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Cider has been a classic industry in Somerset for many years. Whether you encounter a small family run ‘Scrumpy’ orchard, or a large factory producing vast quantities, Apple and Pear ciders are an absolute must to try when in Somerset. Here are our Top 5 Somerset Ciders.
If you like a dry cider, this is one of the best. Perry leaves it to mature for 6 months, enabling it to gain the perfect, crisp taste. All of Perry’s ciders are made from apples grown in Somerset, the ‘spiritual home’ of cider.
Perry’s Farm Pressed Dry can be found bottled in most pubs and large supermarkets in the area, and is on sale for around £2.15 a bottle. The farm is open to the public and is located in Ilminster and offers tours and a farm shop, and they have a ‘try before you buy’ policy. So even if this isn’t the right taste for you, there is still the option ofoosing something else from their range that you will definitely enjoy. This cider has a mild alcohol content of 5%.
Dabinett is a high quality Somerset cider apple, which produces a distinctive full flavoured single variety cider in a medium taste. Sheppy’s Dabinett Apple is a light sparkling cider which is extremely refreshing and works perfectly as an afternoon tipple on a lovely Somerset day. At around £1.90 a bottle, there is certainly a lot of bang for your buck. Sheppy’s is widely distributed around the region, and it’s not hard to see why. Visit the Sheppy’s orchard with the family and see the museum, the orchards and even the resident Three Bridges Longhorn cattle, which roam freely in their fields. This cider is quite lively with an alcohol content of 7.2%.
Thatchers highest quality cider is made from the best apples its orchard has to offer. Katy is not the most well known product Thatchers has, but is certainly one of the best. It is light, fragrant and softly sparkling, perfect on its own, at 7.4% abv.
Thatchers Katy is crafted at their family farm in Somerset, where they’ve been making cider using traditional methods for over 100 years. It costs around £2 a bottle, and is brewed in Sandford. The Thatcher company is a family business and is currently being run by a 4th generation Thatcher. The farm shop in Sandford is open to the public, so pop into the store to see the huge variety of their products.
This is an award winning craft cider. Its tangy, medium dry taste makes it one of the most delicious ciders you can buy. The cider has a certain sharpened edge to it, while still being smooth. What makes this cider so special is the evolution of taste while being drunk. With an ABV of 6%, it starts off by giving way to a floral, citrusy and summery flavour but gradual turns into a more mellow finish. Orchard Pig came about in a very peculiar way. Two friends, Andrew Quinlan and Neil Macdonald decided to make a home brew cider for a mate’s BBQ in Glastonbury. They realised that their scrupled home-grown cider tasted amazing, and that was that, Orchard Pig was born. They have been producing since 2004, and are a very small producer. Orchard pig is available from Ocado and Waitrose, as well as direct from the Orchard.
This is not your average cider. It is a perry and cider (pear and apple) blend. It is a medium sweet mix, expertly blended giving it a mouth-watering juicy flavour.
Although not award winning, it is a little bit different. But this one is not for the faint hearted, as it goes down with ease. Beware though, as it is notoriously deceptively strong and easy to drink, with an ABV of 6%. It can be found through the Lilly’s suppliers or on amazon, and will cost around £2.10 per 500ml bottle.
Please do enjoy these ciders, but as always, please drink responsibly.
Photo Credit: James Cridland.