Throughout Herefordshire there is a strong tradition of farm cider-making. Farmers produced cider to be drunk by the farm labour force during the following year, especially the busy times of hay-making and harvest. Farmers used to sell cider to local pubs and cider merchants for re-sale in towns.
For 350 years cider production in Herefordshire has been on a rollercoaster, periodically rising to become an industry of great reputation. Throughout this time Herefordshire has been the major player in cidermaking in Britain and Herefordshire people have led the way. There is no better place to find out about cider.
The world's biggest cider mill, (now owned by Heineken UK), is located close to the city centre of Hereford where it was built in 1887 by local vicar's son, Percy Bulmer. Sadly, visitor tours of the mill are no longer possible, but every pub and country inn in Herefordshire - as well as the rest of the UK - will stock a selection of Bulmers brands, Strongbow, Woodpecker, Scrumpy Jack or the cask conditioned, Bulmers Traditional.
Each year, in long term partnership with local farming families, Bulmers grow around 100,000 tonnes of bittersweet apples for our ciders. We have over 800 orchards in the Wye Valley, which make a significant contribution to the beautiful countryside you will pass on the cider route.
How to enjoy Herefordshire Cider:
- Drink it! - Ask for Herefordshire cider in pubs and restaurants
- Eat it! - Look out for dishes using cider if you eat out
- See it being made - you can visit many producers
- Learn about its history and traditions - The Cider Museum in Hereford is a good place to start
- Become a connoisseur - many venues invite you to sample a range of ciders and perries
- Take some home with you - taste Herefordshire and bring back memories, or spoil your friends
- Get involved - a number of events enable you to talk to cider makers and even participate in making cider yourself
- Enjoy the cider landscape - orchards are special places in all seasons - blossom in spring, shade in summer, apples in the autumn and mistletoe in winter
- Explore at a leisurely pace - take a country walk (many rights of way pass through orchards) or cycle ride (an excellent way to reach the various venues).
- Look out for this road sign as you tour the route:
AND REMEMBER Don't drink and drive!