Applicants have until 28 February to enter the awards, which are free to enter and open to cider makers producing between 3,000 and 15,000 litres of cider per year.
Sandford Orchards chief cidermaker Barny Butterfield said: “The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards are nothing like any other cider competition.
“It’s the competition 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.”
Prizes for this year’s awards include business strategy mentoring with Butterfied, 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.
Thornborough cider, who were the winners of the inaugural awards, owner Kingsley Ash, said: “Winning the Breakthrough Awards not only gave us validation and confirmation 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.”
Giving something back
The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards were launched by Sandford Orchards in 2019 and aim to recognise and celebrate excellent quality whole juice ciders from around the UK as well as offer aspiring cider makers advice, guidance, and guaranteed listings with the on and off trade.
Butterfield added: “I am so proud 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 marvelous drink.”
For further information visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk.