It was formed, literally, around the kitchen table. Now an East Yorkshire-based drinks company is determined to bring the joys of real cider to a wider audience.
Established just over a year ago, the Colemans Cider Company in Kilham is already enjoying startling success – it’s confidently predicting doubling production every year for the foreseeable future as it attracts interest from drinkers both here and abroad.
We’re a branch to bottle operation and one very much rooted in the communityMarc Cole
We are spotlighting local businesses as part of the run-up to the Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards 2016 and we kick off with the Colemans Cider Company, where business is going global.
“I’ve just logged off having dealt with three emails from New York,” said co-director Marc Cole.
Outbuildings house the cider production, while apples come from his garden, an orchard established by business partner Chris Chapman in nearby Ruston Parva and anyone prepared to donate produce in return for a share of the cider. The company regularly appeals for apples and people turn up on the doorstep with baskets full.
“We’re truly a branch to bottle operation and one very much rooted in the community,” said Marc.
“In some cases, where older members of the community are no longer able to pick apples from their own trees, we’ll even go and pick the fruit ourselves,” he said.
Marc, Chris and friends have just finished this year’s cider-making efforts following the annual apple harvest and expect to have 4,700 litres available for drinking from January onwards.
And to celebrate the new brew and the launch of three ciders (medium, sweet and dry) they are reviving ancient customs, with an annual Wassail event on Saturday January 16.
“This will be at our orchard in Ruston Parva and will begin at 2pm with the blessing of the trees, but there’ll be music, food and cider,” said Marc.
“It’s an ancient rural tradition to ensure a good harvest and we embrace it fully, complete with our own Green Man.”
Marc, who runs his own regeneration and economic development consultancy business, moved to East Yorkshire six years ago.
Born in the West Country and growing up in Somerset, it’s perhaps not surprising that he’s always had a love of cider and a glut of apples in his back garden sowed the seeds of an idea that has grown into Colemans Cider Company.
Cider is enjoying a huge resurgence at the moment, he said, describing it as the “Magners Effect”.
It’s a healthy drink, too, he claims, which is why the global demand is rising.
From its very small beginnings, Marc and Cris and expecting to increase production by 100 per cent year on year over the next few years.
In 2015 sales have been restricted to local music and beer festivals but for 2016 they are in talks with a Yorkshire company to distribute their products and handle online sales.
It will also be available in a number of local micro pubs, the Jug & Bottle off-licence in Bubwith, which specialises in specialist beers and ciders, and in the Old Star village pub in Kilham. Future plans include produce pyder (a mixture of pear and apple cider) and taking their products to a wider audience by way of attending more festivals.
Visit www.colemanscidercompany.com or email colemans firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on Colemans Cider Company or to buy tickets for the Wassail.