The Results Are In!
Now in its third year The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards has gone from strength to strength. A total of twenty four entries from thirteen counties, with all styles of cider being represented. From naturally sweet to single variety, session ciders to bottle fermented. It was great to see such high quality entries from so many different regions.
After an initial technical tasting round, our panel of expert judges had to choose from nine finalists to crown our champions. With this award, we are looking to help up and coming cider makers flourish and become successful businesses. Not only must the cider be delicious, but it needed to be ambitious, beautifully presented and crafted by passionate people. After much deliberation, our judges selected our final three:
The gold medal goes to… Andy Jenkins, of Ganley & Naish cider. His winning cider, Hell and High Water (ABV 5.5%) is a medium dry, single variety, Browns apple cider in a 440ml can. Simply described as unique, beautiful, impressive and incredibly drinkable.
According to Barny, this cider took home the gold as “It’s a crisp and gently complex cider with a lovely sweetness to acid balance. Ridiculously moreish, light on the palate – fault free, an amazing single variety with an apple notoriously difficult to nail down! The branding is sensational, breaks the mould and brings a contemporary and classic feel to an amazing drink”.
Andy was delighted to receive the gold award: “To get this cider out had been very trying; covid, new packing type, new branding, new artwork, working with new people and building those relationships. So to win this award, with a product I am incredibly proud of, has made it even more special and rewarding.”
Find out more about Ganley & Naish.
We also awarded two Silver prizes, the first went to Palmers Upland Cyder from Newport:
They picked up silver for their cider Cwn Annwn. A very accomplished 5.5% cider, with an impressive balance of tannin acid and sweetness with plenty of character that will keep you coming back for more.
Find out more about Palmers Upland Cyder
The other silver medal went to Tinston Wines and Ciders from West Sussex:
Their winning cider is called Tinston Best 2021, and is a 6.5%, champagne style cider in a 750 ml bottle.
An incredibly stylish cider, with a classic methode traditionnelle mouse, green apple, gentle subtle tannin and clean elegant vinous finish. Not an alternative to ordinary champagne, a step-up.
Find out more about Tinston Wines & Ciders
Pete Brown, one of our 2023 judges had this to say about this year’s awards:
“I wouldn’t expect anything less from Barny and Sandford Orchards, but as well as paying it forward and doing something for the great good of the industry, the Breakthrough Awards feel designed to genuinely make a seismic difference to the business of those who win. Yes, you’ve got to make excellent cider. But you also need to have a good business plan. As a judge, I genuinely felt like I was helping the winners get to the next level.”
Andy May, Head cider maker at Sandford Orchards also commented:
‘I was very pleased to see so many entries again this year and from all over Britain. Massive congratulations to our winner and runners up, all fantastic ciders from incredibly passionate producers who have a very bright future ahead.’
If you’re a cider maker and would like to enter next year, sign up here and we’ll let you know when next year’s entries open.