I remember being sat at the kitchen table with my dad, trying to think what to call cider like this – cider of a provenance and quality more familiar from wine, than the industrial thing we have come to know – in the end, we settled on 'Fine Cider', and now 10 years later we have the surreal joy of supplying so many brilliant restaurants, shops, pubs and bars, right across the country; including legends like St John and The Fat Duck; the joy of helping found The London Cider House, at Borough Market, of organising the London Cider Salon at the Tate Modern; and the joy of supplying these beautiful creations, these incredible bottles, to countless people all over the country; most of whom we never get a chance to meet.

We specialise mainly in fine British ciders & perries; exquisite bottles sourced from different corners of the country, & made by some of the best cider makers on the planet. They have not travelled far - this is not wine shipped from a different hemisphere - & are in so many ways, as John Evelyn said, ‘the native English wine’. Or as Laurie Lee put it, the ‘wine of wild orchards’, being the creation of our countryside, & the fruit of our summer.

Because cider has become a very industrial and misunderstood thing: for a drink to be called cider in Britain today, it needs only contain 35% apple concentrate, the rest can be water. Yet a renaissance is underway; a return to refined, small batch making, centring on provenance, and cherishing the orchard. And it’s not just the skill this new wave of makers have, or the variety of styles and sheer quality of what they make that is to be valued, it’s the orchards they support.

Orchards are undervalued, from the carbon sink they provide, to the unique biodiversity they support when managed well; they are the last stronghold of red list species like the lesser spotted woodpecker. Not only is this renaissance, this return of refined cider, a chance for each of us to have better cider to drink, more variety and depth of flavour, it’s a chance to value our countryside, our orchards, and the incredible creations that can be made when people work with nature.

As J.M. Trowbridge, of New York, said in 1890: “Good cider is a much greater rarity than good wine”. This is still true today, & as our customers know, good cider is also often better value than good wine, yet no less varied, complex, fascinating, and expressionate of the terroir from which it comes.

Felix Nash
Founder of The Fine Cider Company

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