Little Pomona Orchard & Cidery has launched a campaign, Cider Is Not Just For Summer, designed to skewer the misconception that cider is a one-season drink.
Spearheaded by the launch of Disco Nouveau 2022, the Herefordshire-based cidery will be taking its message to ten locations around the country.
“We want to broaden the perception of cider,” says co-founder and chief cidermaker, James Forbes. “The notion that cider is purely a summer drink is not only nonsensical but is actually damaging to cider, especially fine artisan cider.”
Fellow founder Susanna Forbes agrees: “The flavours can be so complex. It’s a direct correlation to the wonderful fruit. And these sorts of cider can be so food friendly. We’re daft if we limit ourselves to just the summer months.”
“It used to be the case that Beaujolais was only drunk in November and rosé wines in the summer,” says James. “That is, until producers began to break ranks, then importers and distributors. Similarly Disco Nouveau has been born and begins a different narrative.”
For renowned cidermaker Tom Oliver, the rationale is in the orchard. “You need the four seasons to grow the best cider apples. So, to get the most pleasure from cider, relish drinking it across the seasons.”
“Good cider illustrates the season, and Disco Nouveau does just that,” James explains. “It’s very reflective of the 2022 vintage. It’s juicy and ripe. It could only have been made in that two-month period [right after harvest].”
From Bromyard to Birmingham, Hereford to Sheffield, Ross to Reading, over the next few months the crew will be meeting customers, supporting stockists, sharing tastes and matching Disco Nouveau with local foods.
All retailers, pubs, bars and restaurants are invited to join the campaign. With the ciders available through Little Pomona’s normal distribution channels, the cidery can supply posters to those retailers who would like to get involved.
“To get the conversation going, why not open a bottle to sample with cheese, pizza squares or charcuterie, or simply olives and crisps?” suggests Susanna. “Snap a picture of you and your place with the poster, post on social media with a #DiscoNouveau2022 tag and we’ll share further.”
“Ultimately, the craft sector has the potential to grow, contributing further to the rural economy and supporting traditional orchardists,” says Susanna. “But for that to happen, there needs to be a greater appreciation of these unique drinks.”
For Paul Stevens, founder of AppleFest Hereford, the two-week-long festival in October, it’s simple: “Cider is for all seasons. Why limit your tastebuds?”
A growing number of retailers and licensees are lending support, boldly stocking these more ambitious ciders.
“With a drink so tied into the rural and farming landscape of this country, it’s to be cherished and championed all year round to make it sustainable and enable it to flourish,” says Jules Grey, owner of the award-winning Hop Hideout, Sheffield, and founder of the Sheffield Beer Week. “The care, passion and skill which goes into cider and perry production is awe-inspiring. That connection to humans and their natural environment, with a hint of magic.
“Cider is unbeatable in summer,” says Felix Nash, founder of cider merchant The Fine Cider Company. “But there are few greater proofs of how well it can work all year round than the many restaurants who have our bottles on their lists, often on a wine flight or paired with certain dishes, through the depths of winter. Indeed there are certain bottles that come into their own at this time of year.”
“Having been able to become one of the main places for cider drinkers to explore in Manchester stocking some of the best UK ciders and occasionally further afield, it has been a joy to see people who wouldn’t normally choose a cider (or perry) ask for one of the big, fine bottles we stock,” says Denny Rogers, general manager of Manchester’s Fierce bar.
Nicky Kong, pictured, runs The Cat In The Glass, an online beer and cider retailer of note.
“Cider is like wine, isn’t it? Wine’s not just for summer. Cider is for all occasions and times of year. You can pair it with food. You can drink it on your own, in front of the fire. In the sun. Very versatile.”
“It’s definitely a good time to explore,” she adds. “Cider’s growing massively at the moment. Everything from American to Australia, from Germany to all around the world.
“Any campaign that promotes the idea of pushing the perception away from the opinion that cider is a low value product is a positive move,” says Krishan Rajput, proprietor of the multi-garlanded Stirchley Wines & Spirits.
As Rod Graham, The Good Spirits Co, says: “Exploring the highways and byways of cider is a year-round adventure.”
Disco Nouveau Roadshow
The Disco Nouveau tour gets into full swing the last weekend in February. Following appearances at the Cardiff Cider Club and the London Cider House, it’s back to the cidery’s Herefordshire heartland, with events at The Yew Tree Inn, near Ross-on-Wye and the Hereford Beer House as well as the cidery’s Tasting Room, and its local pub, The Rose & Lion in Bromyard.
In March, Susanna will team up with Jules Grey for a special evening at the Hop Hideout in celebration of International Women’s Day as part of Sheffield Beer Week. Then it’s back to the West Midlands to pop up at Stirchley Wines, Birmingham, and the Food Hall at Webbs of Wychbold. In April, the team are the guests of The Grumpy Goat, Reading, before closing the tour at the London Cider Club, at The Real Al Co & Trap Taproom at Walthamstow.
Notes to Editors
- Founded in 2015, Little Pomona is based near Bromyard, north Herefordshire. Its expansion and move to Brook House Farm in 2019 was supported by an RDPE grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
- Little Pomona is distributed via The Fine Cider Company, Les Caves de Pyrene, Pig’s Ears, Distant Lands, Dunns in Scotland and Eebria Trade.
- Trade and media visits are welcome. Please get in touch to arrange.
- From April to September Little Pomona’s Tasting Room and Cider Garden are open 12-7pm Saturdays and Thursday evenings, and by appointment. It has a webshop, and between October and March, the cidery Bottle Shop is open 12-3pm Saturdays.
- Food and travel writer Neil Davey recently visited Little Pomona for a piece on Herefordshire in the February issue of National Geographic. He says of the ciders: [they are] “unlike anything I’ve tried. Some refresh. Others dance in a more challenging fashion on the palate like natural wines. All, however, are complex and fascinating, making the humble mainstream pint seem pedestrian and monotone.”
- The cidery exports to a number of countries, including the USA, Norway, Belgium, Japan and Sweden.
- Disco Nouveau is available direct to consumers via the cidery webshop.
- Further information on all the tour events is available on the cidery website.
- Images can be downloaded via https://bit.ly/LP-CiderIsNotJustForSummer
Press release from Little Pomona.
Further information, comment and images available from Susanna Forbes, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07811 913971
Find out more at https://littlepomona.com/;