South West of England Cidermakers’ Association

Supporting the region’s growers and makers

South West of England Cidermakers’ Association logo

Circle Cider wins SWECA championship

Swindon-based maker Circle Cider scooped the 2017 SWECA Cider Championship at the Winter meeting held at Cranbourne Chase on 16th March.

The competition results came at the end of a busy meeting that also covered - among other things - plans for Royal Bath & West Show, an NACM update from Gabe Cook, pH Control by Andrew Lea, Gill Perkins from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Sue Tisdall offering help with Export issues.

Winter Meeting 2016

SWECA members met at Green Valley Cyder, Darts Farm in Devon on 17th March for the 2016 Winter meeting.

A packed programme provoked lively discussion on a number of topics including the proposed PDO for Devon cider, Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme and the excise levels for sparkling cider.

Andrew Lea gave an informative scientific presentation on how flavours are developed in cider during storage, a great insight for all into how common off flavours develop and how they can be controlled.

Fen Tyler, Chief Executive of the NACM covered the recent budget, an update on the 70HL exemption and thoughts on the new sugar tax and calorific values being included on labels.

During the meeting the annual cider competition took place with judges Bill Bradshaw and Chris Coles selecting the 2016 champion. The overall winner was Harry's Cider, pictured are Harry Fry and partner Ali with the SWECA cup and certificate.

Cider Competition results

1st Twinways Cider, Mark Rogers
2nd Green Valley Cyder, Chris Coles
3rd Copse House Cider, Bob Chaplin

1st Harry's Cider, Harry Fry
2nd Courteneys of Whimple, Paul Courteney
3rd Blackmore Vale Cider, Alan Berry

1st Pilton Cider, Martin Berkeley

National award for Devon cider retailer

A Devon-based cider maker is celebrating its silver jubilee year in style after winning a national retailing award.

The Green Valley Cyder Barn and Ale House retail outlet based at Dart’s Farm at Topsham near Exeter has won the nationally recognized Drinks Retailing Award for Independent Cider Retailer of the Year 2014.

The Cyder Barn has grown from a small outdoor unit selling only cider pressed on site and made only from Devon apples to a large in-store retail outlet stocking 180 ciders and perrys from the UK and across Europe. It is now probably the largest retailer of ciders and perrys in the country and is renowned for its cider tastings held in store every day and for producing bespoke blends to suit individual tastes.

Nick Pring and Chris Coles started the business when the famous Whiteway’s Cider Co. closed its Whimple factory in 1989. They attribute their success to the significant growth in cider sales alongside a growth in interest in local artisan products.

Nick said: “The last 12 months have seen an increase in cider sales of 21% reflecting the increase in average customer spend. Our range of stock has been increased year on year to include ciders from all the south western counties of England and now also includes a collection of French ciders. The noticeable increase in sales not only includes our own range of Green Valley Ciders but also Sandford Orchard, Perry’s, Cornish Orchard, Sheppy’s, Weston’s and Thatcher’s.”

“I think the judges liked the idea that we support local cider makers, encourage new makers by providing an outlet for their product. and what is more, customers can see how cider is made.  This award recognises a retail outlet celebrating the British Cider Heritage and upholding the diversity and quality of both large and small cider makers.”

Helping the region’s growers and makers

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