When they built the Barrett Browning Institute (named at the famous poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning) at the end of the 18th century, they helpfully erected the fine clock tower shown at the top of this post. When you've found this, you've found the Three Counties Cider Shop which is directly opposite:
you're surrounded by good cider and perry! The shop is owned by Once Upon A Tree who were featured in this blog last year, just before they won Best Drinks Producer in the BBC's Food & Farming Awards. So you'd expect to find their ciders and perry:
At the back of the shop there's draft cider and perry:
Some of my finds included Butford Organics:
Their Ganymede cider was commended in the Soil Association 2012 Organic Food Awards and they also sell Aurora and Sadira - naturally produced organic bottle conditioned perry.
I was recently talking to Tom Oliver, who is one of my favourite cider producers. Tom will be featured in this blog later this year and you can buy Olivers cider and perry in this shop. It's amazing how different the tastes can be of cider and perry, even when they're made with the same varieties.
It's interesting to study the differences between the label designs in this shop. The Ross-on-Wye Cider & Perry Company have pictures of the apples:
Hogans Cider in the Malverns is one of a new breed of artisan cider makers and has a stylish label:
I must also visit the Orchard Centre, at Hartpury in Gloucestershire, where Out of the Orchard cider is made:
Whilst on the subject of labels, Wilce's Cider:
which is made less than a mile from this shop, features the fantastic Market House in Ledbury (see here for a picture of the real thing).
Not all the cider is from the Three Counties, the rare Abbey Lands Tyson's Tipple:
is made from a blend of dessert apples and pears at Ryedale Vineyards near York. In fact the great thing about this shop is you never know what you're going to find. Stocks vary depending on supplies (most of the suppliers are relatively small producers) and the time of year.
If you fancy something stronger, there's liqueurs:
like Gun Dog damson, raspberry or rhubarb fruit gin from Putley, or Slightly Foxed Orange Liqueur, Number Nine and Bloody Furlong from Celtic Marches (the last two won Gold in the Great Taste Awards).
There's Pixley Berries blackcurrants cordials:
they're made, not far from Dragon Orchard, with fruit juice, sugar, water and nothing else.
They sell mustards from the Three Counties Gourmet:
like Sizzling Sausage Mustard and The Connoisseur's Mustard (great for gourmet sauces or salad dressings) and Delia's White Wine & Chilli Mustard (a great alternative to Dijon Mustard). If you don't like mustard, you can marinade your chicken with Delia's Natural Sweet Chilli Sauce .
They also have Once Upon a Tree's delicious jams jellies and chutneys:
Three Counties Cider Shop
5a The Homend