Open Menu

06th June, 2023

A bottled dry cider made in Herefordshire’s Golden Valley has been adjudged Supreme Champion in the British Cider Championships at the Royal Bath and West Show.

Pips Cider Dry, made by the Phillips family at Dorstone near Hereford, won a unanimous verdict from the judges, to carry off the Rupert Best Trophy, presented by the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers for the Supreme Champion British Cider.

“We couldn’t be more delighted”, said David Phillips, after being given the news.  “We are a family business – myself, my wife Diane and our son Alistair – and we have been making cider since 2010, from apples grown in an orchard planted by my father back in 1959.

“We specialise in producing ciders that will go with food, like a good wine, made from 100% pure juice from the seven different cider apple varieties in our orchard, some of them quite rare.

“Premium cider paired with food is an adventure which more and more people love to experience, and we are always looking for new ways to enjoy food with cider.  To win at the British Cider Championships really validates everything we as a family have been trying to achieve since we started making cider. It will give our business a huge boost.”

The Reserve Champion was ‘Starlight’, a champagne-style cider made by Rull Orchard near Exeter, using the methode traditionelle, which comes in at a stunning 8% alcohol by volume – another excellent example of a top-end artisan cider, according to the judges.

Farmhouse ciders make up the biggest section of the 500 plus entries for the British Cider Championships, so warranting a trophy of their own – the Pewterers Trophy for the Champion Farmhouse Cider, presented by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, whose Master, Her Honour Wendy Joseph KC, was on hand to present the trophy to Alistair Smith, of Sisson and Smith Cider at Eastwood in Nottinghamshire, for his Farmhouse Medium.

“This has got to be the best day in my cider-making life”, said Mr Smith, who started making cider as a hobby, using apples from a small family orchard.  Over the subsequent ten years or so, the business has grown, using top quality cider apples purchased from Herefordshire and Somerset.

“We’ve been entering as many cider competitions as we could, learning as we went along”, said Mr Smith.  “Now all of that hard work and travel has paid off, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Other trophy winners in the Championships were Ben Meaden from Cranborne Chase Cider in Dorset, who won the Arthur Davis Cup for his bottled cider and the Vigo Trophy for his ‘Red Devil’ apple juice, while the Vigo Presses’ Newcomer Award went to Lewis Henry for his Glasshouse White. A new trophy, presented by Weston’s Cider for the best ice cider – a potent apple aperitif made from the juice of frozen apples, which concentrates the sugars in the juice – was won by Matilda Temperley of the Somerset Cider Apple Brandy Company at Burrow Hill, Stembridge.

« Back to News