National Real Cider & Perry Month

Within CAMRA is a group called APPLE – the ‘Apple & Pear Liaison Executive’ who campaign for the availability of real cider & perry.

Whilst some may argue the Campaign for Real Ale has been won, the one for real cider & Perry certainly hasn’t with very few pubs and bars offering a range of the real thing.

At a basic level, the definition of REAL Cider & Perry is that which is made from nothing more than fermented fresh apple or pear juice – no use of concentrates, artificial flavouring, gas or industrial processes.

National Real Cider & Perry Month is celebrated in October as that is when apples are harvested and traditional cider makers are busy pressing that fresh crop!


The Dronfield & District sub branch are pleased to announce the winner of their Cider Pub of the Year competition, voted for by local members, as the Three Tuns in Dronfield.

The Three Tuns being a Spire brewery run pub surprises many people by making as much effort to offer a good range of cider as well as their beer, although with the success of cider at the pub Spire Brewery has started to dabble in cider making with a test batch made towards the end of last year sold at the pub during the Three Valleys Festival in June.

The Tuns offers a regularly changing range of cider and perry of varying strengths and sweetness, all served cellar cool. In addition to the real ciders there are usually also some fruit flavoured variations, together making up a choice of around 13. A list of the current choice can be found on the bar.

The Three Tuns will be Dronfield’s entry into the Derbyshire round of the national competition.


We now invite nominations for this award from our members. Any pub in the City of Sheffield plus the parts of Derbyshire that fall into our branch area (including Killamarsh and the Hope Valley) are eligible if they serve real cider and/or perry.

The purpose of the award is to recognise those pubs that are making the effort to offer and promote real cider and real perry and serve it in a good, enjoyable condition.

The deadline for nominations is the start of our January branch meeting where we will vote for the winner, which will form our entry into the regional round of the national competition.


Woodthorpe Hall in Holmesfield, near Dronfield, produces one artisan cider – Owd Barker – along with a sweetened version called Rubie Suzie.

The apple pressing to make this cider takes place each October and is undertaken by a merry band of volunteers recruited by Woodthorpe Hall owner and resident Dick Shepley – they are friends, relatives, business acquaintances  and CAMRA members.

The CAMRA members are from Sheffield, Dronfield and Chesterfield branches. We get to Woodthorpe Hall about 11am and introduce ourselves to the others and help out until the lunch break, we then have a walk back up into the village for a drink and bite to eat before returning and getting involved with the work – this includes carrying wheelbarrow loads of apples from the storage area on the drive to the pressing area, washing apples, pulping, digging out the pulp and taking it the pressing area, pressing, bottling the juice, transporting the juice to the fermentation tanks and emptying the bottles of juice into the fermenters.

The volunteers are looked after, there is a tea break with homemade cakes and hot drinks and once all work is complete there is opportunity to relax with a cider or two as reward.

To get there:

From Sheffield we catch the Stagecoach 43 bus at 9:55am from Sheffield to Dronfield Woodhouse and connect onto TM Travel bus 16 onwards up to Holmesfield.

From the Chesterfield and Dronfield area the TM Travel bus 14 to Holmesfield picks up at Chesterfield 10:10, Hundall 10:25, Apperknowle 10:28, Coal Aston 10:36, Dronfield Civic Centre (where it becomes a route 16) 10:44 and Dronfield Woodhouse Stubley Lane 10:47.

From  Barlow, TM Travel bus 16A departs at 10:24.

If you intend on attending the apple pressing, please let Dronfield social secretary Nick Wheat know beforehand as places are limited.


About Andy Cullen

Andy has been actively involved in CAMRA since the early 2000s after being recruited to sit on a National Younger Members Task Group. Since then he has held roles on the branch committee including Secretary, Membership Secretary, Magazine Editor, Chair and now Social Secretary. Andy has also been involved with the Steel City Beer & Cider Festival almost every year since becoming active in the branch.

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