Introducing TURNERS GOLD

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With the first signs of Spring we bring you a new limited edition draught cider in 20 litre boxes.

Turners Gold is a low abv (4%) cloudy apple cider, a blend of Kentish dessert and cooking apples, back-sweetened with the fresh juice of Cheerfull Gold apples.

It’s totally juicy and yummy and bursting with flavour!

Turners Gold is available now in 20 litre bag-in-boxes only.

Harvest is back on 10 September 2016

_MG_8790.JPGHarvest is back! This year’s festival will be on Saturday 10 September at the same location on Loddington Farm, Linton.

Same drill as last year: live bands all day and evening, lots of great food, fun for the kids, and a well stocked bar with cider (of course!), local real ale, wines and gin.

We’ve also got plans to make it bigger and better. The Party Barn, our main stage, will be back. But we plan to make more of the second acoustic tent which worked so well.

And we’ll have camping available for the Saturday night.

So keep up to date with all the latest festival news on the Harvest 2016 website or on the Turners Cider Facebook and Twitter pages.

In the meantime, get your tickets!

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We’re having a festival

Harvest Music Festival poster ALT

You may have noticed we’re having a festival.

It’s a celebration of music and musicians and of cider and of having a good time.

We’ve got a few surprises up our sleeve, but we’ve already announced a fantastic line up that should secure a great crowd.

We’ve got:

  • Rock goddesses The Pearl Harts
  • Local soulsters Millie Mae
  • Folkestone trio Rudy Warman & the Heavy Weather
  • Hackney alt rock outfit MOTH TRAP
  • Surfer dude Lee Golledge
  • 50s R&B band The Devil’s Cut Combo
  • Soulful singer songwriter Daniel Glover

It’s a really young exciting line up of original artists. We’re so proud to have them playing the first Harvest Music Festival.

If you want to come along make sure you buy a ticket in advance from See Tickets to avoid missing out.

We’re going to have a party. You don’t want to miss it!

Phil Turner

Recognition for Turners Cider at the British Cider Championships


I’ve never been so pleased to come fourth.

Just to get some recognition for our cider is great, and of all places at the British Cider Championships at the Bath & West Show, in the heart-land of West Country cider.

You see we make Eastern Counties cider. Made from only eating and cooking apples, with no bittersweet cider apples. We do that because these are the apples that grow in our back garden in Marden.

But some say it’s not true cider because it doesn’t contain true cider apples. They say Eastern Counties cider has “no backbone”. What they mean is that it’s very low on the tannins that cider apples bring. But it has other qualities: many like it because it is light, it’s refreshing and, at it’s best, comparable to a good white wine. And most people I know prefer it to a West Country cider.

Our Dry Cider was “Very Highly Commended” by Bath & West judges including Martin Thatcher of Thatcher’s Cider, Nick Bradstock of the National Association of Cider Makers and Commander Rupert Best, Master of the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers.

It’s a blend of five dessert apple varieties selected because they grow in the orchards around Marden and because they each have different characteristics – both as eating apples and as ciders. 

Many are grown organically, all are grown for the fresh market (ie not for juice) and all are hand-picked from the tree in the Autumn.

We then ferment the apple juices separately over the Winter months before blending in the Spring. This year’s Dry Cider blend took several attempts – but we got there in the end.

We were happy with it and happy to talk proudly about it when selling to customers. But it’s also nice to get some external recognition.

We’re off to the Bath & West Show

I’m on my way to the Bath & West Show where we have two of our ciders entered in what they say is the world’s biggest cider competition.

Of all our ciders it’s the Dry Cider and Medium Cider that I’m most proud of.

The Dry Cider is a blend of five dessert apple varieties, each chosen for a different characteristic that they bring – colour, aroma and, of course, flavour. We then blend them in different proportions so they complement each other and we get a balanced drink.

One of the fascinating things this year is how different each variety was to the previous year. My tasting notes show some marked changes in characteristics. No surprise really, the growing conditions in 2013 and 2014 couldn’t have been more different.

But it meant that we had to redo the Dry Cider blend. It took a few goes but I think we’ve got it.

Our Medium Cider is a different blend of dessert and culinary apples, whereas last year we just sweetened the Dry. I think it’s a more interesting drink for the new blend.

We sweeten it with fresh-pressed apple juice, rather than sugar or an artificial sweetener, which adds a new dimension.

Unlike the Dry Cider it’s pasteurised, though both are unfiltered.

I can’t wait to see them in the cider and orchards tent at the show today. Apparently there’ve already been some comments about how different they look to the majority of entrants!

To Russia with love

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Life takes some funny twists and turns. I’m still learning to open myself to the possibilities.

When I had a call from Russia last summer asking about the possibility of exporting our cider, I presumed it was a joke. I was still operating Turners Cider out of our garden shed. But my Russian caller had tasted our Dry Cider in the Harp in Covent Garden and liked it and could he come and visit my “cider factory” in Marden and perhaps visit our “tasting room”.

In hindsight I did everything I could to put them off.

You’re very welcome to visit the cider factory and have a tasting in the tasting room, I said, but please understand that both those places are my garden shed, where I also keep the lawn mower.

Anyway Konstantin and Nataly duly came to Marden on a scorching hot summer’s day and we stood in my over-heating shed and drank my cider. I then took them for a tour of Peter Hall’s orchards in Marden, where we source most of our fruit, and for a meal in The Stile Bridge, where they drank some more of my cider (I drank beer).

That day was also notable for the last minute panic of May’s lost passport and a mad rush to Liverpool to get a new one before we travelled to Spain for our summer holiday. (We think one of the children tidied the passport into the kitchen bin, though we’ll never know.)

Nine months later and Konstantin and Nataly have just visited Marden again. This time they brought vinegar factory owner Yury so May could teach him the fundamentals of chutney making.

And now we’re about to send our first shipment to their pub Hamilton’s in Belgorod. We’re in fine cider company, on the bar at Hamilton’s along side Hecks, Hallets and Hogan’s.

I never thought we’d be sending cider to Russia. But I love selling to people who love our cider, wherever they are.

Phil Turner

The best pubs in the world

In my car there’s a dog-eared copy of Alastair Sawday’s Pubs & Inns of England and Wales. It’s like my Bible, only with more booze and less violence.

For more than 10 years it’s made travelling around the country a joy rather than a chore. For, whenever we get hungry or thirsty, instead of stopping at the nearest service station, we look up the nearest “Sawday pub” and leave the motorway for the country lanes in search of it. Although my edition is getting a bit dated, it never fails to produce a decent pint, a good lunch and usually a picturesque village or two that we would have otherwise sped past.

When we arrive at our destination – usually Buxton, or Somerset, or Anglesey or the Lake District – someone usually asks “good journey, how long did it take you?”

To which the answer is usually “great journey, I’ve no idea. We found this great pub…” If we were counting the hours I guess the answer would be “all day”.

I’m about to embark on a journey round Kent and the south-east visiting a bunch of hand-picked pubs to sell our cider. How long will it take? The rest of my life, probably. Hopefully. 

We could have got someone else to do it. A distributor or a delivery guy. But where would be the joy in that? We’re going to do it ourselves, and take in the best pubs in the world along the way.

Phil Turner