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West Country Cider Tour Somerset, England

Where hard cider is known as cider, comes from cider apples, and it’s filled with tannins and phenolic flavors.

A trip to the local grocery, and walk down the hard cider aisle... Yes, cider has an aisle... was proof that I was close to my goal!

The perfect way to start a West Country Cider Tour: Breakfast and hard cider sampling at Sheppy’s.

It’s also fun to visit the local farm animals while checking out the orchard and cider operations.

Sheppy’s “Wildlife”

Making cider since 1816 by six generations of cider makers — that’s some history and the cider is excellent. They inspired me to make an elderflower hard cider recipe of my own.

Next stop was Perry’s... not perry the drink but Perry’s the cidery

Established in 1920, 100 years of making cider.

One of the guys that usually works in the cider making part was in the sales room the day we visited. It was fun to chat with someone about how they make hard cider in Somerset.

It helped when searching for my favorite since they have a wide selection.

Tremlett... My Favorite.

Make sure you have room for a snack as they have a nice little cafe off of the cider room. I went with the scones and jam — score another favorite.

At Burrow Hill, we could smell Josephine and Fifi (the two copper stills) working as we approached the building.

Nothing beats standing in the still room talking to the Master Distiller while he works. It’s even better when you find out he lived in your hometown for a bit while stationed in the US.

Okay...sampling hard cider and brandy is better

The floorboards of the Burrow Hill sales shop (i.e. old barn)

Why do I have picture of my shoes? I promise that it wasn’t because I sampled too much hard cider. I think they call it camera fail, but I didn’t have the heart to delete it, and I think it captured the ambience quite well.

My potential list included Rich’s Cider, Hecks Cider, and Torre Cider Farm, but I went for Thatchers Cider instead. Let’s just say, I picked wrong on the last stop. I did try a Thatchers’ Haze Cider with a ploughman at our hotel in Wells that night. The cider was good but if I could do it again, I’d stop at Rich’s or Hecks.

No worries, I finished the day right with a Sheppy’s Kingston Black hard cider.

And, I was able to get some samples of Somerset hard ciders from Scrattings to enjoy later.

Note: Besides the hard cider, we got to see some awesome sites in and around Somerset.

Stonehenge, Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey), Glastonbury Tor, Bishop’s Cathedral and Palace at Wells, and Nunney Castle

Hard cider pairs well with everything — Sites and Food. To learn more about what pairs well with cider, read my book.

You can also visit Prickly Apple Cider using the following button. I provide hard cider recipes, tips for making hard cider, and ideas for experiencing and enjoying hard cider.

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All images and art are the property of Thomas J. Chezem and protected under copyrights.