This is our first post on our brand new website! I should probably start with a little bit of background information on the business and how it came to be and where we are now. Paul Wilson started off Old Stag Cider in 2014 having taken over from another cider maker who was retiring at the end of the year. Paul had always been interested in the making his own cider and he didn't want to see his friend's knowledge and experience go to waste. He asked him if he could teach him everything he knew and even bought most of his old equipment, including an old Victorian apple press, which we still use to this day!
Going into 2015 and Paul had his first batch of his own ciders, starting out with roughly six varieties and they were instantly a hit at the local farmer's market. His most popular cider, Somerset Redstreak, also won an award at the Putley Cider Trials, which is very impressive for a first timer! He then went on to do many country shows and food festivals throughout the next couple of years, with things staying relatively steady and slowly building up a customer base that knew the brand and loved the product. Year on year we have more and more varieties, with 2019 having our widest selection with nearly 20 different types of cider. Every year, the reoccurring favourite is the Kingston Black, which is widely known as a very good cider apple. The Whisky Cider is also a very popular one for us as it's something different and people just want to see what it's really like, and are often very taken by the taste that we are able to produce. Furthermore, the early success of award-winning ciders didn't stop in 2015, over the years we have won several awards, with ciders such as the whisky cider, and most recently our Discovery cider won at the 2019 Moreton Cider & Beer show.
Going into 2019, Old Stag Cider really wanted to push the brand and see if it was still as popular in other places, rather than just local markets and food festivals. In June we went to the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham and we did not know what to expect, and what we received was beyond what we ever could have achieved at a farmers market. Over the four days we spoke to hundreds of people, gave out samples and have many long conversations with people about where we were from, a little bit of our back story and mainly why they hadn't tried the cider before! The response was overwhelmingly positive, with the whisky cider being the biggest hit over the weekend. We started getting lots of messages and emails asking where they could get more and how many bottles they could get in one go! We received the exact same response in Tewkesbury the following weekend at the food festival there.
It is safe to say that this year has been our biggest so far, and we're only half way through. Thank you to everyone that has supported us from the very start and to all of the new customers that we've gained along the few years that we've been going. We hope to carry on producing the best we possibly can and continue providing a good service to go along with a fantastic product.