Hunt is on for breakthrough cider makers

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Cider panel: last year’s team of judges
Cider panel: last year’s team of judges

Related tags Cider Branding + marketing Training

Cider producer Sandford Orchards has launched the 2023 Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards.

The awards, which are free to enter, offer aspiring cider makers advice, guidance and guaranteed listings with the on and off-trade and are open to producers making up to 50,000 litres a year.

Sandford Orchards chief cider maker Barny Butterfield said: “We created the Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards three years ago to support the future of our precious UK cider industry. 

“Winning this award provides small-scale cider makers with the help and opportunities that they need to progress their business to the next level.”

Joy of cider

Butterfield continued: “Bringing cider makers together is always brilliant for sharing ideas and dreaming up plans that 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 2023 prize includes business strategy mentoring with Butterfield; 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.

Indication of quality

A panel of expert judges will choose the winners. Tom Oliver, owner of Oliver’s Cider and Perry and one of last year’s judges said: “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.”

Entries can be made by visiting​ and close on 28 February with winners announced in May.

Related topics Cider

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