Kicking Goat announced as the official festival cider


 The Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing welcomes the refreshing taste of Kicking Goat Cider as the Official Cider at the equestrian extravaganza held at Gatcombe Park, 5-7 August 2022. 

The Pearce family has been farming in Somerset for three generations and has produced award-winning, artisan cider with a bit of a kick… from a goat! Named after a naughty goat that could be found kicking the fence down during harvest to eat the apples – it certainly isn’t your regular cider offering. 

They aren’t kidding – it’s really worth a taste, so make sure you look out for the samples that will be at The Festival on their trade stand all weekend and try a sip of the home-grown West Country delicacy. 

“We are absolutely delighted to partner with such a quintessentially British event. The fit is perfect for Kicking Goat Cider and Peter, along with the rest of the team, have been a joy to work with. Having only been out of the stable since January this year we are already working with some of the most admired brands within the hospitality sector and have been blown away by the response. We’re sure that our crafty Goat will be enjoyed by many at Gatcombe Park this August,” commented James Pearce, Kicking Goat Cider. 

Event Director, Peter Phillips added, “We are excited to have the Kicking Goat Cider team on board as the Official Cider. It will be served across all The Festival bars so make sure you give the Goat a go! I’ve tried a few and it certainly gets my approval!” 

Find out more about Kicking Goat and its heritage here 

What’s on: 

Full List of Championships, classes, additional competitions and entertainment at the 

Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing visit 

Tickets on sale at 


Biddenden Cider has launched an innovative Ice cider

Biddenden Cider Releases Ice Cider 2021 – an Innovative Sweet and Complex Cider made by Winemakers 

Biddenden Cider is launching an innovative sweet cider – Biddenden Ice Cider 2021 – the first of its kind within the Biddenden Cider range. 

Biddenden Ice Cider 2021 is made from locally grown apples pressed on site at Biddenden. The result is an intense, sweet, complex Ice Cider bursting with aromas and reflecting the best characteristics from Kentish grown Egremont Russet and Bramley apples. 

The new Ice Cider is fermented like a sweet wine and has a finished ABV of 9%. Biddenden Ice Cider displays a natural residual sugar content of 85g/l, the perfect alternative for those who are into higher-end drinks, looking for new alternatives to sweet wines. The finish is clean, fresh, fruity, and heavily emphasizes the fruit used 

High natural sugar content, concentrated aromas, and the enhancement of acidity and tannins is achieved through freezing the apple juice and following the cryoconcentration process. This technique allows the sugar liquor to drain away from the water, still frozen in suspense. The liquor is then separated and fermented for four months before developing further in the bottle. 

Tom Barnes, General Manager at Biddenden Cider comments “Our family have been known as wine and cidermakers in Kent for over 50 years. As the third generation, I bring a sweet tooth and passion for the complexity of sweet wines, which is what led us to the development of the new Ice Cider. 

“We wanted to make something unique, distinctive, and different to what we’ve produced before and really bring through our winemaking expertise and techniques with this release. Consumers are always looking for something new, so we took the opportunity to do what we do best, while also appealing to a new market. Biddenden Ice Cider 2021 can be served chilled as an aperitif or with sparkling water as a spritz. It’s great paired with puddings or cheese.” Tom continues. 

Biddenden Ice Cider 2021 launches on 30th April 2022, retailing at £12.90 for a 50cl bottle, finished with a natural cork and presented in an elegant “Flute” bottle. Available in cases of 12 x 50cl bottles, priced at £97.80 + VAT. £8.15 + VAT per bottle. For trade orders, contact Biddenden Cider on 

For more information, visit:



The inexorable rise of cider sees the landmark London Cider House at Borough Market taking a fresh and exciting new direction.

THE LONDON CIDER HOUSE has, for the last 23 years, been a family owned business, established by Barry Topp of New Forest Cider. Barry always had the dream of sharing his traditional ciders across the length and breadth of London. With the development of Borough Market, the city’s renowned hub of fine food in the 90’s, he was invited to do just that. Since those early days he has built up a true bastion of traditional cider, while also endorsing many producers from across the country who shared the same passion for the craft of cider making.

In 2022, Mary Topp, Barry’s daughter, saw a wonderful new opportunity for a fresh, new approach and so together with the two notable cider makers, Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Cider and Perry and Ted Dwane of Two Orchards coupled with London’s Fine Cider Merchant Felix Nash, has set about re-defining how to showcase all the wonderful progress that cider has made in recent years.

Mary says “ I see this as a new era for cider, as more producers, notably orchard based, are making more quality cider especially for the table. Borough Market remains the absolute best market place to champion these new ciders and makers and I’m particularly excited to be able to share this next chapter of ‘The London Cider House’ with these three partners and their wealth of cider knowledge & experience. I’m confident this unique partnership will work hard towards our combined desire to bring these special and unique ciders to your table”

Felix Nash, the founder and owner of The Fine Cider Co has been responsible for the establishment of cider in many of London’s best restaurants, bars and bottle shops over the last 6 years. His inventive and creative approach has helped cider gain many footholds and his book “Fine Cider” lays out his hopes and aspirations for cider in years to come.

The team of 4 is completed by long established cidermaker and cider evangelist Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Cider and Perry in Herefordshire, who has always believed that cider is a drink that should be enjoyed and appreciated by many and Ted Dwane, the cidermaker at Two Orchards, who are in the early stages of development but exemplify the energy, enthusiasm and skill that modern craft cider possesses and who has very clear ideas on the qualities of the cider that he wishes to bring to the table.

From the beginning, cider by the glass, will be a cornerstone of the new look London Cider House. Showcasing glorious ciders from the likes of Wilding with their Yarlington Mill & Dabinett Cider, Find & Foster with the sparkling Huxham Cider, Oliver’s Nittiness & Whizz Pet Nat Cider, Fine Cider x Little Pomona Epergne Russet Cider, Chalkdown’s Champagne Method Cider, Find & Foster Root Cider and the Brannland Ice Cider all available in the opening weeks by the glass in “ The Palace of Cider” the inner sanctum at the Borough Market stand.

Drink in or take away, The London Cider House also offers a brand new and unique “in house ordering facility ” with your chosen ciders delivered to your door.

Into the future and The London Cider House will be featuring new product launches and tasting events and is set to become the go to place for anyone wanting to enjoy cider or find out what is new in cider. As well as satisfying their legion of loyal drinkers, the cider house will attract cider makers from all over the world, for whom the “must visit place in London” is the The Palace of Cider at The London Cider House in Borough Market.

For more information, check the link below:

Canterbury Cider scoop silver medal!

Kent producers ‘Canterbury Cider’ have won a silver medal for their scrumptious ‘Bonagold’ sparkling cider .
Produced by the Maylam family for over two generations, Canterbury Cider is an award winning, authentic, premium cider made in the garden of England.

At 6% abv, Bonagold is a lightly sparkling, refreshing, crisp, medium dry cider made from the Jonagold apple with a delicate fruity aroma and apple taste. Our dogs are an integral part of our family and farm life. Bonnie is one of our Maltese x Poodles, a country lady and a truly devoted companion….hence the name ‘Bonagold’!

Well done Canterbury Cider!

Tasting notes by Olly Smith – BBC Saturday Kitchen
Pale gold, the colour of a midday summer sunbeam, subtle floral scent with crisp bright easy refreshment and a lovely fresh long finish. Sit me in a meadow with this at once! Invigorating stuff. 89/100

All Canterbury ciders are made with 100% cider fruit.


Harry’s Cider Win Gold!

Somerset producers ‘Harry’s Cider’ have won multiple awards and medals for their delicious range of ciders.
Bittersweet varieties of apples such as Harry Masters Jersey, Dabinett, Yarlington Mills and Browns Apple are used to create these superb tasting ciders that really hit the spot!

As a craft cidermaker Harry produces single variety and farmhouse ciders that are full of flavour, and made with 100% cider fruit, winning Gold at the 2022 Bath & West British Cider Championships, for their sparkling Dabinett single variety cider.
Harry’s sparkling ‘Original’ also picked up a Bronze medal at the 2022 British Cider Championships. Well done team Harry’s!

Harry’s Cider have also achieved another great success, winning four ‘Taste of the West’ Gold medals for each of their still fruit ciders, and a further ‘Taste of the West’ Gold medal for their sparkling ‘Applemoor’ 5% medium cider.

The awards and medals for Harry’s in 2022 don’t stop there!
These guys have also collected the Arthur Davies Cup at the British Cider Championships for their Dabinett Sparkling Cider, and Reserve Champion, so the team at Harry’s Cider are altogether delighted!
Incidentally, this is the 3rd time they’ve won the Arthur Davies Cup, which is presented to the best cider which has won either the “Single Variety” class, or the “Taste & Presentation” class.

All Harry’s ciders are made with 100% cider fruit.

Rum and Cider Cocktail

Rum and Cider Cocktail

‘Rum Punch. Quite Satisfactory!’

Quite? Not that we’d ever argue with Mary Poppins (we wouldn’t have the balls, to be perfectly honest!), but if her Rum Punch was only ‘quite’ satisfactory, it clearly wasn’t made using our ingredients!!

We have been in the mood for celebrating this week; with World Cocktail Day on Monday and our pubs opening up their interiors at long last – the need for a celebratory tipple was high on the agenda.

We got wind that our friends over at Penrhos had added a new Honey Spiced Rum to their spirits stable. Call it coincidence, call it fate – call it what you want…the stars aligned and a new Cider Cocktail was born.

So, to celebrate the easing of lockdown measures, let’s literally ease our measures and generously pour the following over crushed ice into your fave cocktail receptacle:


An easy 50ml of Penrhos Honey Spiced Rum
An easy 50ml of PULP Mango & Lime cider
Squeeze of fresh lime
Sprinkle of lime zest
(add a touch of ginger finely grated to an extra kick)


Article written by Pulp Cider.


Assistance for Ukraine – The Big Bear Cider Mill heads to Poland

Assistance for Ukraine – The Big Bear Cider Mill heads to Poland

The war in Ukraine has shocked and saddened us all.  Mark Hughes, an Essex business man, felt he had to do something to help the Ukranian people.  He decided on Monday 28th February to fill a van with aid and drive to the Polish/Ukranian border.  Mark has previously driven across Europe and Africa so is an old hand at  driving long distances.  He met with members of Stisted Parish Council and Stisted Village Hall on Monday evening to discuss how they could achieve this mission, the team decided to set up a donations point at Stisted Village Hall and start an Amazon wish list.  The items needed were Batteries, medical items, nappies and formula, sleeping bags, baby slings, wind up torches etc.

Community Generosity

Mark and the team were not expecting the reaction they got.  Donations came flooding in from all directions, everyone wanted to help and be involved; the generosity was wonderful to see.  What started as a small personal mission, gained momentum!

1200 Amazon parcels turned up at Mark’s house, these all had to be opened and sorted into categories.  Mark and the team were overwhelmed with the depth of feeling in the community, everyone was interested and wanting to help where they could.

A spreadsheet was created; as well as logistics, Mark feared post Brexit paperwork could scupper the expedition.  Kate Nichol worked tirelessly on a spreadsheet listing all donations, and boxes were labelled in four  languages, English, French, German, Polish and Ukranian.  Messages of goodwill were included in each box.

After frantic packing and sorting of donations, Mark left for Poland in the early hours of Monday 6th March.  One week from his first idea, the van was fully loaded, the Eurostar crossing booked, the route planned and a co driver Jon McKie ready to share the driving.

Big Bear Cider on-route

The route went through Belgium, Holland, and Germany and on through Poland to the border.  Prior to arriving in Berlin, Mark was asked by a contact on the Polish/Ukranian border for Haemostat powder to help with bleeding loss, and blood bags, these were desperately needed for trauma wounds.  With some difficulty these items were sourced and ordered in Berlin and will soon be delivered to where they are needed.

Apart from being stopped by police twice in Germany, Mark made it to the border close to Lviv without too much trouble, a journey of approximately 1300 miles.  A Ukranian couple Alex and Victoria offered to put up the team for the night as all accommodation was full, very welcome after the long drive.

Mark said “I was humbled by the commitment of Alex and Victoria, despite having limited space and three children, they were hosting up to 12 refugees a night.  Their commitment to helping out fellow Ukranians in dire need, is inspirational. They kindly provided sausages and beer for us too, Most welcome after the long drive!”

Back at Stisted Village Hall there were still piles of donations that couldn’t be fitted onto the van.  Mark had contacted John Vincent from TEECH, a registered charity that regularly delivers aid and support to Moldova.  Moldova shares a border with Ukraine and is one of the poorest nations in the EU.

On Tuesday 8th March John pulled up outside Stisted Village Hall with a large van and trailer, villagers loaded it up with boxes of food, medical and first aid equipment, baby food, blankets, sleeping bags and soft toys, the vehicles were fully laden.  John sets off on for Moldova on Saturday 12th.

Mark is heading back to the UK and will arrive late on Friday 11th.  His mission was to take aid as far as he could to the people who really need it.

After unloading in the snow Mark started his return journey.

Mission Accomplished!

Victoria messaged “Just wanted to let you know that all baby food, first aid kits, batteries and sleeping bags are going to Kharkiv and Mykolaiv, everything else into Kyiv.”  Mission accomplished.

Mark added “After seeing the situation first hand and the commitment of those helping the people of Ukraine, I need to go again.  This time with much needed medical aid.”

If anyone would like to donate towards a future trip please do get in contact.

For more information about TEECH:

Article written by Big Bear Cider.


Spoil your dad this Father’s Day with Cranes Cider

Spoil your dad this Father’s Day with Cranes Cider

Mark your calendars, Sunday 19th June is Father’s Day. If you, like many, are in need of some gift inspiration, look no further than Cranes Cider.

Cranes Ciders are crafted with the freshest ingredients, alongside British apples, to deliver a crisp, refreshing range of fruit ciders. Founded and developed by twin brothers Ben & Dan. Cranes Ciders are refreshingly natural, resulting in 30% fewer calories and 40% less sugar compared to brand leaders.

Gluten free and vegan friendly, Cranes Fruit Ciders are available in a range of refreshing flavours: Blueberries & Apples; Cranberries & Limes; Raspberries & Pomegranates and Lemons & Kumquats.

At 4% alc, Cranes Ciders are the perfect fruity drink served over ice.

Gluten Free and Vegan Friendly.

A Cranes Cider gift set is the ideal present for any cider loving Dad this Father’s Day. The crafted boxed gift set includes three of our 500ml delicious fruity ciders and a premium Cranes Cider pint glass. Cranes Cider Gift Set retails at £14.50 and is available via Cider Hub, where we forward you direct to the Cranes Online Shop.

Cranes Cider, Discover more at Cider Hub

Cranes Ciders are the perfect fruity drink served over ice

Article written by Cranes Cider.


Cider – The Most Misunderstood Drink on the Bar?

Cider – The Most Misunderstood Drink on the Bar?

A woman walks into a pub.  If that sounds like the first line of a joke, you’re right but this one is a bad joke.  She asked for a cider but was served with a glass of beer.  When she pointed out the barman’s mistake he responded condescendingly ‘Beer and cider – it’s the same thing’.  That unfortunately is a true story. I know, I overheard the conversation.

I doubt that he is the only one who is clueless about cider. I regularly hear and read people referring to cider breweries.  Cider is not apple beer and is not brewed. It is made in a cidery by pressing apples and fermenting the juice. Like wine is with grapes.


Think about the following scenarios at the bar of a pub.

Customer:  May I have a medium glass of Cabernet Sauvignon please.    Bar person:  Yes – anything else?

Or:  Customer:  What India Pale Ale do you have?  Bar person:  On cask we have St Austell’s Proper Job and in cans we have Brewster’s IPA.

And here is another one:

Customer:  A pint of cider please.  Bar person:  That’s £4.90 thanks.

You have no doubt heard those types of interactions before but with the cider the customer did not ask for a brand, or a specific style.  Most people don’t.  There is usually only one draught cider on the bar. Customers expect to get a cold fizzy drink that is a bit fruity and on the sweet side and that is invariably what they will get.  They may not even know that cider comes in a variety of styles and that not all cider is carbonated, chilled and sweet.

Cider comes as still, naturally sparkling, bottle fermented, Traditional Method, dry, medium, sweet, ice cider, cider brandy, acidic, tannic, wild yeast fermentation – cider made from dessert and eating apples, cider made from bold tannic cider apples. You’d never know by looking at the choices in most pubs and retailers.  Most pubs and retailers will offer customers a range of beers, wines and spirits, but cider is given little thought. Is that any way to treat Britain’s other national alcoholic drink?

Britain is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of cider!

56% of apples grown here go to make cider.  Cider has been a drink of these islands for millennia.  When the Romans invaded in AD43 they brought orcharding skills and domesticated apple varieties that replaced the wild crab apples that the natives used for making cider. The Normans who invaded in 1066 brought with them their tannic and acidic cider apple varieties and started planting and grafting and creating new orchards.

John Evelyn, the 17th century horticulturist and apple expert described cider as “the native English wine”. To make real cider the apples are pressed, the juice is fermented slowly and then often aged for months in oak barrels.   In the 17th and 18th centuries ciders were often on the dining tables of aristocrats, consumed from elegant glasses such as flutes. This was especially the case when foreign policy led to a scarcity of imported grape wine.

It is widely assumed that sparkling wine was invented in the Champagne region.  It was not.  Actually it was not invented at all, the sparkle is CO2, a by-product of fermentation. But until the mid-17th century it was considered to be a fault in wine because it made the delicate glass bottles  explode. Consequently it was known by the French as ‘le vin du diable – the devil’s wine’.  That is until England’s west country cider makers experimented by adding sugar to cider for a secondary fermentation in bottles made from reinforced glass known as ‘le verre Anglais’. The glass withstood the pressure of the CO2 and did not explode. The bottles were closed with corks creating an airtight seal unlike the ones in France that were often closed with wooden stoppers wrapped in cloth. Sparkling cider was a popular success and London based importers of still wine from the Champagne region copied the technique and soon sparkling wine was the fashionable drink. English cider makers had gifted humans with fizz and made it possible for Lewis Hamilton to spray his team mates with Champagne from the Formula One winner’s podium.

But hang on – there is a disconnect.  Cider has the wine, Champagne and aristocracy heritage connection and yet if you mention it to a person in the street the probable response will be along the lines of ‘worst hangover of my life when I was 15’, or ‘isn’t cider what the street drinkers neck’?   It does not help that the legal measure for draught cider is a pint.  Cider has a low value perception where quantity not quality is the incentive.

There is another disconnect too.  The cider that resembles wine is made from fresh apple juice but the biggest selling brands in the UK need only contain 35% juice (usually from concentrate) to legally call itself cider.  This means the remaining 65% is water, sugar, preservatives, caramel, colourings and other additives. Rather than the natural rural connection of the apple orchard and the farmhouse cidery where the cider takes months if not years to make, a big percentage of cider consumed in this country is an industrial product made in a factory in around 3 weeks with added sugar to make it drink like an alcopop.  Imagine the outrage from wine makers if a producer of sweetened grape flavoured diluted concentrate was permitted to market their drink as wine?

Is cider the fruity strawberry and lime concoction from Koppaberg? Is it the sweet cloudy apple-y drink from Strongbow? Is it the sublime Traditional Method cider in a 75cl bottle from Find & Foster? Is it the marvel that has aged for years in oak barrels at Oliver’s Cider & Perry only ready to be decanted when the fruit decides it is? Legally cider is all those things. The problem is that most people do not know it is also the 100 % (or near) juice version which may have some firm tannins and mouth-watering acidity, or may resemble Champagne. And people who might want that type of cider may be reluctant because of the negative association of white cider and park benches.

So how can we enlighten people about the diversity of cider and change their attitude that cider is rocket fuel, the quickest way to being blotto? Education that’s what! In 2018 the Beer & Cider Academy launched its accredited cider courses written and delivered by Gabe Cook, aka The Ciderologist. The courses lead towards the Pommelier accreditation. I have that accreditation and it has the added benefit of starting a conversation.  People are intrigued and want to know what a Pommelier is and what it entails.  This then leads on to a discussion about real cider vs alcopop cider and it has the result of elevating people’s opinion of cider.

Ten years ago beer was widely seen as just beer.  That was before the craft beer revolution started in USA. Now beer is the most discussed drink & has the most social media activity and passionate advocates.  Cider is going through its own craft revolution – again championed by American producers. Changes are slowly happening in the UK. The number of small independent producers creating fresh apple juice ciders is increasing. Cider advocates are vocal about quality, provenance, apple varietals, cider & food matching, organic, small batch & the artisan nature of cider.  These efforts are encouraging people to rethink cider.  It is happening on a small scale but it’s a start.  Real cider deserves our efforts.


Article written by Jane Peyton, Pommelier.

Jane Peyton

Jane Peyton