Summer is a great time to get in to Cider (or Cyder, depending on where you’re from)!

We’re lucky enough here to work with some of the best local cider producers, from Ascension with their fruity blends to Nightingale with their crisp and brilliantly made wild ferment cider.

We’re also lucky to be able to work with some of best producers from the rest of the country's best cider producing regions, including The Newt and Pilton in Somerset.

Much like beer – the styles and range available are endless and much like malt and hops, different apple varieties will give different flavours and different fermenting and cellaring processes will add to the ciders’ individual flavour.

Locally, we’ve worked with Nightingale, based in Tenterden, for many years now. Sam and Olly are making some of the best cider in the UK right now – with a particularly interesting and exciting range of Pet Nat ciders too (of which we’re looking forward to the next vintages of soon!)

My pick of their bunch is their ‘Wild Disco’ cider – produced with Kentish Discovery apples it’s really fresh and clean, with that juicy lovely red apple flavour you get from Discovery apples, a hint of rose on the nose and a dry finish.

Etchingham is home to another favourite of ours locally – Ascension Cider. Matt Billing loves to throw the rule book out when it comes to producing his ciders – he produces a fantastic set of straight up, apple only ciders such as ‘Pilot’ but he also produces some really wonderful fruit infused ciders (and occasionally Beetroot, which trust me, really works!).

Shimmy’ is a big favourite of ours here, a juicy, pineapple infused cider. Matt is also a hot air balloon pilot in his spare time, hence "Ascension".

Further afield, The Newt, based down in Somerset, produce some outstanding cyder. They’ve won numerous awards for their drinks produced on their estate and have a stunning hotel and restaurant too if you happen to be in the area.

Somerset, much like Kent, has the perfect soil and climate for growing apples. The Newt’s approach is to apply wine making techniques to their production on their state of art kit.

One of my picks has to be their ‘Fine Rose Cyder’ – produced with Red Love apples giving the Cyder it’s pale rose colour and a lovely light flavour of strawberry & cranberry and a well balanced finish. It’s a perfect Summer sipper, drink it like a wine (just without the abv!)

Finally, Pilton Cider. Another Somerset producer who focus on producing Ciders using an artisan method known as ‘Keeving’. Put simply, it means that the cider is naturally sweetened – so no added sugar. By stopping the fermentation process before it’s fully finished means the yeast does not finish drying out the cider, leaving it naturally sweeter. From this base, Pilton are able to produce a variety of ciders and blends.

Tamoshanta’ is my pick of the bunch – it’s finished in Scotch Whisky barrels which gives this wonderfully fruity cider a touch of vanilla and smoke.