Oak Road, Portslade, West Sussex, BN41 2PL  01273 423662
  • JB cider – John Batcheldor, The Orchard, Maplehurst, West Sussex, RH13 6LL tel 01403 891352
  • Dreymans Cider, Nr Chichester, West Sussex PO18 8XA 07584260778
  • Silly Moo Cider, Trenchmore Farm, Burnthouse Lane, Cowfold, RH13 8DG 01403 864419
    @TrenchmoreBeef

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Wales

South Wales

  • Bragdy Brodyr – wholesale only, no visitors
  • Berryhill Farm Cider, Coedkernew, Newport, Gwent, NP10 8UD 01633 680938
  • Blaengawney Cider – wholesale only, no visitors
  • Seidr Dai – wholesale only, no visitors
  • Gower Heritage Centre, Park Mill, Gower, SA3 2EH, 01792 371206
  • Gwynt Y Ddraig Cider, Llest Farm, Llantwit Fardre, Nr Pontypridd, CF38 2PW 07966 535026
  • Swan Cider, Llantrisant Old Town, Mid Glamorgan, 07796264349
  • Llanblethian Orchards – wholesale only, no visitors
  • CJ’s Cider – wholesale only, no visitors
  • Clytha Perry, The Clytha Arms, Near Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 9BW, 01873 840206
  • Springfield Cider, Springfield Farmhouse, Llangovan, Monmouthshire, NP25 4BU, 01291 691018
  • Three Saints, Pentine Lands Farm, Llantrisant, Usk, Gwent, NP15 1LS 01291 672681
  • Troggi – wholesale only, no visitors
  • WM Watkins, Ty Bryn, Upper House Farm, Grosmont, Monmouthshire, NP7 8LA 01873 821237
  • Ty Gwyn Cider – wholesale only, no visitors
  • Usk Cider – 18 Ladyhill, Usk, Monmouthshire 01291 673804
  • Wernddu Vineyard, Wernddu Farm, Pen-Y-Clawdd, Monmouth, NP25 4BW 01600 740104
    Williams Brothers Cider Venture Wales, Greenway, Bedwas House Industrial Estate, Bedwas, Caerphilly CF83 8GF
  • The Bent Bike Ciderhouse, Clytha Park, Clytha, Monmouthshire, NP7 9BA 07813 130618
  • The Raglan Cider Mill, Tynewydd Farm, Llanarth, Raglan, Monmouthshire, NP15 2LU 01600 780258

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West Wales

  • Gethin’s – wholesale only, no visitors
  • Toloja Cider – 01570 471295 – shop planned for 2009

North Wales

  • Dee Ciders Ltd, Bryn-Teg Holdings, Mertyn Downing Lane, Whitford, CH8 9EP. No farm gate sales, Visits by apointment
  • Rosie’s Triple D Cider – wholesale only, no visitors

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Mid Wales

  • Hendre Cider, Comole, Aberedw, Builth Wells, LD2 3UU 01982 570271
  • Old Monty Cider Glascoed, Garthmyl, Montgomery, SY15 6RT 01686 640899
  • Berriew – wholesale only, no visitors
  • The Piston Broke Club – wholesale only, no visitors
  • Ralph’s Cider & Perry, Old Badlands Farm, New Radnor, Radnorshire, LD8 2TG 01544 350304
  • Seidr O Sir, Bettws Cottage, Hundred House, Powys, LD1 5RP 01982 570404
  • Bleasdale’s – wholesale only, no visitors

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Warwickshire

  • Hogan’s Cider, North Lodge Barn, Haselor, Alcester, B49 6LX (01789 488433

Wiltshire

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Worcestershire

  • Ashdown Cider, Worcester Road, Boraston (off the A456) 01584 819632
  • Barkers Real Cider & Perry, Greenstreet Farm, Hallow WR2 6PY, 01905 640697
  • Barbourne Cider, 19 York Place, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR1 3DR. Tel: (01905) 27151
  • Barnfield Cider Mill, Broadway Road, Broadway 01386 85314
  • Boston Farm Produce, Boston Farm, Boston Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 2RD. 01386 860017
  • Clive’s Fruit Farm, Willingsworth Farmhouse, Upton upon Severn  01684 592664
  • Grafton Field Cider, Grafton Field, Bockleton, nr Tenbury Wells WR15 8PT, 01568 750638
  • Knights Real Cider, Crumpton Oaks Farm, Storridge, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR13 5HP. 01684 568887
  • The Lenches Cider Co., Park Cottage, The Green, Rous Lench, Evesham, WR11 4UN. Tel 01386 792418
  • Prior’s Tipple Cider, Cleeve Prior, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 8TQ. 01386  852903
  • Tardebigge Cider, Tutnall, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B60 1NB 07712 223371
  • Titlark Cider, Himbleton, Droitwich, Worcestershire, WR9 7JY
  • Norbury’s Norrest Farm & Cider Company, Holywell Farm Buildings, Storridge, nr Malvern WR13 5HD, 01886 832206

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Yorkshire

  • Ampleforth AbbeyYork, YO62 4EN
  • Colemans Cider Company Eastgate House, East Street, Kilham, East Riding of Yorkshire, YO25 4RE
  • Pipkin Cider, Cherry Tree Cottage, Strait Lane, Huby, North Yorkshire LS17 0EA 01423 734934
  • Saxon Cider, La Cantina, Unit 4B, Saxonmill, 218 Bradford Road, Batley Carr WF17 6JF 01924 457979
  • Yorkshire Cider, The Cropton Brewery, Cropton, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 8HH
  • Moorlands Farm Cider, Moorlands Farm, North Newbald, Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, YO43 4SR. Tel (01430) 827359
  • Husthwaites, York
  • Udders Orchard, Huddersfield
  • Red Bank Cider, Bolton
  • Tree Top Press, Hillcrest Cottage, Suffield, Scarborough, YO13 0BJ. 01723 363731 or Adam/Ruby on: 07713 966 990

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Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway


Related links

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There are more than 300 cider apple varieties. These apples are not like the ones you buy from the supermarket, they have special strains high in acids and tannins that are unique to the West Country – Somerset, Devon and Herefordshire.

Cider apples fall into four categories, according to the tannin, sugar and acidity levels:

  1. Bittersweets are high in tannin and low in acid – eg: Yarlington Mill, Dabinett
  2. Sweets and low in both – eg: Sweet Coppin, Sweet Alford
  3. Bittersharps are high in both – eg: Kingston Black, Broxwood Foxwhelp
  4. Sharps are low in tannin and higher in acid – eg: Frederick, Crimson King

Most traditional apple varieties contain a combination of all four. It’s down to the expertise of the cider makers judgement on how to blend so the final result is a balanced mix of sugars, acidity and tannins. Too much of one may result in the cider being overpowering and undrinkable.

Foxwhelp Cider Apples

Foxwhelp Cider Apples

Tannin gives cider the colour, the more tannin, the deeper the golden brown. Tannin also give dryness, the same dryness in red wine that sits at the back of your tongue when tasting it.

These give unique tastes and characteristics depending on the combination of apples that are pressed to make real cider.

The apples also have fantastic names: Tower of Glammis, Galloway Pippin, Watson’s Dumpling, Red Cluster, Foxwhelp to name but a few!

Cider makers choose their apple selection before pressing the cider apples together. Other producers press the apple types individually, then blend to taste the juices before they ferment. And some don’t even blend, they sell the cider as single varietals, for example, Kingston Black which is fermented in old rumm barrels to give a distinctive flavour and Redstreak whose production as a single has been traced back to the 18th century.

Did you know: 45 per cent of all UK apples are now used to make cider – Learn more at cider facts.

Further links:
Cider Apples at NACM
Cider Apple varieties by County

Cider making has long been a traditional countryside craft, that involves years of experience to get the correct blend of apples for a great tasting cider

The production process for making real cider is simple, and has remained unchanged for centuries:

Select apples, press them, ferment slowly in barrels over the winter and by early summer you will have dry, still, refreshing real cider!

However, here is the basic simplified process that cider producers follow to make real cider:

Preparation

Apples arrive from the orchards in October, they are washed (surface sterilsed) and sorted to remove rotten apples. All leaves, twigs and other orchard debris is removed to leave just the fruit that meets the standard.

Pulping

Apples are then mashed, either mechanically using a scratter, or by hand – to create a pulp which is put into the cider press.

Pressing

The cider press extracts the juice from the apples, which then goes directly into plastic fermentation barrels.

Fermentation:

No yeast is added as it occurs naturally on the skin and in the flesh of the apple. The fermentation is a slow process due to the low temperatures over winter. However, early summer you can check whether the cider is ready by the following methods: clarity, taste and specific gravity (% ABV).

Larger producers also use these steps to make the cider taste great:

Assessing

All Cider Makers rely on their own ability to taste the fermenting ciders to measure the fermentation process.

Blending

On a large scale, once fermented, the cider is transferred to a maturation vessel, usually a very large oak barrel where matured ciders from previous seasons are combined and blended as the cider maker completes the finished product.

Of course, you don’t need to be a farm producer to enjoy making real cider. You can do this at home with the basic equipment for cider making. The links below provide more information on how to get started.

Further links

Thanks to a natural hybridisation between two fruits, thousand of years ago edible apples developed, and the discovery of a refreshing glass of cider began.

Travelling through the Middle East, to Turkey, and then across to what would become Britain, neolithic people were familiar with planting and working with the wild apple Malus syvelstris.

1204 AD is the first written record in this country we have of cider as a form of payment by a manor in Runham, Norfolk.

The Celts made a crab apple cider before this, and continued to be improved by the Romans, who developed cider making equipment for crushing and extraction of the apple juice they produced from their newly planted orchards.

When the Romans left it was the Christians turn to keep the orchards thriving in small pockets of land. The Normans introduced a number of new cider apples.

During the dark ages, monks preserved the knowledge of cider making, assisted by the Bishop of Bath who bought cider presses for his monastery in 1230.

Henry VIII sent fruiterer Richard Harris to France who bought back new varieties, including the Pippin, and created orchards in Kent, now the fruit basket of England.

Throughout the 17th Century the number of orchards increased, and the preference of Cider compared to fine wines grew more popular amongst gentry and royalty.

In the 18th Century, Cider became the drink for all classes to enjoy. More farms produced cider to give as payment to their workers, a second pressing of the apple pomace resulted in a cider that was around 2-3% ABV. Half a gallon for breakfast, same for lunch and more which they carried in the fields.

Cider Drinker - Photo Credit: NACM

Cider Drinker - Photo Credit: NACM

Into the latter part of the 19th Century, and cider was approached more scientifically, by fruit growing societies and clubs to improve and experiment with grafts of cider trees, look at the best varieties and efficient production processes.

A campaign to stop payment in the form of alcoholic beverages brought about the addition of a clause to the Truck Act of 1887 which prohibited the payment of wages in this way.

Today, modern cider making still relies on the same basic principles as have applied for centuries. The taste for cider has been rediscovered and a quiet revolution has begun.

Sales of cider are increasing strongly, with this success has come a greater demand for good quality cider fruit. Farmers and land-owners throughout the west country have planted over 8,000 acres of new orchards in the last decade.

It’s a success for farms, the conservation of our ancient cider apple varieties and for cider drinker’s who demand real cider.

This page explains some of the terms associated with cider, perry and cidermaking.

  • Acetification – a fault in cider caused by the airborne acetobacter bacteria, which generates acetic acid in the cider. This happens when the cider is allowed to be in contact with air, and is the same fault that can occur in wine and beer. The unmistakable taste of vinegar is the result. Your best bet is to use it as cider vinegar in the kitchen.
  • Apple – the fruit used to make cider! But not just any old apple – different types of apple are used, depending on the type of cider being made. In some parts of the UK (notably Eastern parts) culinary (cooking) or dessert (eating) apples are used; whereas in other parts, especially in the western areas, specially grown cider apples are used. Cider apples are classified as Bittersharp, Bittersweet, Sharp or Sweet, depending on the relative amounts of acid and/or tannin present in the apples – see the individual definitions of these terms for more explanation. There is a large number of different varieties of cider apple – some well-known ones are Kingston Black, Foxwhelp, Dabinett, Chisel Jersey and Tremlett’s Bitter.
  • Bittersharp – a type of apple relatively high in both acidity and tannin – will taste sharp and astringent (bitter)
  • Bittersweet – a type of apple relatively low in acidity but high in tannin – will taste astringent (bitter) but not too sharp
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – gas given off during fermentation. This may be harnessed by means of a secondary fermentation in bottled cider or perry to produce a naturally sparkling drink. Makers of keg ciders will have processed this natural carbonation out and will have to artificially add it back to give a simulated “life” to the cider.
  • Cheese – parcels of fruit pulp to be pressed are built up into a stack called a cheese. The parcels were traditionally wrapped in long straw or horsehair but nowadays usually in some sort of polyester cloth which will allow the juice to flow through it while preventing the solid matter from being squeezed out under pressure.
  • Cider –   In the UK, the term cider always refers to an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the juice of apples. In the USA, sweet cider (or simply cider) means apple juice (unfermented); and hard cider is used to mean alcoholic cider.
  • Dry – lack of sweetness in cider or perry, based on the amount of sugar or other sweetener present in it. Dry cider or perry has a low amount of sweetness compared to medium or sweet. The majority of real ciders are naturally dry, as nearly all the sugar gets fermented out. They are then sweetened to produce medium or sweet ciders.
  • Fermentation – the conversion of sugar in apple or pear juice to alcohol, resulting in cider or perry respectively, by the action of yeast. Carbon dioxide is given off during the reaction, allowing sparkling ciders or perries to be made naturally.
  • Hair or hairs – a term sometimes used for the cloths normally used to wrap the pulp when building a cheese. This is derived from the old practice of using horsehair for this purpose
  • Keeve – to use a traditional technique (too complex to explain here!) which results in a cider which is naturally sweet.
  • Medium – medium sweetness in cider or perry, based on the amount of sugar or other sweetener present in it. Medium cider or perry has a higher amount of sweetness than dry, and a lower amount than sweet.
  • Mill – a device used to turn the fruit into pulp so that it can be pressed to extract the juice. There are several types of mill – some will crush the fruit whereas others will chop or grate it into small pieces. See also stone mill and scratter. The term cider mill is sometimes used to refer to the whole cider farm or cider works, factory, etc.
  • Mock – another term for a cheese – sometimes spelt or pronounced muck.
  • Mouse –  a fault in cider affecting the taste. Cider can develop a taint (off-flavour) caused by the formation of ethanamide by certain types of wild yeast – the taste is known as mouse. It’s difficult to describe the taste, but presumably if you’ve ever tasted a small rodent it tastes similar! There are various treatments but no proper cure, once the mouse taint has developed. If it’s not too far gone then the best bet is to use up the cider before it gets any worse!
  • Orchard – a plantation of cultivated fruit trees – apples or pears for cider or perry. The term is also used for other fruits.
  • Pear – the fruit used to make perry. Special types of pear (called perry pears) are used, as dessert pears are not good for making perry. Some well-known varieties of perry pear are Gin, Rock, Hendre Huffcap and Blakeney Red.
  • Perry –  an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the juice of perry pears. In the USA, the term pear cider is used for perry.
  • Pomace – another name for apple pulp – sometimes used to refer to the spent pulp after pressing. This is often used as animal feed.
  • Press – mechanical equipment designed to exert pressure on fruit pulp to extract the juice. Traditional presses are normally operated manually, but in larger cider works today many presses are hydraulically operated.
  • Pulp –  the crushed, chopped or grated fruit from milling apples or pears, prior to pressing.Rope     (n) a fault in cider caused by bacterial activity, resulting in the cider becoming viscous or oily. In extreme cases, the cider when poured forms ‘strings’ or ‘ropes’, hence the name. Usually the ropiness manifests itself in the early stages by small clumps of viscous matter floating in the cider – if you’ve ever seen ‘mother of vinegar’ in a vinegar bottle then it looks a little like that (but it’s not the same thing). This can be removed and the cider’s taste is unaffected and it can normally be drunk without any ill effects on the drinker. The ropiness will only get worse with long term storage, as there is no proper remedy. The best bet is to drink up the cider before it gets any worse!
  • Scratter –  a type of rotary mill operated by hand or by motor power, which crushes and shreds or chops the fruit between spiked or toothed rollers. (From the verb scrat meaning ‘to scratch’ – the verb ‘to scrat’ meaning ‘to mill’ is not often used these days).
  • Screw Press –  a type of press which works by screwing down a beam, board or plate tightly on top of the fruit pulp to exert pressure on it and extract the juice. Some presses have a single central screw and others may have two or more screws.
  • Scrumpy –   Unfortunately this term means different things to different people! The usual meanings are 1. (n) simply, an affectionate slang term for cider, usually applied to draught cider. 2. (n) implies an inferior or poorly made cider 3. (n) high quality real cider made from traditional methods – this is the definition we at the Scrumpy User Guide advocate!
  • Sharp –  a type of apple relatively high in acidity but low in tannin – will taste sharp (acidic) but not astringent (bitter). Many cooking apples fit this profile.
  • Single varietal –   (a or n) a cider or perry made with a single variety of apple or pear, respectively. One of the best known single varietal ciders is Kingston Black, made entirely from that apple variety. Most ciders and perries are made from a blend of apples to get the right balance of sweetness, astringency and acidity, but some varieties can be used alone to make a very good cider or perry. This is analogous to single varietal wines made from grape varieties such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Stone Mill – a type of mill consisting of a circular horizontal stone, usually with a circular trough cut around it near the outer edge; and a second circular stone which was vertical and would roll around the trough in the lower stone. The vertical stone would be supported by a wooden beam and pivot around the centre of the horizontal one, and would be pushed around manually or by horsepower. The fruit would be pushed into the trough to be crushed by the rolling stone. There would usually be an outlet for the juice at one point where the juice was collected in between revolutions. Such mills were still used by some cidermakers well past the mid-20th century but there are probably none still in use today. The mills can still occasionally be seen at cider farms or in museums.
  • Sweet 1. (a) indicates a high level of sweetness in cider or perry, based on the amount of sugar or other sweetener present in it. Sweet cider or perry has a high amount of sweetness compared to medium or dry. Many sweet ciders are produced by adding artificial sweetener to dry ciders (see dry). 2. (a or n) a type of apple relatively low in both acidity and tannin – will taste sweet with little sharpness or astrigency (bitterness). Many eating apples fit this profile.
  • Tallet – a loft, typically above a barn, where apples are stored and allowed to mature for a while before being pulped for cider. Some cidermakers believe this improves the quality of the juice and softens the apples, making them easier to pulp and improving the amount of juice extracted. See also tump.
  • Tannin – a substance present in apples and pears to a greater or lesser degree, which imparts astringency to the resulting cider or perry. Good ciders and perries need a certain amount of tannin in the fruit mix. See bittersweet and bittersharp.
  • Tump – West Country word meaning a hill or heap. In cidermaking, it is used to refer to a mound of apples left to mature before being pulped, sometimes in a barn or even in the open air. See also tallet.
  • Yeast – a micro-organism which will convert sugars to alcohol during the process of fermentation. All alcoholic drinks are made using some form of yeast. In the case of cider and perry, traditionally there was no need to add any yeast, as the yeasts naturally present in the fruit does the job. Many traditional ciders and perries are still made this way, but some cider and perry makers use a known yeast to give more consistent results.