Stones Bittersweet Cider logoStone’s Ciders from the heart of Somerset

Son and Father team Richard and Alan Stone from Shepton Mallet first started making cider in 2009.

Alan had earlier that year published the ‘Somerset Cider Handbook’ in which he had said that cider making was best left to the experts – son Richard, then 23, disagreed and their journey began.

Alan and Richard Stone making cider in their shed.

Left to right: Richard and Alan stone making Stone’s Bittersweet Cider in their shed.

Now, eight years on, after gradually learning the art in  their back garden shed based operation Richard and Alan now produces around 3,000 litres of traditional 100% juice product a year made with traditional apples sourced from local orchards in the heart of Somerset. It is still mainly a hobby – but one that covers its costs and the investment in equipment.

They have won prizes at a many leading competitions at Country Shows. These includes The Mid Somerset Show, in Shepton Mallet. The Sedgemoor Winter Fair (champion 3 years running) at Bridgwater. In 2016 they won the Championship at the newly restore  Yeovil Show. Best of all is a healthy number of awards at  The Bath and West Show – worlds premier competition. This include two firsts (gold)  and a second for the premium french style Keeved.

The product is available at a number of local pubs, shows, festivals and events across the central Somerset area.

Both Alan and Richard are now experienced judges and both give talks on the history and heritage at a variety of meetings, and seminars for many organisations. Richard has spoken on the subject at Bristol University and has also been used by the National Trust to train volunteers in orchard Heritage and Alan has written three more books on the subject.

Somerset Orchards