Herefordshire cidermaker Denis Gwatkin of Abbeydore was recently awarded a tankard by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, to celebrate twenty-five years of campaigning for cider and perry. One of only ten recipients of this award in the whole of the country, Denis has won numerous awards for his cider and perry over the years. It’s a double celebration for Denis as well, as he has just completed the installation of two giant wooden fermenting vats of over one thousand gallons each, purchased from another Hereford cidermaker, Ivor Dunkerton. The traditional oak vats are well over sixty years old and help give an oaky character to the cider, something that is appreciated by the more discerning cider drinker.
According to Denis Gwatkin, “It’s a great accolade from CAMRA coming after all the years of effort that all the staff at the farm have put in. And not just our farm, our neighbours across the valley often find themselves giving us a hand! It’s also great that these two wooden vats are going to be used for cidermaking for years to come; Ivor Dunkerton has made sure that these historic vats have gone to a good home and are going to be fermenting apple juice into cider well into the future.”
Denis Gwatkin produces over thirty different ciders and perries throughout the year at his farm and these are often seen at CAMRA beer festivals nationwide as well as in local pubs and off-licenses.
Gwatkin Cider is also sold from the farm shop at Moorhampton Park Farm in Abbey Dore, as well as at around one hundred shows around the country throughout the year. The family-run farm also plays host to a three-day music festival at the end of July.
Denis and his team - Mickey, Fluff and Adam