Broughton Bank Perry and Cider

'Perry and Cider as they are meant to be'      
International Wines and Spirits Competition think so too ... in 2022, 2023 and 2024!

"... cider is to be drunk when you are thirsty, after a long walk or ride along a dusty road. Its pleasant sharpness drives away thirst, its deceptively imperceptible strength overcomes fatigue, the natural virtue of the fruit restores the elasticity of tired muscles. It is a splendid refresher between meals ... You will meet, as I have done, the Englishman who turns up his nose at Norman [read 'real'] cider as thin sour stuff not worth the trouble of drinking, then you will know that he has been brought up on the fabricated, gassy stuff, all but tasteless and non-alcoholic, which all too often goes by the name of cider in England and which appeals to the palates of those who have never passed beyond a teen-age appreciation of sugared and aerated liquids prepared by commercial laboratories. Be tactful with him, for he errs from ignorance. Do not laugh him to scorn or hold him up to contempt, but rather lead him quietly to a more mature appreciation. By doing so, you will probably add years to his life and greatly increase the pleasure he derives from it"
Vivian Rowe: Return to Normandy, 1951
Awards       How's it done?       Mad or Stupid?       Vinegars       Prices      Contact       Where to find it

Meet Ciderman!

Welcome! This is John Hibbert and he lives at Broughton Bank, just north of Cartmel in southern Cumbria, "Lancashire over the Sands" as it used to be called. This is where he plants, picks and presses apples and pears to make cider and perry. This is certainly not the sweet fizzy stuff you find in normal pubs and supermarkets, it's a very special drink. Pay Ciderman a visit. Follow the signs and have a taste. He thinks you'll be glad you did!

He would, wouldn't he? But IWSC (International Wine and Spirits Competition) gave his Medium Cider a Bronze Award in June 2022, and in September 2022 the same brew won Best Cider in the Ulverston Beer Festival.

'Get some cider inside your inside!'

What is Cider after all?
Legally UK Cider must be between 1.2% and 8.5% ABV and only needs to contain a minimum of 35% apple juice, fresh or from concentrate. So cheap concentrated apple juice, maybe from the other side of the world, and sugar and water can make up what you buy as cider. No wonder some of it can be sold so cheap! Broughton Bank Perry and Cider is made from 100% juice, from 100% local fruit.

How's it done, Ciderman?

Well, in the beginning ...

Planting and Picking

... it started with planting vintage varieties of Perry Pear and Cider Apple trees, many years ago.

You can see Ciderman's Fruit Tree Map here (lots of other trees planted but too many to display here).

Vintage varieties take longer to mature, but they have better flavour and hopefully they also live longer. Soon Ciderman was getting a small harvest.

The picking season lasts from early August, for the earliest fruit, to November. There's seldom enough fruit, so if anyone out there has pears or apples growing in their garden, and finds it hard to use them TELL CIDERMAN!

There's a commission to be had in Perry, Cider or fresh juice. Ciderman can pick them or you can bring them to Broughton Bank. If you bring them there's more commission.
Then, after the picking there's...

Crushing and Juicing

Fruit is 'scratted' (crushed) in a mill and juice extracted in a water-powered press.

It's not diluted in any way, and nothing is added.
... and then the sugar and yeasts in the juice get to work ...


The fruit’s natural yeast governs the fermentation process, Ciderman doesn’t use commercially produced yeast. Quite a lot of research indicates that we need a variety of different yeasts for our systems to function well. Commercial yeasts provide the kind of monoculture in our bodies we have seen harm the countryside environment so much for so long.

Fermentation begins after pressing. It mostly happens before Christmas, and during that time the juice is 'racked'. Racking is when the juice is syphoned off, leaving the sediment behind, keeping the fermentation honest. Otherwise it's entirely unfiltered.

So during fermentation the yeasts produce carbon dioxide from the fruit sugars and the cider vats bubble away to themselves. You can hear it all quietly bubbling away here.

Fermentation is over when the simple sugars have been consumed by the yeasts and turned into alcohol. The result is dry Perry or Cider.

Specific gravity is measured at the start and then again when the fermentation ends: the difference tells us the alcohol content.
and when it's ready to drink ...


People from the West Country will be used to Dry Cider, but those from elsewhere may prefer a sweeter drink, even though they often enjoy a tonsil-tickling dry white wine: is it a matter of expectation?

Perry needs less sweetening, as pears contain sugars which aren't consumed by natural yeasts, so it's less dry. It's an unusual drink which is almost unknown these days, up till lately only kept alive in this country by Francis Showering who made the very sweet Babycham.

So, at this point there’s a difference in the way Ciders are produced, whether dry or not. It has to be remembered that the liquid still has live yeasts in it so added sugar may restart the fermentation process.

Still or Sparkling, Dry or not so Dry?

It's now time for the still dry versions to be bottled. A small amount of organic raw cane sugar may be added. Sometimes it can restart the fermentation and give a little sparkle.

More sugar may be added to produce the somewhat sweeter Medium Dry, Medium and Sweet versions. They may be sparkling or they may be dry: every batch is different. That is a good thing. Though we have been conditioned to think that all of a product must be the same, that simply isn't nature's way
Anything else added?
The added sugar can build up pressure, so the cider may be a little too fizzy on opening: open it slowly! Ciderman doesn't use sulphites to kill the yeast.

You’ll often read on wine bottle labels “Contains Sulphites”. Sulphites kill yeast in the liquid, acting as a bactericide, particularly to stop wines with added sugars becoming too fizzy. Can you guess what it does to your gut biome? Many other things are added to wine without mention: flavourings, special yeasts and sweeteners. According to EU law, drinks over 1.8% ABV do not have to show their ingredients on the label: why the secrecy? Can it be to protect the massive industrial wine trade?

Organic Raw Cane Sugar is the only thing added to Broughton Bank drinks.
then getting it ready to take away in ...


The crushing and recycling of glass has been a success story of recycling, but why not re-use bottles without breaking them? Re-use is common in many countries. Some of us are old enough to remember the days when most bottles carried a deposit, refunded when the bottle was returned to the shop where they were bought.

Whenever possible Ciderman re-uses screw top wine bottles with new caps, just drop rinsed bottles off with us. All glass vessels are pressure washed and steam cleaned inside. The old label glue can be impossible to remove, so apologies if the residues leave the bottles a little sticky.

The containers are then filled, labelled and stoppered, by hand.
... all ready for you!

What's it all about, Ciderman?

Many people have become aware how additives in food are affecting us in unexpected ways. Ciderman avoids additives wherever possible, and always offers products that have nothing added to the apple juice at all.

Orchard owners can find it difficult to deal with their fruit while it’s fresh, but Ciderman can use it before it’s wasted. Ciderman gives a commission in Perry, Cider, or fresh juice, more if you pick them yourself! Containers are cleaned, filled, labelled and stoppered by hand. Larger quantities are supplied in new bags-in-boxes with a tap.

People who let Ciderman pick their fruit receive a commission in Cider or Perry,  or fresh juice.  They get even more if they pick them themselves!

The tree owner sees benefit from their harvest; apple picking grounds the picker in the landscape; passing fruit on to Ciderman creates a sense of community.
'is that Ciderman mad or stupid?' you may ask, but ...

... it's natural ...
Only 100% local fruit is used to make our Perry and Cider. Fermentation is by the yeasts occurring naturally in the fruit itself.

Ciderman respects the health of our environment. Ciderman sustainably (and slowly) produces Perry and Cider that is natural, unprocessed and locally sourced, even though it takes more time.

... it's health-giving ...
A healthy environment can only benefit our health.

These natural yeasts help our bodies in many ways, exposing us to a variety of beneficial microbes and strengthening our immune systems.

Ciderman also produces vinegar containing its natural ‘mother’ with its widely accepted health promoting properties.

... it revives ancient tradition ...
Cider and Perry were locally produced like this for generations, famously celebrated by wassailing.

Some wassailing involved visiting cider orchards around the New Year, dancing, singing songs and making lots of noise to persuade the orchard spirits of the need to provide a good harvest in the coming year.

Back to the top
Cartmel Valley in morning mist

slow food logo
... so there maybe some method in that madness after all?

Public Accolades for Broughton Bank Perry & Cider

IWSC Bronze Award 2024
IWSC (International Wines and Spirits Competitions)
Broughton Bank Perry & Cider
Medium Perry 2022
From: England
Tasted by: Lionel Periner, Shannon Tebay, Salvatore Castano, Massimo Serpelloni
Tasting notes:
Award: Alternative Drinks Bronze 2024
Tasting Note: "Fruit blossom and pear nose with a balanced, floral characters, pleasant acidity, with white flowers".
Category: Perry, 100% Pear
ABV 5.5%
Ageing length: 18 months
Unoaked, Non-certified Organic, Vegan, sustainable production methods

IWSC Gold Award 2023
IWSC (International Wines and Spirits Competitions)
Broughton Bank Perry & Cider
Medium 1oz Cider 2020
From: England
Tasted by: Freddy Bulmer, Vincenzo Arnese, Adam Well, Alistair Morrell
Award: Alternative Drinks Bronze 2022
Tasting Note: "A focused cider with intense tropical fruit notes running throughout. The nose is ripe and appealing with a clean cantaloupe melon note, leading to a rich, complex palate. Layers of fruit are complimented by hints of tea leaf and camomile, ending on a lip-smacking finish."
Category: Still Cider, 100% Apple
ABV 5%
Ageing length: 32 months
Unoaked, Non-certified Organic, Vegan, sustainable production methods

From the Westmorland Gazette 2 August 2023, by Daniel Pye
AN ORGANIC cider producer has won a gold award from the International Wine and Spirit Competition.
John Hibbert only started Broughton Bank Perry and Cider four years ago but is already enjoying the fruits of his labour. He started an organic perry and cider business near Cartmel after planting vintage varieties of apples and pears for over 15 years with the aim of reinvigorating the Lake District cider tradition.
While ciders are known for coming from Somerset and Herefordshire, northern England and Scotland have their own traditions of cider houses as they are using one of the most abundant fruits in the country.
All apples are picked by hand. The perry and cider are made from pure fresh juice from local fruit with natural fermentation without any additives such as sulphites, making it gluten-free and vegan.
John supplies Low Sizergh Barn near Kendal, Yew Tree Barn in Newton in Cartmel, local pubs and community events. People can purchase his drinks directly from his cider house at Broughton Bank.
He said: "I am proud. I think it's a triumph of no additives really. The only thing that is added is sugar after fermentation. It's a real confirmation that natural is best. I find it a very fulfilling occupation, it takes up a lot of time. A lot of houses have quite large orchards - lots of apples go to waste. So what I do is I go and pick them or people bring them to me and I give them a commission for using their apples, so it's also saving waste."
Sometimes John's son helps him but he mostly works on his own. He said: "Last year there was the most amazing harvest. I picked 11 or 12 cubic metres of apples. I was exhausted at the end of it."
He said this year the harvest will be smaller due to the weather being dry in spring and early summer, then wet more recently.
When asked what he thinks the future will be he said that now he had the gold for his cider he will focus more on the perry side of the business.
Perries are mostly known for Babycham but John wants to showcase what else the drink can offer.

IWSC Bronze Award 2022
IWSC (International Wines and Spirits Competitions)
Broughton Bank Perry & Cider
Broughton Bank Cider 2020
From: England
Tasted by: Ivan Dixon, Christine Parkinson, Timothy Falzon, Alistair Morrell
Award: Alternative Drinks Bronze 2022
Tasting Note: "Generous and fruity, bursting with ripe pear and bruised apple, alongside fresh melon and kiwi. "
Category: Still Cider, 100% Apple
ABV 5.1%
Ageing length: 19 months

From the Westmorland Gazette 14 July 2022, by Darren Shield
A CRAFTER of Cumbrian cider has won a prestigious gong for his traditionally-made drinks. John Hibbert, of Broughton Bank Perry and Cider in Cartmel, has won a Bronze medal in the International Wine and Spirits Challenge.
John, a former restaurateur in Oxford, planted his first vintage cider apple trees back in 2007 and began to sell his wares three years ago.
"I started out thinking I'd make it for myself and my friends - production is completely dependent on the weather in any given year," he said.
"My ciders are fermented through natural yeast with no sulphites. I try to add nothing to the finished product and every batch I make is different."
"Cumbria has a long history of cider - every farm would have a dedicated apple tree, and at hay time the workers would all drink the cider made from it."
"Perry is such a fascinating product - people generally only know it as Babycham now but perry was drunk as a substitute for wine when Britain couldn't get French wine in the Napoleonic wars."
"The local South Lakes Orchard Group (SLOG) sent samples of one local pear I pick away for DNA analysis - it turned out not to be in the national database so we had the opportunity to name it The Middle Birkby Pear [after the farm where it was found]."

Ulverston Beer Festival Best Cider in Festival
From the Northwest Evening Mail 7 September 2022 by Ambrose Young
A BOOZY event has been hailed a 'success' after thousands of pints were pulled over the duration of the event. Ulverston's three-day beer festival was held in The Coro Hall from Thursday to Saturday. And organisers have hailed it a success after more than 4,000 pints were handed over to more than 1,500 people.
"We always get customers to vote for their favourite beer and cider of the festival and this represents a fantastic result for our area as all three winners are local, despite having drinks from as far away as Kent and Orkney." The results of the winning drinks are:
Cask Ale: Roa Island Boat Club (Roa Island) - Daylight Robbery
Craft Ale: Utown (Ulverston) - Peaches and Cream
Cider: Broughton Bank (Cartmel) - Medium Sweet

Perry and Cider Vinegar too

Ciderman also naturally brews both Perry and Cider vinegar, using the same principles as the Perry and Cider.

100% juice from 100% local fruit.

It's brewed with the natural vinegar ‘mother’ with all its health-giving properties.

Back to the top

Come and try it!

Ciderman sells direct to the public only from Broughton Bank.

Want to help at harvest time? Get in touch.

Address: Broughton Bank, Cartmel, Cumbria, LA11 7SH


Hours of operation: Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 6pm, Sundays midday - 4pm
Map of the area - it's just by Broughton Bank Cottage from Cartmel Holiday Cottages

Back to the top

Finding Broughton Bank Perry and Cider

From Cartmel take the main road north towards Newby Bridge. Leaving Cartmel village and in open farmland, take the first left turn. Follow this road past Aynsome Manor Hotel and up the hill at Greenbank. Pass Greenbank Farm on the bend and at the top bear right at the junction.
After 400 yards / 0.25 miles the driveway is on the left.
There’s another route, avoiding Cartmel, south from the A590 via Field Broughton. It avoids the steep hills on minor roads which aren’t gritted in cold weather. Turn left off the A590 by Staveley, just after the end of the dual carriageway, signed ‘Cartmel 4’.
Carry on for about 2½ miles before turning right for Wood Broughton, the 3rd right hand turning in quick succession after Field Broughton church. After ½ mile bear left, again for Wood Broughton. After 600 yards / 0.3 miles the driveway will be on the right.
There’s a sign saying “Broughton Bank” to the left of the gateway. follow the drive up to the house and park beside it. Walk round the house to the right and follow the track to the barn and outbuildings.
Navigating by satnav, take care when using the postcode as it points considerably further (3 – 400 yards) to the northeast; the decimal latitude / longitude co-ordinates are 54.218945, 2.9549446. Always worth stopping off at Cartmel!

Back to the top

What my customers are saying

100% NON-genuine drinkers' reviews

John's cider is lovely!

John Smith Cider Lovers UK

Proper cider like you'd get in the West Country.


You can taste the apples and the sunshine. Bliss to sit in the garden and sip a glass of cider.


Cider vinegar available now too. So many medicinal uses.


So pleased to find a real artisan cider maker.


If you have any spare apples, get in touch with Ciderman. He'll come and pick them and you get cider in return!

Places brave enough to serve my cider

Back to the top