Sandford Orchards is delighted to launch the 2023 Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards. Now in its third year, these unique awards are free to enter and offer aspiring cider makers advice, guidance and guaranteed listings with the on and off trade. This year, the competition is open to cider makers making up to 50,000 litres a year. The closing date for applications is 28th February 2023. 

Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards explains: ”We created the Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards three years ago to support the future of our precious UK cider industry. We aim to seek out Britain’s most talented cider makers and provide them with invaluable exposure, mentoring, advice and technical help as well as guaranteed listings in both the on and off trade. Winning this award provides small scale cider makers with the help and opportunities that they need to progress their business to the next level!”

The 2023 prize includes: business strategy mentoring with Barny Butterfied, founder of Sandford Orchards, a retail listing at Darts Farm, Devon, on-trade listing with one of The Stable restaurants and The London Cider House, £500 to spend with equipment and consumables supplier, Vigo limited, mentoring from Sandford Orchards’ cider makers, and a Sandford Orchards winner limited edition cider. Two silver winners will receive a £200 voucher to spend with The Bag in Box Shop. Moreover, everybody who enters will receive thorough, detailed, actionable feedback on their entry.

The winner will be chosen by a panel of expert judges. Tom Oliver, owner of Oliver’s Cider and Perry and one of last year’s judges comments: “It was a real honour to be able to taste some of the more forward thinking and progressive cider makers at last year’s Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards. The amount of discussion that ensued between the judges was a great indication of the quality of the cider but also of the many aspects that cider makers need to cover. They must want to grow, whether it is in size or quality, must give great attention to labels, both legally and design wise. They must leave the judges feeling that they really do want to “make a go of things”. If you think as a maker this is you, then this is the award to go for.”

Barny adds: “I am so proud that Sandford Orchards has been able to make these awards a reality. It feels great to be able to give something back to the industry that has given me so much. Bringing cider makers together is always brilliant for sharing ideas and dreaming up plans which we all hope will bring the joy of cider to more and more people. By supporting the energetic future of cider across the country we hope to reach out to curious wine, beer and spirit drinkers and grow the love for this marvellous drink.”

The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards were launched by Sandford Orchards at the end of 2019 and aim to recognise and celebrate excellent quality whole juice ciders from around the UK. They are free to enter and open to cider makers producing between 3,000 and 50,000 litres of cider per year who can enter now at

Sandford Orchards would like to thank the generous sponsors of this year’s competition: Vigo Ltd who are providing a £500 voucher for the gold winner,  The Stable and The London Cider House who will give the Gold winner a listing and The Bag in Box Shop who are giving away £200 vouchers to two silver winners.

For further information on Sandford Orchards and the Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards please visit email or follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and  Instagram

Image of last year’s judging available here.