Somerset cider needs no introduction. If you ask anyone in the UK, what county makes best cider? Without a doubt 90% will say Somerset, even if they haven't tried any Somerset cider.
However, if you ask the majority 3-words that signify Somerset cider. No doubt one of them will be 'farmer', 'rough', 'spit and saw dust' as many believe the perception that cider is behind the times. Well, not for the following innovative producers as they have embraces modern cider making techniques, modern branding and positioning themselves towards a younger market.
Meet some the the most exciting cider makers revolutionising West Country cider.
1) Pulpt Cider
Pulpt cider (set up by Al and Jim) are an independent craft cider company, based in Hewish, 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 Somerset Cider Pick: 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 and a cool flavour wheel demonstrating all the wonderful characteristics of that cider.
2) Iford Cider
Iford Cider is deep-rooted in the once forgotten orchards found around the Iford Manor Estate. It all started when Joe and Will met in 2015, over their love of apples and set up business on Will’s beautiful Iford estate
Iford’s mission is to create, “a whole new world of cider, challenging a lost industry and showing the world a better way.”
Always using fresh-pressed juice from local apples; and never from concentrate their ciders are fermented wild using the yeasts occurring naturally on the apples.
Top Cider Pick: Peto Press
Fresh-faced and thirst-quenching, Peto Press is a silky cider, naturally fruity with a long lasting apple finish. As always, no artificial sweeteners or flavourings, and never from concentrate. Why not try try it with food? Match it with pork dishes, sweet tagines.
3) Luke’s Cider
On the next step on his quest for outstanding cider, Luke brings you his second batch. Developed between his base in North London and the family farm in Somerset, Luke’s newest offering is a blend of quality cider apples fermented slowly over the winter with the help of wild yeasts.
Top Cider Pick: Luke's 2nd Batch
Left to oak-age for 18 months, this lightly sparkling medium dry cider boasts delicate woody undertones and really packs a punch! Taste is sweetish, fruity apple, fleshy, some tartness, hint of caramel, with leathery funk and drying tannin. Taste aside the artwork on this can is phenomenal and a game changer for the cider scene.
4) Ex-Press Cider
Ex-press cider is made in Exmoor from Somerset apples. They use 100% fresh apple juice to make their cider - never from concentrate.
Top Cider Pick: Abandon Ship
It is a dry, crisp cider made with a blend of bittersweet apples that have been matured for 8 - 18 months. It's a well balanced dry cider with good levels of acidity, subtle fruit flavours and a soft lingering tannin finish.
5) Lawrence's Cider
Located down the lanes of Cadbury Castle, Lawrence's Cider is a great place to visit. All their apples are handpicked from orchards in Somerset and are produced using both the traditional and modern methods (depending on your preference). John originally started Lawrence's Cider has a hobby in 2003 and have scaled up to selling 1500 gallons of delicious cider every year. Interestingly, John used to deliver his ciders in his Porsche but later sold it to make way for a better production system. You can visit them on all days of the week from 9am to 5pm.
Top Somerset Cider Pick: Original Premium
A lovely drop which has been a firm favourite in our past cider boxes. One of the best reviews we've read about Laurence's cider os from the cider blog (great site for cider reviews!) and is below:
"If this cider was a woman, she would just be one of those old-school ladies that just oozes class. She doesn’t need anything flash or fancy to show how great she is. There’s always great conversation, amazing times and wonderful experiences to be had with her. The only downer on her is she could be more exciting where it matters most, but that won’t put you off having a good relationship with her"
If that doesn't convince you then nothing will.
There you have it, then. These are the finest cider makers in Somerset leading the charge for the craft cider revolution. Whether you want to buy somerset cider from crafty nectar online or you want to visit - these cideries and ciders will offer you an unparalleled experience.