For this month’s case, we’ve picked 6 new ciders from small independent producers in the cider heartlands of Somerset. Some are from new producers (or at least new to us) and some are brand new ciders.
They are all accessible and somewhere between medium and medium-dry but they have quite different flavour profiles and a broad range of strengths, from 4.8% to 7%. They show the breadth and depth of talent amongst new producers in one of the oldest and most traditional cider counties in the world.
Crafty Nectar No.7 (5.1%) Shepton Mallet
Ed & James are nomadic cider makers, working in collaboration with award-winning producers from the South-West to make their range of crowd-sourced ciders. No. 7 is their most popular cider and is just on the dry side of medium, mellow and sparkling.
Hewletts Mill ‘Stone Broke’ (5.4%) Galhampton
Hewletts Mill is right in the heart of cider country and three very local apple varieties were chosen to make Stone Broke. Yarlington Mill, Harry Masters Jersey and Dabinett apples are blended to make a fresh, clean, cider with crisp apple flavour. This is the 2020 Vintage – one of their best years yet.
Kicking Goat Medium-Dry (4.8%) Chelwood
A new producer on the cider scene, James Pearce has already won a number of awards including Silver at the International Cider Challenge. His medium-dry is our favourite and is a blend of 17 freshly pressed cider apple varieties, grown on the family farm in North Somerset.
Rawlins Family Cider Medium (7%) Horton
Another new producer, Simon Rawlins is making some quality cider in South Somerset, and was named runner up in the Sandford Orchards Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards 2022. His medium is a full-bodied and full-flavoured classic West Country cider, weighing in at a hefty 7%.
Southdown ‘Jubilee’ (6%) Shepton Montague
Southdown is not a new producer, having been named Supreme Champion at the British Cider Championships 2019, but Jubilee is a new addition to the range and is Rob Whale's first sparkling cider. Medium with a smooth finish.
Sunshine Drinks ‘Scallywag’ (5.5%) Chard
Despite the novelty branding, this is a proper drop of cider! Made from traditional cider apple varieties gathered from the orchards of South Somerset and pressed on a farm with a cider heritage dating back to 1939.