Award-winning Warwickshire cider-maker Napton Cidery has launched a new limited-edition cider to celebrate finally welcoming the first visitors to its taproom – 14 months on from its planned launch.
The single-variety cider made from Katy apple is dubbed The Taproom Special, and launches in the same week at World Cider Day on June 3rd.
The milestone comes after a tough year for the cidery’s owners Jolyon and Charlotte Olivier, whose taproom plans were put on ice just days before it was due to open thanks to the first coronavirus lockdown. The couple lost more than £100,000 in revenue after being forced to cancel planned events, workshops and tasting tours at the venue.
They were forced to take all their trade online and launched a crowdfunding campaign earlier this year, exceeding their expectations and helping them revisit their plans for expansion.
To mark being able to finally open, they’ve launched The Taproom Special, which won’t be available to buy in shops or pubs – only people who visit the taproom, specifically only the first 1,200.
Jolyon said: “The tap room was closed before it even opened. Our licence was issued on the Monday immediately after the Government shut the pubs in March. We had been planning a big launch to celebrate. We also had six pubs
lined up ready to install our kegs, all of which had to close as well.
“So we thought it appropriate to celebrate finally being able to open with a limited-edition cider that we’ve called The Taproom Special, it’s a single-variety cider made from the Katy apple.”
The taproom and shop also sells perry, juices, spirits and vinegars as well as new products the team have been working on this year – including Apple Cider Brandy, canned ciders and branded collectors’ glasses.
From what was initially a hobby, Napton Cidery now harvests, presses, bottles and distributes more than 90,000 litres of craft cider a year, using 17 types of apples from six orchards across the Herefordshire region.
Charlotte added: “It’s been quite emotional seeing people walk through our doors. While we are obviously working hard to stay within the restrictions that are still in place and keep our customers safe, we are over the moon to be
welcoming visitors, at long last, to our new facility – and look forward to being able to hold events again, hopefully in the summer months.”
The cidery is also taking bookings for tours and tastings, including the Ploughman’s & Cider Tasting Tour. Here guests are taken through the cider-making process and invited to sample six recipes, whilst also enjoying a Ploughman’s Supper supplied by Napton Village Stores.
The Cidery is open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 12-5pm. Find out more here.