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Features > Lifestyle > Food & Drink > Somerset Cider Brandy
JB142: Somerset Cider Brandy
Photos: Jan Baldwin / Narratives
Text: Natasha Goodfellow / Narratives

What started out as a traditional Somerset Farm is now a prosperous cider brandy company. This is Kingsbury Episcopi, one of the UK's three vintage areas for cider making - all are in Somerset, and home to the country's only fully commercial cider distillery since 1987. I never planned to do this, say Julian. I bought the farm 30 years ago wanting to be a traditional farmer - we had cows and sheep and just four acres of orchard. Making Cider was a hobby. His interest in the orchards grew, and now owns 150 acres of apple trees that yield, on average, 1500 tons of apples a year. From cider it was a short step to cider brandy - in theory at least. Lots of cider makers know a bit more than they should about distilling, he says. Procuring the licence was not so simple.
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