10 Top Cideries for Every Style of Drinker

Think you know cider? Think again! 2020 is the dawn of a new decade for cider's resurgence into the public domain as a modern, grown up and respected beverage. 

This list is my top 10 recommendations of cider makers and Cideries in the UK to check out right now. Some you can visit, some you can get through Crafty Nectar and some you’ll need to do a bit of hunting around, but I promise it’ll be worth it. Enjoy.

Cidery for white wine drinkers - Nightingale (Kent)

For 70 years the Nightingale family have been farming fruit in Kent, so they really know their eating apples. Brothers Sam and Tim decided back in 2013 to start making ciders from their eating apples, which went so well that 2 years later Sam had given up the day job and gone full time cider maker. Their single varieties and blends are bright, crisp, acid led drinks with florality that can rival any white wine for complexity and freshness. A recommendation? If your a fan of oaked Chardonnay then try Songbird No 1, a limited fine cider made exclusively from Egremont Russet apples. 

Cidery for red wine drinkers - Once Upon a Tree (Herefordshire)

Simon Day is a winemaker by origin but since 2007 has added cider to his portfolio. Bringing winemaking technique and skill to the apples has led to an ever increasing range of exquisite alternatives to the usual grape variety suspects. Lower alcohol, but still full of tannin, acidity and complexity, Once Upon a Tree exploit these characteristics to create innovative drinks, such as their Pear Ice wine or apple and grape co-ferments. If you like light reds you could try their Dabinett and Pinot Noir co-ferment (apple juice fermented on grape skin) or perhaps their Blackberry Cider, which brings juicy hedgerow fruit to soft tannins. Or their fantastic new collaboration with Crafty Nectar, No.9 - a blackberry and hibiscus co-ferment. Finally work your way through their 750ml single varieties for cider with wine like qualities.  

Cidery for sparkling wine lovers - Gospel Green (Hampshire)

 Like a fine restaurant, the menu maybe small but the quality is exceptional. Gospel Green, established in 1990,  have a range of two; Brut and Rose. Their aim, to produce high quality fine ciders that rival, champagne, Prosecco and cava, and wow have they achieved it. The Brut delivers elegance in a bottle, it is bright, fresh and crisp with a wonderful mouse that rolls along the tongue. The Rose, given a pink hue with the addition of a smidge of Pinot Noir has juicy berry fruits to accompany the light apple acidity. The Brut is available in this months Fine Cider Club box from Crafty Nectar.

Cidery for craft beer lovers - Pilton (Somerset)

 The king of keeving; Martin Berkeley, is quickly becoming a captain of co-ferment. Last year saw Pomme Pomme: cider with Quince, a bright and fresh elegant drink. As well as Smokey Plum: a deep smokey dive into the belly of wood, plum and peat. This year brings Scarlett Sharpe: dry hopped cider with blackcurrant all on cask, along with everyones favourite Tamoshanta: barrel fermented keeved cider full of rich vanilla sweetness. There’s so many choices of flavours to explore for the adventurous modern style craft beer drinker. Seek out one do the many local events Martin supports around his cidery and Bristol.

The Pilton Max Lux 2014 Vintage is available in this months fine cider box (new limited edition discoveries each month!)

Cidery in the West - Perry’s (Somerset)

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The Barn Owl 🦉 now available in 30 ltr kegs

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My first cider love, I would alway wholeheartedly recommend a trip to Perry’s cider mill in Dowlish Wake. Celebrating their 100th year this year, which I hope will bring some celebration or a special release or two. Visit their museum, tea room and shop to work your way through their fantastic single varieties. I challenge you to pick a favourite between the Dabinett and Redstreak, which after 9 years I still can’t. Don’t forget the blends too, in particular the Vintage. Their labels are literal works of art (courtesy of Tom Frost), so much so you may find it hard to recycle the bottles...I have a shelf of empties.

Cidery in the East - Bignose & Beardy (Sussex) 

Phil Day (big nose) & Steve Stark (beardy), two friends who have turned a hobby into a community. This is slow fermented, low intervention, small batch cider in all it’s glory. Celebrating each year and season as a unique moment in time...once it’s gone it’s gone. That’s why I can’t recommend specific bottles, you’ll just have to try whatever they have left. Join their cider club to sample everything they make, see how the range changes with the seasons and enjoy exclusive member only batches. Or why not join one of their orchard days to help with picking, pressing or bottling. You’ll be sure of a warm welcome in an idyllic spot in the Sussex countryside.

The cidery for purists - Pulpt (Somerset)

Al and Jim are two friends who have enacted the escape plan I dream of. Ditching the 9-5 to follow a passion for honest, pure cider made with a modern approach. What they’ve created is as much about education as it the cider. Engaging label graphics, steer away from the bland descriptors of dry, medium and sweet. Instead setting out to encourage drinkers to learn more about the flavour profiles. Their core range do three are all blends of different apples which really demonstrate the different characteristics of cider apples. In contrast, their limited edition Gilly, made exclusively from Gilly apples, serves as a perfect example of the complexity one apple can deliver. Check out their range in The Stable Cider Bars, through Crafty Nectar Trade.

Cidery for the adventurous palate - Hawkes (London)

A cidery in the heart of central London and on the Bermondsey beer mile no less. Hawkes is the one cidery on this list where you can sample drinks from a multitude of inspirations. Start with their beginnings; “Urban Orchard”, still created from donated London apples. Something a bit unique; try their “Sole Trader” a Fine Cider crafted from Braeburn apples that will satisfy any curious white wine drinker. Beer? Try their Graff, an apple pale ale co-fermented hybrid of beer and cider. If you’re feeling really adventurous have a go at catching Spanish inspired Sidra from their Txotx barrel. 

The cidery for everyone - Ross on Wye Cider & Perry (Herefordshire)

There are three generations of cider making heritage for the Johnson family at Broome Farm. A larger scale craft producer (10,000 trees) but still focused on natural ciders demonstrating pure expressions of the different cider apple and perry pear varieties. They produced over 60 different creations last year and there is something for everyone. Craft beer drinkers, try their latest kegged varieties and sour beer lovers...Foxwhelp is your friend. White wine drinkers, sample the delicate Gin perry, Red drinkers try something bold like the Premium (oak fermented) Yarlington Mill. If you’re a whiskey fan, then the premium ciders are right up your street. Visit their pub, The Yew Tree Inn just across the orchards from the farm, where you can try all of their creations either in the pub, or the bottle shop behind it. 

The cidery to watch grow - Charnwood (Leicestershire)

Rob an ex park ranger, knows his trees and his passion for the natural environment has led to him planting over 100 cider apple trees of many different varieties. In partnership with a local brewer, he’s co-created ‘The Mash & Press’ brewery tap and cider house in Anstey. Visit to try his single variety ciders as well as blends (I’d highly recommend the Orchard Medley), including on keg. Sit on handmade furniture (by Rob himself) whilst taking in the local art on display that month and If you’ve got craft beer drinkers with you, well they’re catered for too obviously. Expect big things from Charnwood over the coming years as Rob expands both his range and production.

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Author: James Finch

10 Top Cideries for Every Style of Drinker

Thank you for taking your time to read this article written by the fabulous @TheCiderCritic. We had so many different cideries and ciders that we could have included, thus demonstrating the diversity and breathe of cider in the UK. 

Below are a few bottles we have available online. We're launching a new marketplace soon in which you'll hopefully be able to access all ciders mentioned above.

Watch. This. Cider. Space.  

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  • You really need to get out more as you haven’t found us yet

    Fletchers cider
  • As a Devonian, my best is direct from Indicknowle Farm (a few miles from Ilfracombe). It’s all straw-pressed on 200 year old Somerset press. Sandford Orchards from Crediton do an excellent Vintage using usually rum barrels. Sam’s cider from Winkleigh is what I was brought up to drink, as I lived in the village and my father supplied Sam Inch with apples from the orchard. Their Autumn Scrumpy can be blended to taste.

    Peter Witting

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