What are we about?
Traditional real cider made with enthusiasm in Framfield. It’s flat, it’s still, it’s unfiltered, it’s slow fermented in small batches. We leave it alone for months and months and let nature do it’s thing. It doesn’t seem right to mess with it so we add nothing (unless we decide to sweeten it at the end). We never know what we are going to get and we celebrate each batch as a unique moment, those apples, that orchard, that mix of fruit from that season. When it’s gone it’s gone.
All our apples come from local gardens and orchards from villages around Framfield in East Sussex. Many of them are donated or swapped for cider. The apples are hand picked and we press them on sunny autumn days on the farm. Hot and sticky work, but once we’ve crushed and pressed the apples and cleaned up the mess we made it’s essentially a lazy way to make cider, a slow way, a patient way: because we do nothing more than wait until it’s ready, which can take a very long time...
Although we taste it every now and again, we never know what we going to get until the end. One day in mid summer we’ll try and it will be ready. Then we have a party.
In 2017 we decided a to launch the cider club to get cider lovers out of their towns and into the countryside. We want cider fans to get their hands dirty, feel the sun on their backs and get as much out of our cider as we do. Help us make it and help us drink it!
Where did we come from?
Bignose and Beardy are Phil Day and Steve Stark . The Cidery is named after their most prominent features, although as they age baldy and baldy and might be more appropriate. Both work full time so cider is an out of control hobby. Being outdoors, picking fruit with friends, the mechanical process of getting the juice, sunshine and the joy of making a thing are the reasons we do it. Plus it tastes good. Neither has any relevant experience or much competence and really the best thing you can say about their approach to cider making is that it’s enthusiastic. After all there is only one thing better than getting to the top of the mountain, and that’s getting there have been lost on the way. If it wasn’t fun they wouldn’t do it.
Where do we do it?
Framfield is a small village on the edge of the Weald. We are surrounded by green rolling fields, oak trees, sheep and horses against a backdrop of the South Downs just where they meet the sea. It’s good apple country and it’s a good place to be outdoors. All around us are forgotten orchards in gardens, estates and neglected corners as well as good friends we’ve made who grow fruit commercially - a lot of their sweat and tears go into our cider too. The sun always seems to shine when we are picking or pressing. That helps.
The Cidery is based on Bignose’s small holding, the hens ducks like to watch and the pigs and sheep provide company, and in due course the filling for a sandwich. Friends come over to help and neighbours bring us apples or like to stand and watch us at our toils. So it’s a friendly business.
One off small batches of slow fermented Real Cider pressed with enthusiasm from hand picked local apples in Framfield, East Sussex. We typically make 7-8 unique batches every year which gently evolve over time, some we sweeten, some we leave as they come. All our ciders are Vegan friendly and gluten free (as we do not use straw in our presses) . To find out more about the batches currently available visit the shop.