The Cider Insider

Here at A Rule of Tum we are all about championing the local suppliers and makers we have around us, this post is about The Cider Insider, a book by the talented Susanna Forbes, a guide about cider from tree to glass, read on to find out more:

Head down to the Beer House in Hereford on the 18th October 2018 to see the book and get some tasting!

Head down to the Beer House in Hereford on the 18th October 2018 to see the book and get some tasting!

Herefordshire’s cider community championed in global cider guide

For centuries Herefordshire has inspired the tastemakers of the time to create fine ciders and perries. Today one-half of one of its newest producers, Little Pomona, is behind a guide to 100 of the world’s best. Entitled The Cider Insider, drinks journalist Susanna Forbes has gathered together contemporary cider pioneers with the legends of the land, with a mission to celebrate the cider renaissance.

Four years ago, encouraged by the Herefordshire cidermaking community and inspired by what she found researching drinks features, Susanna and her husband, fellow drinks industry professional, James, sold up and left the Downs of Epsom to set up Little Pomona Orchard & Cidery in Thornbury, near Bromyard in north Herefordshire.

In the run-up to Apple Day on Sunday 21 October, join Susanna for the launch of her book at the Hereford Beer House on Thursday 18 October, from 4.30pm onwards. Hear about those who are saving orchards, cherishing long lost apple varieties, and reinterpreting cider in a modern fashion. Taste some of those featured in the book and meet some of the makers changing the way we think about cider.

In The Cider Insider, Susanna has picked 100 of the world’s best craft ciders – and perries – that are worth seeking out and drinking now. Travel with her to each atmospheric orchard to meet the individuals that pour their souls into this glorious drink. For each entry, we hear about the region, the varieties of apples and pears in use, how each is made, find out about other ciders/perries to try, and explore how to experience the cider/cidery for ourselves.

With a foreword by Tom Oliver, regarded by many as the world’s leading cidermaker, alongside appearances from a cast of stars, from Royal Bath & West supreme champions to passionate Domfront perrymakers to foraging Finger Lakes cidermakers, it’s all here.

Meet the free-thinking French cidermakers, experience the culturally-vibrant Asturian and Basque cider scene, and hear how Australia’s cider pioneers want Tasmania to be renamed the Cider Island.

While the cider leads the way, it’s the people that count for Susanna with their boundless energy and passion for the art of making cider and for preserving the land. Take hobby cidermaker Martin Berkeley of Pilton Cider, for example. Noticing so much excess fruit going to waste when he moved near Glastonbury with his wife Angela, he not only went commercial but also embraced the tricky French art of keeving.

And Polly Hilton from Find & Foster. Incredulous when she heard that 90% of the trees in her native Devon had been grubbed up since World War II, she and made a deal with farmers: she would make the orchards financially sustainable again by looking after the trees and turning the fruit into cider.

Meet Dan Young and Nikki Rothwell, whose tandem-riding holiday in England inspired them to set up Tandem Ciders.

Closer to home, hear how channel hopping from Jersey to Normandy sewed the seeds for Simon Day’s future quest for ciders for the dining table. And Mike Johnson’s curiosity led him to planting over 100 cider varieties and dozens of perry pears at Broome Farm, the heart of Ross-on-Wye Cider & Perry.

With its global perspective and brief detailing of each cider’s life story, this will be of interest to the cider community as well as the general consumer. While the new terroir-based ciders appeal to wine drinkers, particularly those interested in natural wine, the more modern flavour interpretations offer crossover into the beer scene.


Author Biography:

Susanna Forbes is one of the UK’s foremost cider writers and experienced cider judges. Beer & Cider Editor for Imbibe magazine and Imbibe Live show, she has helped reshape the perception of cider among consumers and drinks trade alike. In November 2017 she won the title for Best Trade Writer at the British Guild of Beer Writer’s Awards.

For further information or to request a review copy, please contact Katie Read at or 07837 485642


Susanna Forbes,, 07811 913971, @drinkbritain, @littlepomona