Cider is as synonymous with Herefordshire as, well, apples. James Thomas presents 10 of the top producers ensuring that the county's reputation as a cider maker stays at the top of the tree ...

Strongbow, Bulmers
The most famous UK cider brand according to research by YouGov, this 59-year-old favourite can be found on draught all over the country. At a manageable 4.5% ABV, it’s one of the more tame of Herefordshire’s offerings.
Despite now being owned by Heineken, the county is still where the bittersweet cider apples are grown and pressed.
In an annual report into the market by another Herefordshire cider maker Westons, they reported Strongbow Original is now worth a whopping £186.6 million a year.

Classic medium sweet perry, Oliver’s
One of the county’s independent offerings, Tom Oliver makes his own cider on a farm near Bromyard, before shipping it around the UK as well as to America. Oliver’s follow their “take what the fruit gives” motto, and try to intervene as little as possible.
The classic medium sweet perry, as well as the company’s bottled options, can be found at pubs and restaurant across the county including The Crown at Woolhope, The Three Horseshoes Inn at Little Cowarne and The Bookshop in Hereford.

Original Dry Cider, Gwatkin
With its deep, full flavour, Gwatkin’s original dry cider recently won the Mitchell Award in The Three Counties International CIder and Perry competition for their 5% cider. 
The company said at the time that it proves there is demand for cider made from freshly-pressed apples and not from concentrate.
The Original Blend Cider has been made on the Gwatkin family farm in Abbey Dore for almost 30 years and is available to buy from their farm shop.

Henney’s dry cider
Using high-quality ingredients and keeping the process as simple as possible is key for this distinctive cider.
Each autumn, local fruit is carefully selected before being milled, pressed and fermented. Over the winter, the cider is blended and stored which allows it to mature and develop its rich flavour.
On sale at nationwide retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda, this 6% slightly sparkling offering is also on sale locally in pubs.

Fruit Bat, Snails Bank
Fruit cider is a growing market and Fruit Ba is one of the best locally made fruit ciders, with no chemicals or additives.
The 4% sweet cider is a blend of apple, strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant, and is a refreshing summer drink.

Flagon Cider, Robinsons of Tenbury
Made on the Herefordshire border, Robinson’s Flagon Cider is only available on draught but is one of the most distinctive ciders around with its strong orange colour.
Only traditional cider apple varieties like Foxwhelp, Tom Putt and Brown Snout are used to make this hazy, medium dry cider. The slogan ‘closer to the apple’ is closely adhered to, and the colour can vary as the product hasn’t been filtered to clarity like other commercially-produced ciders.

Stowford Press, Westons
One of Herefordshire’s bigger producers, the Much Marcle-based business has a number of ciders on sale across the country, but is probably most well-known for Stowford Press.
Another medium dry cider that’s made its way onto our list, it was originally called Vat 53 after the oak vat that was used to mature the product. Other ciders in the Stowford Press family include the low alcohol alternative, which has the same bittersweet taste but at no more than 0.5% ABV. The company have also recently introduced a mixed berries blend, a sweet alternative.

Raison d'Etre Cider, Ross on Wye Cider & Perry Company
Ross-on-Wye Cider and Perry Company were recently named the best drinks producer in the UK in the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2019. From their flagship, Raison D'Être Cider, an 8.4% oak cask bittersweet beauty, to the supremely popular Birdbarker Cider, a 5.2% medium, carbonated easy-going drink, every taste is accommodated.

Thundering Molly, Celtic Marches
Winner of the Best Cider Producer category in the Hereford Times Food & Drink Awards 2018, Celtic Marches started making cider in 2013 with all the apples for their ciders sourced from their own 200-acre farm. They have been awarded PGI – Protected Geographical Indicator - authenticating their ciders as genuine Herefordshire ciders.Their Thundering Molly is a well-rounded medium cider - a lovely golden colour with a bittersweet flavour.

Roman Road, Bartestree Cider Company
Made from a blend of the Hastings variety of cider apples, this is another drink that is kept as pure as possible so the fruit’s character can shine through.
A few of the company’s products are bottled, but most are draught-only. Roman Road is listed as a medium cider, although some drinkers find that it can be slightly on the sweeter side.