We're not just about craft beer at HB&B - we love craft cider too, and when it comes to cider, there's no greater craftsman than the Herefordshire genius that is Tom Oliver of Oliver's Cider.
If you've bought cider from us, you've probably been steered in the direction of one of Tom's amazing concoctions - from the glorious Gold Rush, fermented with lambic yeasts, to his delightfully dry Shezam or the stunning hopped cider At The Hop.
It was love at first gulp for us, so we're thrilled to welcome Tom to the shop on Sunday 29th March for an afternoon of tastings, talk and tunes. (When Tom's not creating the UK's finest cider, he moonlights as the tour manager for the Proclaimers and will be sharing some of his favourite tunes with us, which may or may not include plenty of Mott The Hoople. Check his wonderful Top 30 playlist here - featuring many of the bands Tom has worked with.)
Tom says, "I was born and brought up on the family farm in Ocle Pychard, Herefordshire, and I took my first cider on top of a fully loaded hay wagon when I was eight. Growing up, I enjoyed cider (lots of Westons) and making it with local cider makers such as Ted Jones at Stanford Bishop and Roger French in Checkley, where I had a 'moment' when drinking one of his bottle conditioned Kingston Black ciders. I became determined to plant trees and make my own cider and perry.
"I now make cider in a very 'hands off', minimal intervention manner using proper fruit when it is at its best for cider making - ripe and sweated - using wild native yeasts and no sulphites until packaging. It's all about balance, making the cider not just refreshing but interesting and frequently challenging, so the blending is crucial."
Tom will be sharing his exquisite ciders at HB&B from 1-4pm on Sunday 29th March. We hope you'll be able to join us for a glass of the country's best cider in the sun with the man who made it.