Live events announced for local Cidery taproom

Live events announced for local Cidery taproom

A packed programme of spring entertainment has been unveiled at Napton Cidery as the business continues its post-pandemic return to hosting live events.

Music, comedy, quizzes and food and drink are all on the menu at the cidery’s taproom in Napton-on-the-Hill, as well as a brand new wine tasting experience.

It will be hosted by a specialist from Tomelier from Rugby, which offers bespoke wine tasting services, and is accompanied with a cheese board from Earlswood-based artisan cheese makers Fowlers.

Napton Cidery, live events,Napton on the Hill
Napton Cidery is teaming up with Tomelier for their wine tasting event

The evening gets under way at 7.30pm on Saturday, March 5th and tickets are £38 per head.

Tom Newbold, of Tomelier, said: “As a small local business we’re incredibly excited to be working with Napton Cidery, a thriving family-run company. Cider and wine have a lot in common and we can’t wait to start hosting tastings to showcase these products.”

The cidery now sees the return of its popular live music events on Saturday, February 26th courtesy of The Hatstand Band and also includes a visit from the Tacos El Pap food truck, runs between 12-6pm.

Plenty of facts will be flying at the cidery’s latest quiz night on Friday, March 11th, when teams of up to six players can compete for bragging rights from 7pm. Tickets cost just £2 per person and refreshments are available from the bar.

Napton Cidery, Napton on the Hill, comedy nights

Look out too for Napton’s regular comedy nights, pictured above, which sell out fast. Let a trio of comedians tickle your funny bone while the cider tickles your tastebuds at these popular events, now sold out in March. More dates to be added soon. The evenings run from 7-10pm and tickets cost £18 a head.

An exclusive afternoon Tea and Tasting event is lined up for Mother’s Day, on the weekend of March 26th and 27th.

A delicate afternoon tea platter freshly prepared by Napton Village Stores is washed down by five of Napton’s most popular ciders, with tea, coffee and full taproom menu also available. Tickets for this event, which make the ideal gift for mum, cost £20 per person.

Napton Cidery, live events, Napton on the Hill

The Cider Tasting and Ploughman’s and Cider Tasting Tours, pictured above, also continue in earnest. Visitors are guided through the cider-making process and given the chance to sample a variety of Napton’s ciders and Apple Brandy. Check dates and make bookings here: https://www.naptoncidery.co.uk/cider-tasting and here: https://www.naptoncidery.co.uk/ploughmans-cider-tasting

Charlotte Olivier said: “We’re delighted to be able to host more events which are a fabulous way of bringing the local community together. There is something for everyone and we hope to see plenty of new – as well as familiar – faces joining us in the coming weeks.”

Napton Cidery, live events, Napton on the Hill
Live music events are popular at the cidery

The cidery team harvests, presses, bottles and distributes more than 100,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards across the Herefordshire region. They also produce limited-edition ciders and perry as well as juices, spirits and vinegars.

The cidery has also unveiled a raft of new products including branded glasses and its cider in cans and kegs. Over the next 18 months Napton will be bringing the remainder of their signature ciders onto draught as well as extending the popular taproom to host larger events.

See all Napton Cidery’s upcoming events here

New cidery crowdfunding will enable £250k expansion

New cidery crowdfunding will enable £250k expansion

Napton Cidery, expansion, crowdfunding

A quarter-of-a million-pound expansion plans have been unveiled by the owners of a family-run Warwickshire cidery who are launching their second crowdfunding campaign within a year.

Jolyon and Charlotte Olivier are growing their award-winning Napton Cidery to help fulfil major new contracts as well as fund an extension to the production facilities and taproom.

The couple launched the latest campaign this week to build on the success of their second round of funding in January, which enabled them to create new products and jobs.

Since then the business has enjoyed 97% year on year growth, expanding the ciders into more than 50 pubs and restaurants as well as securing new contracts with Ocado, Spar and Co-op Midlands stores.

Jolyon said: “We are aiming to raise £250,000 to help Napton Cidery maintain its excellent growth throughout 2022 and beyond. Our primary goal for this investment round is to be able to increase our cider volumes so that we can fulfil all of the sizeable contracts, which include exciting new relationships with wholesalers, and continue to grow at our current rate.

“After a successful recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, we are now looking to the future. We also plan to upgrade and streamline our cider production facilities so that we can bring more of the cider making process in house, which would cut costs in the long term and grant us greater control over our products. We will also require new logistics staff as we expand into UK supermarkets.”

Over the next 18 months Napton will also be bringing the remainder of their signature ciders onto draught as well as extending the popular taproom following sell-out success of their live comedy, music and tasting events.

A new purpose-built warehouse will enable the cidery to upgrade to digital laboratory equipment as well as further increase their sustainability credentials by investing in steel tanks.

The couple were first introduced to the taste of craft cider on a family holiday to Cornwall nine years ago. Returning home with an apple tree, they soon started experimenting in their back garden.

Today, the team, in Napton on the Hill, harvests, presses, bottles and distributes more than 100,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards across the Herefordshire region.

Napton Cidery, expansion, crowdfunding

They also produce limited-edition ciders and perry as well as juices, spirits and vinegars.

The cidery has also unveiled a raft of new products including a new Apple Cider Brandy, branded glasses and its cider in cans and kegs. Its Lost Apple Cider is also now available on draught in local pubs.

Until the end of January, investors in Napton Cidery are being invited to buy shares from £1,000 upwards, with the aim of seeing a return within three to five years.

Napton’s latest expansion plans have also been bolstered by a £33k Covid Recovery grant as well as Alcohol Duty reforms as announced in the recent Budget. The Chancellor’s new measures around duty bands on draught and fruit ciders as well as one year’s temporary rate relief for retail, hospitality and leisure properties, are expected to further save the business tens of thousands of pounds a year.

Jolyon said: “The company is fortunate to be part-owned by an amazing group of shareholders who believe in our company values and our vision. As opposed to earlier in the year when we launched a round of funding to help us recover from the effects of the pandemic, this round is more to do with generating enough capital to continue the growth.

“Over the next five to ten years we’d like to increase our cider production tenfold, to manufacturing and selling one million litres nationally.”

Napton Cidery, Charlotte Olivier, Jolyon Olivier, Napton-on-the-Hill

Visit Napton Cidery here

The investment details can be found here

Channel Four TV spot for local cidery

Channel Four TV spot for local cidery

A local cidery’s limited-edition recipe has earned a sought-after spot in a top-rated Channel Four food and drink show this weekend.

Napton Cidery’s Whiskey Cask Cider is among only three nationally selected to be critiqued by a celebrity panel in a Sunday Brunch guest slot hosted by industry expert Gabe Cook.

The 7.7% oak-aged Cider which has caught the expert’s attention, is made from a blend of Kingston Black apples from a 30-year-old orchard and matured in single malt whiskey casks from Auchentoshan distillery using wild yeasts and natural sugars.

The blend was also last month included in a CAMRA-published guide compiled by Cook called Modern British Cider.

Napton Cidery, Sunday Brunch, Channel Four, Gabe Cook

With 15 years of experience to draw on, Cook, pictured above, is an acclaimed international, writer, broadcaster, educator and consultant on all matters cider. An outspoken advocate of the industry, he is leading the charge for a cider revolution by chairing a number of international competitions and heading up campaigns, events and publications.

He said: “Napton Cidery’s Whiskey Cask cider is the perfect embodiment of a great cider for winter time – rich and smooth. The time spent in the Whiskey cask has added an extra dimension of soft roundedness that makes it perfect to be drunk in front of the fire!

“It has Christmas pudding levels of clove and cinnamon richness but finely balanced with a brusque bitterness, dusty astringency and glowing warmth.”

The Cidery, run from Napton-on-the-Hill by husband and wife Jolyon and Charlotte Olivier, started life as a hobby nine years ago when the couple were first introduced to the taste of craft cider on a family holiday to Cornwall. Returning home with an apple tree, they soon started experimenting in their back garden.

Today, the team harvests, presses, bottles and distributes more than 90,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards.

Central to Napton’s growing popularity among customers is its strong sustainability ethos, from harvesting through to packaging. All of its apples come from traditional unsprayed orchards, organic and biodiverse growers, so no unnatural chemicals are introduced into the ecosystem. The cider is also naturally fermented using only wild yeasts and packaged in recyclable materials and all ingredients sourced as locally as possible.

The shop also sells perry, juices, spirits and vinegars as well as a new products the team have been working on this year – including Apple Cider Brandy, canned ciders and branded collectors’ glasses. There’s also the opportunity to sample them all.

Jolyon said: “We feel absolutely delighted to see our product live on national television. It seems like yesterday we were making cider in the garage. Seeing our cider picked as one of three on Channel Four with the likes of Gabe Cook gives us a great sense of achievement. Rest assured we will be celebrating during Sunday Brunch and toasting to this massive milestone.

“This product in particular is a really special one, matured in oak casks, giving it a super smooth finish. It is certainly my favourite cider in our collection.”

 

Napton Cidery, Sunday Brunch, Channel Four, Gabe Cook

The Cidery’s Taproom offers cider tasting tours and workshops as well as hosting live events including stand-up comedy, quizzes and live music nights.

Being forced to adapt their business for Covid-19, the couple raised more than £170k through a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign in April which has enabled them to not only survive, but thrive. And now they have their sights set on the international markets.

Sunday Brunch, presented by Tim Lovejoy and chef Simon Rimmer, is screened on Channel Four 9.30am-12.30pm on Sunday.

Napton Cidery is open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 12-5pm.

Visit Napton Cidery here

Napton Cidery recipe sits among UK’s best in new CAMRA book

Napton Cidery recipe sits among UK’s best in new CAMRA book

A locally produced cider has earned its place among the best in the UK in a new guide published by CAMRA.

Napton Cidery’s Whisky Cask blend features in Modern British Cider which is being launched around the country this month by author and industry expert Gabe Cook.

Napton Cidery, Charlotte and Jolyon Olivier, The Ciderologist, Gabe Cook, book
Charlotte Olivier with the new book.

In the book, the self-titled Ciderologist, Gabe shines a light on the rise of popularity and diversity of craft cider that exists within UK as well as exploring the trends, challenges and opportunities that influence cider’s ability to innovate and grow.

Napton’s 7.7% Whisky Cask Kingston Black Cider is made from a blend of Kingston Black apples from a 30-year-old orchard and matured in single malt whisky casks from Auchentoshan distillery using wild yeasts and natural sugars.

In the book, which was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, Gabe critiques the cider as having ‘Christmas pudding levels of clove and cinnamon richness but finely balanced with a brusque bitterness, dusty astringency and glowing warmth.’

The Ciderologist, Gabe Cook, Napton Cidery, book, Kingston Black

With 15 years of experience to draw on, Gabe is an acclaimed international, writer, broadcaster, educator and consultant on all matters cider. The resident cider expert for Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, Gabe an outspoken advocate of the industry, leading the charge for a cider revolution by chairing a number of international competitions and heading up campaigns, events and publications.

He said: “Modern British Cider looks at how cider has formed an integral part of the UK’s landscape with a heritage dating back at least 2,000 years. Today, cider faces a new change in the drinking landscape of Britain – the rise of craft and modern styles, discerning drinkers with different needs, habits and spending opportunities.

 “This guide celebrates the heritage, diversity and innovation within the wonderful world of British cider today and celebrates the full diversity of styles, flavours and occasions that cider can provide, whilst also showcasing the best of cider-making talent from across these isles.”

The Cidery, run from Napton-on-the-Hill by husband and wife Jolyon and Charlotte Olivier, started life as a hobby nine years ago when the couple were first introduced to the taste of craft cider on a family holiday to Cornwall. Returning home with an apple tree, they soon started experimenting in their back garden.

Today, the team harvests, presses, bottles and distributes more than 90,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards.

Central to Napton’s growing popularity among customers is its strong sustainability ethos, from harvesting through to packaging. All of its apples come from traditional unsprayed orchards, organic and biodiverse growers, so no unnatural chemicals are introduced into the ecosystem. The cider is also naturally fermented using only wild yeasts and packaged in recyclable materials and all ingredients sourced as locally as possible.

The Ciderologist, Gabe Cook, Napton Cidery, book, Kingston Black

The shop also sells perry, juices, spirits and vinegars as well as a new products the team have been working on this year – including Apple Cider Brandy, canned ciders and branded collectors’ glasses. There’s also the opportunity to sample them all.

Reacting to news of the book, Charlotte said: “We’re feeling very excited and proud. We’ve worked with Gabe before when he’s delivered cider courses to our employees and he’s doing really important work to change the perception of cider and make it clear that there’s a cider to suit every taste. He’s also doing work to support cider makers (writing to MPs, campaigning for changes to the law), and we took part in a campaign that he organised last year called Discover Cider.

“Cider doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves, it’s a craft/art that’s just as complex as the wine-making process in many ways. It’s great that this book promotes small cider makers – there are so many amazing cider makers featured.”

She added: “We are proud to be part of the craft cider movement – and are delighted that our whisky cask was Gabe’s favourite lockdown cider!”

 

The Ciderologist, Gabe Cook, Napton Cidery, book, Kingston Black

The Cidery is open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 12-5pm.

Visit Napton Cidery at: https://www.naptoncidery.co.uk/

Modern British Cider is available to purchase at Napton Cidery and all usual outlets.

Supporting campaign will help cidery beat pandemic

Supporting campaign will help cidery beat pandemic

THE owners of an award-winning family-run cidery in Warwickshire have launched a new crowdfunding campaign to help mount a post-pandemic recovery of their business.

Jolyon and Charlotte Olivier are inviting supporters to apply for at least £40,000 in shares of Napton Cidery following the success of their first round of investment two years ago.

The eight-week campaign is central to the entrepreneurs’ plans to re-emerge from the pandemic once again robust enough to build on the early success of their business – which started life as a hobby nine years ago.

Napton Cidery, Charlotte Olivier, Jolyon Olivier, Napton-on-the-Hill

The couple were first introduced to the taste of craft cider on a family holiday to Devon. Returning home with an apple tree, they soon started experimenting in their back garden.

Jolyon said: “We made our first batch of cider, as most do, from the apple tree in our garden. Turns out we were born to be cider makers! We started Napton Cidery several years later with the sole mission to collect unwanted apples from our village and surrounding orchards to create amazing ciders and, before you know it, we’re producing 90,000 litres of cider!”

Today, an eight-strong team at Napton harvests, presses, bottles and distributes more than 90,000 litres of cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards across the Herefordshire region.

They also produce limited-edition ciders and perry as well as juices, spirits and vinegars.

Napton Cidery, Charlotte Olivier, Jolyon Olivier, Napton-on-the-Hill

Exciting expansion plans were under way following the introduction of their tap room earlier this year, only to be halted by the pandemic.

Jolyon recalls: “The tap room was closed before it even opened. Our licence was issued on the Monday immediately after the Government shut the pubs in March. We had been planning a big launch to celebrate. We also had six pubs lined up ready to install our kegs, all of which had to close as well.”

The business has also been impacted by cancelled tours, tastings, cider making workshops and monthly live music events at the cidery in a year which Jolyon believes has cost them more than £100,000 in lost revenue. The focus was then forced to pivot to home deliveries.

Napton Cidery, Charlotte Olivier, Jolyon Olivier, Napton-on-the-Hill

“The business side has been hit really hard. Up to 30% of our products were sold through our events and festivals which had to stop. We had to do some crisis management and rewrote our business plans in March but we were determined to find a way through. I don’t know where we would be without the web shop’s home delivery service. We would have been in a lot of trouble,” said Jolyon.

“We were a business that was ready to grow but had its wings clipped. The funding round would not have been needed without COVID.”

But he admitted there had been one lasting positive effect on the business.

“We’re selling more directly to the consumer now so we’re actually getting to know our consumers a lot better. And it’s helped small businesses come together and help each other out.”

Napton Cidery, Charlotte Olivier, Jolyon Olivier, Napton-on-the-Hill

Central to Napton’s growing popularity among customers is its strong sustainability ethos, from harvesting through to packaging. All of its apples come from traditional unsprayed orchards, organic and biodiverse growers, so no unnatural chemicals are introduced into the ecosystem. The cider is also naturally fermented using only wild yeasts and packaged in recyclable materials and all ingredients sourced as locally as possible.

Jolyon said: “We prefer not to use bush orchards which are long rows of apple trees all bunched quite close together. With these, once a disease hits a tree it spreads around the whole orchard which is why they have to be sprayed with pesticides.

“We decided very early on that we wanted to make cider that is environmentally friendly through using apples that aren’t over farmed.

“Environmental sustainability is one of our top priorities and we’re always looking into how we can improve. We have a lot more ideas we’re also working on. Our goal has always been to build, manufacture and sell high quality cider made in the most natural way possible.”

Napton Cidery, Charlotte Olivier, Jolyon Olivier, Napton-on-the-Hill

The challenges of the pandemic have not grounded Jolyon and Charlotte’s ambitions who, armed with their newly acquired spirits licence, plan to produce a new line of apple brandies to their repertoire within the next 18 months.

In the short term though, as well as juggling the demands of home-schooling their two children, aged eight and five, the couple have set their sights on a gentle period of regrowth and recovery for their business. This starts with the new investment opportunity, without which they admit, some tough decisions would have to be made.

“Our first crowdfunding campaign two years ago raised £148,000 which allowed us to expand, rebrand our products and bring staff on board. This new campaign is about sustaining growth. If we didn’t do this we would be having to make some cutbacks which would stunt that growth,” said Jolyon.

“It is a very good time to be helping out local businesses if you can. We have some great rewards available to our investors. There is no better time to get involved with Napton Cidery, we have an exciting future ahead of us.”

Further investment information and registration of interest form are available by visiting: https://www.naptoncidery.co.uk/investment

Napton Cidery’s products can be found at: https://www.naptoncidery.co.uk/shop