There are many different cider brands in the market today and with so many to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start when picking the best ones. Every cider will have a unique taste, and it's always good to experiment with different flavour profiles and cider brands to know which one you like the most.
Let’s look at some of the highest rated and best-tasting ciders in the UK today:
Nightingale Cider Co
The Nightingale family have been farming fruit for the better part of seventy years. All their ciders are made from fine Kentish apples and with the highest quality standards.
Top Cider Pick: The Night Bird is the cider brand’s newest cider. It's “crisp and fun” which sounds perfect for a cider that you can enjoy on long summer evenings. It is made from dessert apples and it has a light and fruity flavour. It’s fermented with wild yeast and has just the right amount of complexity to make it interesting without being overpowering. Another of their ciders we love is The Russet, which is one of the original heroes of the cider brand. It packs quite a punch, at 8.1% ABV and is aged before being sold. It is a nutty, complex dry cider that is quite strong. So if you like dry ciders that pack a punch you should definitely pick up a bottle of the Russet.
Hallets Real Cider:
Hallets Cider, based out of Blaengawney Farm, is another award-winning cider brand. Their philosophy is to use traditional methods of cider making incorporated with some of their own techniques (and with no additives it stays true to real cider).
Top Cider Pick: Hallets Real Cider is one of the most popular ciders the brand produces, and it is made by hand from aged Dabinett cider using a blend of Welsh apples. It is made using a rare method called keeving. This helps give the cider a subtle texture along with a uniquely rich and sweet taste. Once bottled, it is stored for a minimum of three months to help with natural conditioning Overall, the Hallets Real cider is a tasty cider from a reputed cider brand
Turners Cider is a craft cider brand that started when the family had a surplus of apples and they decided to come together to make cider. While they have since scaled up and grown, their practices and philosophy still remain the same. The cider brand uses 100% Kentish apples and they make a variety of cider - from different taste profiles to other fruits such as pear.
Top Cider Pick: Turners Medium Dry Ciders is one of the tastiest craft ciders on the market today. It is lightly sparkling, crisp and fruity, finely balanced between acidic and sweet. It does pack a punch at 7% ABV but is one of the most flavourful ciders you can buy.
Apple County Cider
Apple County Cider Co is a family-run cider brand. They use single-variety bitter-sweet apples that are grown in local orchards and have taken inspiration from the skills of traditional winemakers to produce their award-winning ciders. They have even won the prestigious Golden Fork for Wales among other awards. Their orchards are one of the first to be terraced (which means more sunlight) and they have red soil which is rich in iron. They produce various types of ciders from Dabinett to Rhubarb and Raspberry, but our favourite is the Vilberie Medium Dry Cider.
Top Cider Pick: Apple County Cider Co Vilberie
The bitter-sweet Vilberie apples give it a refreshing fruity taste and a crisp, dry finish. The cider is lightly sparkling and is made with 100% apple juice. It has a very diverse flavour profile and is gluten-free as well!
West Milton Cider Co
West Milton Cider Co has been making cider for nearly two decades now. They use handpicked local apples and use 100% of the apple juice. Unlike some other cider brands, their ciders are fermented long and slow, which does wonders in enhancing the taste and flavour. They do not use any added sulphites or other chemicals.
Top Cider Pick: Lancombe Rising Keeved Cider
The Lancombe Rising is their pride and joy. It is a fully keeved and bottled cider which is naturally sparkling. It has a nutty, caramel background and a delicious medium taste. The Lancombe Rising has also won several accolades including Gold in the Bottle Conditioned class and is the Supreme Royal Bath & West Champion 2017.
This cider brand has been pressing apples and pears since the 1930s. Even today, their natural cider is produced in the same traditional way as they started with. Their apples are still grown on the special and unique soil of Herefordshire, and they only use whole juice, allowing natural fermentation.
Top Cider Pick: We have previously reviewed the Ross-On-Wye Tremletts Bitters on Crafty Nectar and for more information on the cider brand and the cider, we recommend you read the full review by our resident cider expert, James Finch. Sparing the details, the Tremletts Bitters is one of the best ciders James has ever tasted. In fact, he calls it "powerfully deep" and was really impressed with the taste, aroma, and overall experience of drinking this cider. It was quite dry, but that adds to the experience. Long story short, if you like strong ciders that pack a punch, you will LOVE this cider so we recommend trying it out.
Little Pomona cidery and orchard is run by James and Susanna Forbes. Started in 2014, they took inspiration from the Roman goddess of fruit trees(Pomona), and it is set in northern Herefordshire below an ancient hill fort overlooking the Malvern Hills. They take a wholly natural approach to cider making, hand picking and selecting each apple. They age the fruit in small crates to get the best balance, before milling and pressing. They ferment with natural yeast, and do not use pasteurisation, filtration or artificial carbonation.
Top Cider Pick: Feat of Clay
Feat of Clay is their original cider and it is fantastic. Made from Dabinett and Foxwhelp apples, it is (as they describe it) ‘still, dry and tangy, with ripe, silky tannins and notes of yellow and green apples, nectarine and citrus fruit’. Delicious!
Oliver’s Cider and Perry is world class and made in the heart of Herefordshire. Oliver’s motto is to “take what the fruit gives” and they try to intervene in the making process as little as possible. They blend the various ciders and perries themselves, choosing the best from the barrels and tanks, to get the right harmonious balance of sweetness, acidity and tannins.
Top Cider Pick: Oliver’s Fine Cider, Medium is one of our favourites. It is sparkling through conditioning in the bottle and it has a full, natural apple sweetness. It is made from 100% juice, no preservatives, filtration or pasteurisation.
Hawkes are on a mission to push the growth of the cider industry. Part of the BrewDog family, they are getting their ciders out in the mainstream, offering shops, bars and subscriptions - and they definitely stand out with their bright and modern packaging and bottles.
Top Cider Pick: Urban Orchard is our top pick. Made from a blend of country apples pressed in London, it is a medium dry cider. It is smooth with a ‘rich texture on the palate, all complemented by a crisp, dry wine-like finale’.
Sandford orchards has its roots in the heart of Devon, and they select apples grown only within 30 miles of their press. Their methods are based on traditional techniques and the cider is made from naturally fermented, freshly pressed juice and matured between six months and three years. Their home is The Cider Works, originally built in 1935 for The Creedy Valley Cider Company, which they have restored back to its original purpose.
Top Cider Pick: They have a great range of ciders and one of our favourites is the Devon Red. It is well balanced, refreshing, medium cider and it is named after the rich red soil of the orchards. It is made from the apple varieties Farmers Glory, Dabinett & Sweet Alford.
New Cider Brands 'The Ones to Watch in 2020'
Meet the brands who have burst onto the cider scene in the last 2 years and made a big impact.
Crafty Nectar Cider Co
Crafty Nectar (yes that's us!) are the worlds first nomadic cideries. We started off as a subscription service for small producersand now we're collaborating with them to produce some of the best ciders out there.
Top Cider Pick: The No. 8 by Crafty Nectar is one of the tastiest ciders we've tried. What's unique about this cider is that it has a subtle, well-balanced zing from rhubarb. It's a great blend between sweet and sour. The cider is very well received by cider lovers all over the UK which earns it the top spot in our feature.
There you have it - ten of the tastiest ciders available in the UK. We definitely recommend ordering a bottle or two. Alternatively, you can sign-up for our craft cider subscription service. We will send you a box of the finest ciders, handpicked by our cider experts, every month. This way, you get to explore and experience new and delicious craft ciders hassle-free and delivered straight to your door.
Pulpt cider (set up by Al and Jim) and based in Hewish, are an independent craft cider company, who pulp and press their apples from selected Somerset cider orchards. They are passionate about cider without any additives, so that as they say - ‘the cider speaks for itself’. They use a range of apple varieties to produce their ciders, encouraging drinkers to be ‘curious’ and try a range of apples and flavours.
Top Cider Pick: the Verve.
Our favourite from their range is the ‘Verve’. It is bright with fruity and floral notes. It is naturally light, sparkling, filtered cider, made from 100% bittersweet & bittersharp orchard blend. Their bottles stand out with bright contemporary branding.