Alex Hill, of Bollhayes Cider at Cullompton in Devon carried off both the Rupert Best Trophy for the Champion British Cider and the Pewterers’ Trophy for the Champion British Farmhouse cider, for his Farmhouse Dry.  It is the first time that a single cider has scooped both the top awards in what is Britain’s biggest and most prestigious cider competition.

“I’m absolutely delighted”, said Mr Hill, who founded the hugely successful and influential Vigo cider equipment business before going into cider-making on his own account in the early 1980s.

“And what makes it really special, is that all the apples that went to make the cider are from my own orchard on the farm, which I planted over 30 years ago. It is wonderful to see our hard work come, almost literally, to fruition.

“The apples were a mixture of Yarlington Mill, some Dabinett, and Chisel Jersey, plus one or two we couldn’t really recognise. Even when the cider was only half fermented it tasted delicious, and it is just a lovely, drinkable, traditional West Country cider.”

The judges obviously agreed.  Their chairman, Nick Bradstock described the winning cider as “a fine cider, with some austerity, the tannins and acidity excellently balanced and giving a long and full finish.  It is a long time since a farmhouse cider came out on top, but it does go to show how much care and attention goes into even as traditional a product as farmhouse dry”.

Events and Tastings coming up…

  • 21 December Kingsbridge Market 9-3pm
  • 22 December Bridport Market 8-2.30pm
  • 23 December Butchers Hall Tavistock 9-4pm
  • Most Fridays Minehead Farmers Market 8.30 -1pm

Reviews and Media…

On receiving a bottle of our 2003, and another of our as yet unreleased 2017, Adam Wells has written this remarkable piece at ‘Malt’…

For further reviews of our ciders together with a pantheon of the worlds finest cider makers go to

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