Amongst all of our fantastic local produce and food gift hampers you’ll find a selection of some of the finest Devon Ciders our region has to offer. We spend a lot of time carefully selecting products that are the cream of the crop so that we can offer our customers the very best taste of Devon.
Cider is a beverage that is produced from the sweet juice of apples. It can vary in appearance but is generally either clear or cloudy and boasts a pleasing golden colour that ranges from pale yellow to deep amber tones. When the apple juice goes through the fermentation process, it becomes alcoholic and often lightly carbonated thanks to the active natural yeast presence.
Cider making dates back thousands of years and evidence shows that some ancient cultures turned apples into a type of cider dating back to 6500 BC. The cider making process developed immensely over the years and by the 16th century, Normandy became a world renowned cider making region. England also became rather skilled at making cider and it became part of the culture however, ciders were very inconsistent because each producer had their own methods. The development of technology helped to improve people’s knowledge and understanding as well as the requirements of each stage of the cider making process. In the present day the whole cider production line is much more controllable and the result is consistently great tasting drinks.
There are actually two traditional ways to make cider in the UK and we will tell you about the true West Country way. The South west method involves a much higher percentage of proper cider apples. Cider apples are richer in tannins and offer a deeper and sharper flavour. The climate and soil conditions in Devon enable an abundance of old and traditional varieties of specialist cider apples to grow. Devon cider production is often very small scale, there is a lot of attention to detail and often has the handmade finishing touch. These traditional methods usually use 100% juice, which is uncommon amongst the mass produced varieties. Often, the West Country produces a cloudy, unfiltered version of cider that is known locally as scrumpy. Did you know there are over 365 different varieties of cider apples!
A family owned farm in Devon that has been specialising in pressing apples since 2002. They are based in the oldest working cider mill in the UK and boast some of the finest bittersweet apples available today. Their process involves using only the finest local ingredients and they press and ferment whole juice and not concentrate. They offer a range of different ciders to suit a variety of pallets.
Ashridge Cider specialises in making sparkling cider using the traditional champagne method. The result is a high quality and incredibly refreshing cider. They won a Taste Of The West award in 2012 and were finalists in 2019. Today, they also produce some bottled organic vintage ciders made from 100% apple juice. Their cider incorporates up to fifteen different varieties of bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples.
Produced using only the finest locally grown apples, traditionally made and sulphite free Heron Valley Ciders have won multiple awards. They use high tannin, heritage cider apples which offer a refreshing taste as well as excellent antibacterial properties which means there is no requirement for added sulphites. This traditional Devon Cider is hand made in the heart of the county as it has been for generations, using natural ingredients and aged in oak barrels. It produces a smooth, mellow flavour that will leave you wanting more.
Lyme Bay’s Jack Ratt cider has been carefully crafted to create a unique taste that symbolises the South West. The zesty, full flavour is intensely refreshing and is produced using the freshly pressed juice of a variety of locally grown cider apples. Lyme Bay are passionate about keeping the craft of true West Country cider making alive and they have been doing this for over 15 years. We stock a choice of Jack Ratt Scrumpy, Sparkling Cider and Vintage Dry Cider.
Based in Honiton since 2012, Norcotts create delicious tasting cider that really gets those taste buds tingling. Their very own unique recipe is used to create traditional apple cider as well as a variety of wonderful fruit flavours too including Elderflower, Strawberry & Lime, Pink Grapefruit and Raspberry & Orange. Many fruit ciers are often very sweet with saccharine, the Norcotts range is pleasantly refreshing and features no overpowering aftertaste. They use only locally sourced ingredients from the West Country and only natural colours and flavourings to produce every single batch. It’s no wonder they have won not one but three Taste Of The West awards!
We hope that this blog has got your mouth watering and that telling you about our favourite Devon Ciders will help you to choose something that you will absolutely love. If you are finding it difficult to select your own, why not go for a Cider Hamper, they make fantastic gifts but are also perfect for enjoying over a quiet weekend.