Paignton Cider

Paignton Cider

The UK has the highest per capita consumption of cider in the world and although there are other areas of the UK such as East Anglia that have a tradition of producing fine cider it’s generally regarded that the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire in the West Midlands and the West Country in general are the areas with which it is most associated.

Devon has a long history of cider making, and although there are no large commercial businesses down here these days, there are still a fair number of smaller producers dotted about – including Paignton. Hunts, of Higher Yalberton Farm is a good example, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to have a look around and see how their cider is made.

The Orchard

The family started producing cider over 200 years ago, and although it hasn’t been produced continuously throughout the whole time, they still use the same traditional methods and even the same orchards.

The press they currently use was made back in the 1950s and it’s all very low tech – but what they don’t have in modern equipment they more than make up for in experience. The only ingredient they use in the process is apples – just apples – but what they know about apples and the production of cider is staggering.

The Cider Barn at Higher Yalberton Farm
The Cider Barn at Higher Yalberton Farm
The Cider Press
The Cider Press
The Cheese
The Cheese

I toured the farm a few years ago with a few other people when tours weren’t generally available to the wider public, but prior to Covid-19 they were doing Wednesday Wobbler Cider Tours which cost £10 a head including “generous” tastings. These include Hazy Days, a summer tipple at an ABV of just 4.5%, Barn Screecher at a more respectable 6.2%, and Bull Walloper at an eye-watering 7.2%.

The farm is located on the outskirts of Paignton not far from the village of Stoke Gabriel, and if you take my advice, it might be better to think about how you’re going to get back home before you come if you don’t want to be found in a field under an apple tree somewhere spending the night with a herd of Devon Reds.

Layering the apples for the Cheese
Layering the apples for the Cheese
Sampling the Goods
Sampling the Goods

ORIGINAL POST – JUNE 2018

LATEST UPDATE – SEPT 2020

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7 thoughts on “Paignton Cider

  1. equipsblog

    I live near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia which also has a tradition of making hard cider (as we call alcoholic Apple cider) as opposed to the more frequent staple of all fall farmer’s stands, nonalcoholic Apple cider. I like many of the hard ciders around here but some really don’t taste like they have apples in them. Like beer, I guess each individual has their own idea of the type of cider they prefer. Some friends and I went to one cidery and did not like any of their four versions (five if you include the non alcoholic version). We have been too others that we preferred a lot more. For someone like me who does not like any type of beer at all, cider is a good substitute.

    Reply
    1. Easymalc Post author

      That’s interesting. It begs the question as to whether we swapped our cider for your tobacco in that case. Walter Raleigh was a Devonian, so it wouldn’t have been impossible to have taken some with him.

      Reply
      1. equipsblog

        From the limited colonial era history I remember, hard cider was a staple in the colonies. So you might be on to something. Our wine industry in VA did not really get going until the 1970s-1980s. But we have been making excellent moonshine for centuries. 🙂

        Reply
    1. Malcolm Post author

      I have to confess in trying some when I was in Frankfurt Don – and very nice it was too. Quite different from West Country scrumpy though

      Reply

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