Cider Diary…

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…

  • 28 May Cullompton Farmers Market 9.30 – 12.30pm
  • 31 May Kingsbridge Market 9 – 2pm
  • 11 June Dartmouth Farmers Market 9 – 2pm
  • 12 June Taunton Independent Market
  • 14 June Kingsbridge Market 9 – 2pm
  • 18 June Topsham Saturday Market 8.30 – 1pm
  • Every Friday 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

The Fine Cider Summer Tasting…


Hot on the heels of The Cider Salon Bristol, we are soon to be at The Fine Cider Summer Tasting at The Store X, 180 The Strand, London.

Felix Nash of The Fine Cider Co says, “It will be perhaps the finest showcase of ciders & perries London has ever seen, and is a rare chance to taste across the spectrum – the flavour map of cider at its best – poured and elucidated by the makers themselves.”

Tickets and more details can be found here:


Bollhayes Bottle Fermented Cider wins Bronze at the British Cider Championships…

…amidst tough competition…. The wealth and diversity of fine bottled ciders seen at the championships speaks of a new wave of availability and appreciation of artisan cider. Farmhouse cider is fabulous, no question (our dry and sweet farmhouse won first prize at the Devon County Show), but there is so much more to cider now. Producers are vying with wines and spirits on every level, from Pét Nat, Méthod Traditionelle, Keeved, Perry, Pommeau, Ice & Fire and Eau de Vie. There are ciders with which to celebrate, to complement and pair with food, or simply to drink with great pleasure.