The Fine Cider Company is a cider merchant. We have tasted just how good the finest ciders and perries can be; the journey begins with that rare bottle that is like nothing tasted before. We have seen how glorious the place they come from is, how deep their origins run, and how refined their making can be thanks to centuries of endeavour.
Because of this we set about sourcing and supplying the finest we can find, hoping to show the wider world these undiscovered things. The role of the ‘cider merchant’ was once an accustomed thing, particularly through the heyday of cider and perry in the 17th & 18th centuries. Today we supply some of the best restaurants in London, such as Lyle’s, St John & The Fat Duck, through to the Tate Modern and the local pub.
We focus on the best and support those who make it. We look for creations that are full of life and to be savoured. We look for a connection to the locale and the landscape; digging ever deeper into the possibilities the fruit naturally holds. Valuing those who eschew the industrial ways for the depths and bountiful array that comes with a purer manner of making.
We believe that cider is, as once described by the diarist John Evelyn, in many ways the ‘Native Wine of England’. That at its best it is a rival to wine, with all the associated qualities from the skill of the maker to the place at the dining table. And supposedly Napoleon Bonaparte even once titled perry the ‘English Champagne’, such is the quality it can hold.
We value minimal intervention and a process of stewardship, where things are not constrained by over manipulation. Where 100% cider apple juice is allowed to create a pure articulation of all the fruit can be. Often our makers use hand picked fruit and ferment only with wild, indigenous yeasts. They value the age and terroir of the orchard, and look to work with the variants of each season, understanding the hundreds of varieties of cider apple and reveling in their distinct virtues.
This is a world that is different from the industrialised mass market ciders and perries most of us know. For to call a drink ‘cider’ in Britain today it need be made from only 35% apple juice. This does not need to come from cider apple varieties, and can even be concentrate; imagine making a wine from 35% grape juice concentrate, not even a wine grape, and all that it would lack.
We are for those who aren’t content with the mediocre, nor with simply settling for what’s available, and instead look to ask how good a thing can be. We run numerous tasting events to explore pairings, tasting the joys of cider with cheese and the perfection of perry with shellfish. These drinks deserve to be tasted, and their qualities deserve to be known.
We dream of the day where restaurants spread far and wide have a cider & perry list, and makers all over the country are making in the manner of the small winemakers of France. Some already are but these are the rare ones, a new wave of cider & perry makers who are the leading lights with vision and talent. These are the makers that we look to work with, in hope of creating a world with better cider.
Felix Nash, Founder