Mike Johnson (pictured left in his cider cellar), owner of the Ross-on-Wye Cider and Perry Company at Broome Farm, Peterstow, Herefordshire, is this year's winner of CAMRA's Pomona award after a series of glowing nominations from CAMRA members and people within the cider and perry industry. Johnson was singled out particularly for his work in nurturing new talent in the cider world.
One individual who nominated Mike Johnson for the Pomona Award 2009, said:
'Mike (Johnson) is a very good cider-maker but the reason why he deserves to win this award is nothing to do with his skill in this respect. In short, the cider and perry community owes Mike a huge debt of gratitude for his selfless dedication to helping encourage new producers to enter the market, even though they are in direct competition with him. This attitude, combined with his interests in ecology and benefitting the local community through holding an annual Cider Festival is reason enough to give Mike this award.'The Pomona Award is named after the Roman Goddess of apples and is presented by CAMRA to the person, place or thing who has done the most to promote real cider or perry primarily over the previous twelve months and secondarily, where there is no outstanding contender in the last twelve months, for ongoing work.
Mike Johnson, Pomona Award 2009 winner, said:
'I am very surprised to win as I didn't even know I'd been nominated. It's really gratifying for me and the team of people that put a lot of work into being hospitable and encouraging more people to make cider. I started producing myself in 1984, and it's great there's been a renewed interest in real cider in recent years.'CAMRA's Cider and Perry Committee also noted that while Johnson's extensive charity work- which has seen him donate significant sums to development charities around the world- was not a factor behind his success in the Pomona Awards 2009, his willingness to help others is nevertheless a key reason why he has contributed so much to the cider and perry industry.
Sarah Newson, Vice Chair of CAMRA's Cider and Perry Committee, said:
'It is with great pleasure that we have chosen Mike (Johnson) as the winner of the Pomona Award 2009. CAMRA's Cider and Perry Committee agreed there wasn't a more deserving winner to be found in the industry and we hope he can educate and influence cider and perry producing enthusiasts for years to come.'The connection with Wales is that Broome farm is where Seidr Dai cider and perry is juiced before being transported back to Wales to be fermented.