MOONS CIDER WINS UNIQUE BREAKTHROUGH CIDER MAKER AWARDS

MOONS CIDER WINS UNIQUE BREAKTHROUGH CIDER MAKER AWARDS

The results are in for this year’s Sandford Orchards Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards and the 2022 gold winner is Moons Cider with silvers being awarded to Rawlins Family Cider and Artistraw. The Sandford Orchards Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards, now in their second year, are remarkable awards that offer aspiring cider makers advice, guidance and guaranteed listings in the on and off trade and truly support the future of cider in the UK.

Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards and instigator of the awards comments: “Unlike other awards we provide detailed actionable feedback for absolutely everyone who entered, with constructive comments that we hope will help them develop their cider making skills. After the success of the first competition back in 2020, we were thrilled to see so much interest in the awards this year.”

Tom Moon from Moons Cider was delighted to receive the award and says: “Winning the Sandford Orchards Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards’ means a lot to me. With the high standard of ciders that were entered into the competition, it makes all the hard work that goes into cider making worth it when you achieve a Gold award like this.”  

Barny continues: “We had a total of twenty entries, from thirteen different counties, with all styles of cider being represented. Naturally sweet to single variety, session ciders to bottle fermented. The judges were very impressed with the level of quality of the ciders entered – a significant improvement from the inaugural competition. A real compliment to the standard of cider now being produced in the UK.”

The judging panel was a veritable who’s who in the world of cider including The Ciderologist, Gabe Cook and renowned cider maker, Tom Oliver who were joined by drinks writer, Susy Atkins, Rich Clancy from The Stable and George Dart from Darts Farm.

Tom Oliver comments: “I was blown away with these cider makers’ endeavour, intent and inspiration. A hugely impressive group, and a worthy winner – clearly a young man full of ambition and energy.”

Gabe Cook adds: “This year’s awards were a step up from the last outing, in both liquid and packaging. There was a pleasing range of styles and occasions from bone dry to grippy, and keeved. An array of playful techniques and a fantastic geographical spread.”

The prize packages which will be awarded to the winner and two runners up include a 12 month listing at Darts Farm, Devon, a listing at a local Stable Pizza and mentoring from Sandford Orchards, including a tour of their site. The overall winner will also receive a £500 Vigo voucher, a Sandford Orchards collaboration limited edition cider and a visit to the winner’s site by Sandford Orchards’ cider makers to offer practical help and advice about set up.

Barny finishes: “It has been so rewarding to be part of these awards, to see them grow and to meet so many enthusiastic cider makers. My congratulations go to Moons Cider, Rawlins Family Cider and Artistraw. I will be watching with interest to see how they capitalise on the support this fantastic award provides and I am already looking forward to next year’s competition with great excitement.”

For further information on the Sandford Orchards Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk/cider-awards/  email cider@sandfordorchards.co.uk or follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and  Instagram.

Breakthrough Cider Maker Competition

Breakthrough Cider Maker Competition

Following the success of the inaugural Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards, entries are now open for 2022. These remarkable awards are free to enter and offer aspiring cider makers advice, guidance and guaranteed listings with the on and off trade. The closing date for applications is 28th February.

Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards explains: ”The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards are nothing like any other cider competition. It’s the competition that I wish I could have won when I was starting out. Without a budget, without much help and support, it can be really daunting trying to get started in any career, let alone cider. The winners of these awards benefit from priceless help on the journey: mentoring, advice on strategy and branding, technical help with cider production and guaranteed listing in both on and off trade. This is an award with the kind of bankable bonus that doesn’t grow on trees!”

The 2022 prize includes: business strategy mentoring with Barny Butterfield, founder of Sandford Orchards, a retail listing at Darts Farm, Devon, on-trade listing with one of The Stable restaurants, £500 to spend with equipment and consumables supplier, Vigo limited, mentoring from our cider makers, including a visit to our site and theirs and a Sandford Orchards winner limited edition cider. Moreover, everybody who enters will receive thorough, detailed, actionable feedback on their entry.

Barny continues: “The cider makers entering the Breakthrough Awards have their sights set on growing and improving all parts of their businesses and to get more of their fantastic ciders into more hands. The BCMA is a slingshot prize to a cider maker that the judges feel has the kind of promise, purpose and potential to go to the next level. We were overwhelmed by the high standard of entries last year and look forward to meeting even more dedicated fledgling producers this year.”

The winner of the inaugural awards was Thornborough cider. Owner, Kingsley Ash, explains: “Winning the Breakthrough Awards not only gave us validation and confirmation that we were doing the right thing, but also gave us access to a network of experts for advice, feedback, inspiration and guidance. The prizes themselves have been great, with the Vigo voucher enabling us to up our output, which was lucky as our orders increased significantly over the duration of the award. It has had a hugely positive impact on our business. Any cider makers with ambitions for growth should definitely apply.”

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 15,000 litres of cider per year who can enter now at sandford orchards.co.uk/cider-awards/.

For further information on Sandford Orchards and the Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk email cider@sandfordorchards.co.uk or follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and  Instagram

  • Key Dates
    • Entries close 28th Feb
    • Sample deadline 7th Mar
    • Shortlist announced 21st March
    • April – winners announced.
  • The prizes for 2022 for the Gold & Silver winners are:
    • A 12 month listing at Dart’s Farm
    • A listing at their most local Stable
    • Mentoring from our cider makers, including a visit to our site
    • Everybody who enters will receive thorough, detailed, actionable feedback on their entry.
  • Additional prizes for the Gold winner are:
    • A £500 Vigo voucher
    • A Sandford Orchards winner limited edition cider
    • A visit to the winner’s site by our cider makers to offer practical help and advice about set up.
  • Founded in 2002, independent, family-owned Sandford Orchards is based in Mid Devon in the oldest working cider mill in the UK. They press and ferment whole juice from the finest locally grown bittersweet apples and age it to perfection to create beautifully balanced and naturally refreshing cider.
  • Sandford Orchards’ range of ciders includes session ciders and a selection of flavoured ciders and recently launched new vintage ciders.
  • For further information on Sandford Orchards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk email cider@sandfordorchards.co.uk or follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Breakthrough Cider Awards

Breakthrough Cider Awards

Following the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards recently presented Kingsley Ash of Thornborough Cider with the very first Breakthrough Cider Maker Award and announced the launch of the 2021/22 Awards. These remarkable awards are free to enter and offer aspiring cider makers advice, guidance and guaranteed listings in the on and off trade.

Barny explains: “The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards are nothing like any other cider competition. It’s the competition that I wish I could have won when I was starting out. Without a budget, without much help and support, it can be really daunting trying to get started in any career, let alone cider. The winners of these awards benefit from priceless help on the journey: mentoring, advice on strategy and branding, technical help with cider production and guaranteed listing in both on and off trade. This is an award with the kind of bankable bonus that doesn’t grow on trees!”

He continues: “The cider makers entering the Breakthrough Awards have their sights set on growing and improving all parts of their businesses and to get more of their fantastic ciders into more hands. The BCMA is a slingshot prize to a cider maker that the judges feel has the kind of promise, purpose and potential to go to the next level and I am thrilled 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.”

The overall winner of the inaugural awards was Thornborough cider. Barny elaborates: “The cider was sharp with a light bite and fantastic biscuity finish. Dry cider is harder to make well because sugar is so helpful at ironing out imperfections, so when dry cider is good, it’s brilliant! Kingsley Ash should feel rightly proud of his contribution to cider so far, and pretty excited about where he can take it.”

Barny adds: “Thornborough’s branding is really strong and elegant, and the business proposition behind it is sound and purposeful. We could also see plenty of opportunities to help Thornborough grow and improve and this is where the BCMA is invaluable.”

Rick Wyatt from Pang Valley and Marc Salter of Ex-press Cider both took away silver awards. Richard Yarnell from Mitchells and Butlers was one of the judges on an expert panel which included Susy Atkins, drinks writer and broadcaster, Helen Thomas, managing director of  Westons Cider and The Ciderologist, Gabe Cook.  Richard comments: “The Breakthrough Cider Maker awards is an exciting new initiative from Sandford Orchards, which seeks to support the growth of another ambitious cider maker by awarding prizes that directly impact on the winner’s ability to grow.  I was very excited and honoured to be asked to join the judging panel, the quality of the entrants shortlisted for the award was very high and finding one overall winner caused much debate and discussion among the judges.”

Barny finishes: “It was a real pleasure to be part of the judging and, as a business that wants to move cider and the perception of cider forward, we are really excited to get a chance to work with this year’s winners and start the search for next year’s winners too. 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 will grow our category, reach out to curious wine, beer and spirit drinkers and grow the love for this marvellous drink. I would like to thank everyone involved.”

The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards were launched by Sandford Orchards at the end of 2019 in collaboration with Westons Cider, Vigo Limited, Darts Farm and The Stable. The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards will be back again in 2022, recognising and celebrating excellent quality whole juice ciders from around the UK. They are free to enter and open to cider makers producing between 3,000 and 15,000 litres of cider per year who can register their interest now at sandfordorchards.co.uk.

The prize includes: business strategy mentoring with Barny Butterfield, founder Sandford Orchards, a retail listing at Darts Farm, Devon, on-trade listing with a The Stable restaurant, £500 to spend with equipment and consumables supplier, Vigo limited and a technical visit to Weston’s cider to quiz the cider makers.

For further information on Sandford Orchards and the Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk email cider@sandfordorchards.co.uk or follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and  Instagram.