Bollhayes Cider was established in 1988 by Alex Hill and his late wife Bee. The cider orchard was planted then and in the early years apples were bought from old orchards on neighbouring farms. The bought-in fruit was gradually replaced by the apples from our own orchard, which now provides about 60% of our needs.
Initially nearly all the cider was sold draught, in 5 gallon barrels to enthusiastic traditional cider drinkers and to pubs and festivals. Then, following the lead of James and Cathy Lane of Gospel Green Cyder in Sussex, we began production of bottle-fermented cider, bottling the 1992 vintage in the spring of 1993. By 1994 we had bottled cider to sell and with some modest promotion it was an immediate success. Glowing praise in the press and on TV led to sales in the UK and abroad.
As the years progressed Alex’s day job as the founder and manager of Vigo limited (suppliers of equipment to drink producers) became more and more demanding and time-consuming. The cider business had to take second place. From 2004 until 2013 no cider was bottled. With Alex’s withdrawal from day-to-day involvement with Vigo he can now concentrate on the enjoyable job of making cider.