To access all our features

Open the Goodpods app
Close icon

194: The Reason for Being | Ross on Wye Cider & Perry, UK

Cider Chat

09/25/19 • 63 min

Share icon

Episode 194: The Reason for Being | Ross on Wye Cider & Perry, UK

Mike Johnson grew up on Broome Farm picking up apples with his grandmother, in the rural country known as Herefordshire in the United Kingdom. Thirty Five years ago cider began being made and sold commercially at the farm. More recently Mike and son Albert, who came back to the farm after finishing university to help with their brand Ross on Wye Cider and Perry Company, began working together to continue to build the family's cider profile up with a huge volume of dry ciders and perrys.

Mike seeing a smiling Talking Pomme looking back up at him.

And it should be mentioned that, Albert’s younger brother, Martin is in hospitality and it looks like there is a very good possibility that he also will become a full on member of the Ross Cider Team.

Herefordshire (a county) is one of the most sparsely populated regions in England. It is about 3 hours to the west of London. It also has the largest concentration of cider apples. A good many orchards were planted to supply cider giant Bulmers at one time, something that Mike feels benefited the whole region.

The Johnson’s are no longer selling their apples to Bulmers which is now owned by Heineken. Instead, they are full on making cider for their own brand. I first had a bottle of their cider in 2015 and fell madly in love with the quality of that single bottle. It has since been my mission to drink more Ross Cider :) and meet the team, which brings us to this recording which took place in August of 2019.

Thanks to the help and encouragement of Duckchicken Cider in London and Ross Cider, I was able to spontaneously make plans to attend the 2019 Ross Cider Fest held on August 30th to September 1st. I camped in the orchard for 3 nights at this cider and music fest.

The Ross Cider Fest was originally a one day event, starting over 20 years ago. At the time Albert was a young boy. Now 24 years of age, he is full on in the management of this widely popular fest.

Cider Chat Meeting the Makers at Ross on Wye Cider and Perry Company

A couple years back, Mike bought the Yew Tree Pub which is located on the main road, next to Broome Farm. This venue is now selling more cider that beer! Which is unbelievably still a unique fact in the United Kingdom for most pubs.

In this chat we discuss:

  • The Ross Cider Fest - Mike likens the good feelings at the festival due to the serving of natural drinks, without all the chemicals.
  • The Bulmers Impact
    • The first orchards at Broome Farm were planted for Bulmers in 1978
    • Between now and 2001 there are 45 acres of bush orchards
    • 10 acres of standard trees and perry pears.

Says Mike, “The great thing about Bulmers - they are responsible for so many trees [in the region] and research.”

Cider Styles being made by Ross Cider

  • Bottle condition
  • Still
  • Carbonated
  • Kegged

I particularly liked how Mike described the cider styles at Ross. Typically, makers separate their styles as sweet, semi sweet and dry. At Ross Cider they don't like sweet or sugary cider. They make their cider and perry dry. At any given time they might have 87 different kinds of cider to try. Some are blends, but most are single or two varieties of apples.

While I was there Albert said they had 18 single variety ciders. He says, “It might be less complex [a single variety cider] but, it takes you on a journey to discover what a cider apple can do.

Mike adds, “Grab a bunch of single varieties and open them all at once, with friends, and then start blending.”

Says Albert, “We’d be bored if we had to drink the same cider all year.”

This is the unique quality of these makers that makes this cidery so special. Each single variety cider allows you to truly discover the essence of that apple. It does take you on a journey and it is one that many cider drinkers have yet to discover.

If you can, do attend the Ross Cider Fest held every year at the end of the summer. And by the way, these makers won were awarded the BBC Food and Farming for 2019!

Contact Info for Ross on Wye Cider and Perry Company


For general and cider enquiries:

For Yew Tree related enquiries:

For Yew Tree adult only caravan & motorhome enquiries:


Episode comments


out of 5

Star filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey Icon

1 Rating

Star iconStar iconStar iconStar iconStar icon

eg., What part of this podcast did you like? Ask a question to the host or other listeners...


Generate a badge

Get a badge for your website that links back to this

Select type & size
Open dropdown icon