The Sandford Orchards Breakthrough Cider Awards

The Results Are In!

The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards returned this year after a hiatus caused by the pandemic, and what a positive return it was. A total of twenty 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 eight 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… Tom Moon, of Moons cider. He has been making cider for nearly ten years – old in the tooth you might think for an up and comer, but at 25 years old he is young and hungry to achieve great things. He is producing around 10,000 litres of cider on his own whilst juggling his main job as a builder.

His sparkling medium is an incredibly well made session cider, complex but easy drinking and hugely accessible. Neatly presented, with simple but stand-out branding. We believe Moons has what it takes to breakthrough and become a very successful business.

“I was blown away with these cider makers’ endeavour, intent and inspiration. A hugely impressive group, and a worthy winner – clearly a young man full of ambition and energy.” 
Tom Oliver, member of the 2022 judging panel.

Try Moons cider for yourself!
Find out more about Moons Cider.



We also awarded two Silver prizes, the first went to Rawlins Cider from Somerset:

Rawlins Family Cider

Simon Rawlins is a small-scale cider maker with bags of talent. Made at his family farm, he has limited space to work with and so tries to improve the quality year on year.

The cider entered was made by the method of keeving – which produces a naturally sweet cider more often found in northern France. This technique can be hit or miss but Rawlins is of exceptional quality. Along with a really classy presentation which would fly off any shelf, we felt this cider maker has a real potential to be a success.

Try Rawlins’ cider for yourself!
Find out more about Rawlins Family Cider.


The other silver medal went to Artistraw Cider from Herefordshire:

Artistraw Cider

Made by Tom Tibbets and Lydia Crimp, environmentalists on a mission to make sustainable, natural ciders. Their cider contains nothing but apples and is made with simple but highly skilful techniques. The cider judged – Voulez-Shrew (Aha), was absolutely delicious – so much so that it is all sold out – and branded with incredibly vibrant and unique artwork. Their ethos, ambition and the exceptional quality makes Artistraw a really exciting prospect for the cider industry.

Try Artistraw’s cider for yourself!
Find out more about Artistraw Cider.


There were also five very accomplished shortlisted ciders which got to the final round:

“This year’s awards were a step up from the last outing, in both liquid and packaging. There was a pleasing range of styles and occasions from bone dry to grippy, and keeved. An array of playful techniques and a fantastic geographical spread.”

Gabe Cook, The Ciderologist, member of the 2022 judging panel.

“I was impressed to find cider makers that we didn’t even know existed. For a cider geek, that’s a real surprise and an utter delight. The quality of the ciders being entered is improving every year, which is brilliant news for UK cider.”

Andy May, Head cider maker at Sandford Orchards, member of the 2022 judging panel.

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.


Thanks to our sponsors The StableVigo and Darts Farm for their support and donations to the prizes.



Darts Farm Logo