Pilton Keeved Cider


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We are artisan producers at the heart of Somerset’s cider-land making whole juice sparkling cider by the old English method of keeving.
Apples are collected from traditional cider orchards in and around the parish of Pilton and slowly fermented for six months in our cool Victorian cellar before bottling.
Our cider is available to buy at specialist shops and online.



Keeving is a method of cider-making practised in England as far back as the mid 1600′s but long since replaced here by large-scale factory techniques. The process has survived in France, however, due to their more stringent rules on cider manufacture.
Fully ripe, bittersweet cider apples are collected and milled as usual but the pulp is left to stand for 24 hours. This maceration period allows the pulp to oxidise and for pectins to be released from the cell walls. The pulp is then pressed to give a thick, dark juice; rich in flavour.
After a week the pectin gel has formed and is lifted away from the clear juice by the first CO2 bubbles of a gentle wild yeast fermentation.
After a few days, a pectin gel, called the chapeau brun in France, floats to the surface and clear juice can be extracted from below. The gel is discarded along with most of the actively fermenting yeast and the nutrients it needs to fully ferment the apple sugars into alcohol.
The result is an only partially fermented cider, that retains much of its refreshing apple flavour and soft taste.
We bottle the keeved juice, before it has completed its long fermentation and allow it to mature into a superb cider.

Our Orchards

For fifty weeks of the year, the orchard at Worthy Farm is a very quiet place. Old cider trees stand gracefully in a narrow strip of land by a stream.
But for two weeks every year, things are very different. Glasto arrives!

The ‘Museum’ is the name we give to a very special orchard, planted by the Showerings to preserve the most rare of Somerset apple varieties. It is located within a private estate behind the Shepton Mallet Cider Mill, home of Gaymers, Addlestones & Taunton Cider and now owned by Magners GB.
The museum orchard with Magners vats towering behind
The orchard contains 88 varieties of cider apple that produce a great cider. We really enjoy using the fruit but it is hard work to collect as the trees are planted on a hill with the only access at the top. Every apple has to be wheel-barrowed out.
The orchard off Platterwell Lane is owned by Roy Trott, one of Somerset’s legendary cider-makers but is managed by Orchard Ground Force, the horticultural sister company to The Orchard Pig.
The magnificent trees are all classic Somerset varieties, planted in the traditional wide spacing and grazed by Roy’s dairy cows during the spring and early summer.

Morley’s is our own brand new orchard that has just been planted with the latest generation of cider apple varieties. Developed by Liz Copas and the National Association of Cider Makers from the best of traditional varieties, these have been chosen for their disease resistance, early cropping and regular harvest.
The orchard lies in the Pylle valley, just off the Fosse Way, with views beyond to the famous cider regions of East Pennard and West Bradley.

This is a classic English orchard; complete with Norman church, badger sett and a magnificent owl box in an ancient oak.
The orchard is part of Writh Farm, which adjoins the Glastonbury Festival site and once a year hosts the chic Land & Sky luxury camp site.

Pylle Halt was the old Somerset and Dorset railway station at Pylle, and is now a private house. The orchard contains traditional varieties, planted to a wide standard spacing on the old railway sidings.

Varieties at Pylle Halt:
Chisel Jersey
Kingston Black
Harry Masters Jersey
Yarlington Mill


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