News and Reviews


Drinks industry IrelandRecent Cider Ireland press tasting was held in Dublin. Write up of it here in the Drinks Industry Magazine






Highbank 2014 harvest youtube stillHarvest 2014 for the organic apples at Highbank Orchards, watch the video here







Stonewell won Gold at the BBI Awards 2014 for their Finbarra Cider, in the 5.5% and above category.


DanKelly Examiner OCt14Dan Kelly’s are “Of the Week” in the Irish Examiner of 18 October 2014




Irish Times Magazine, and John Wilson selects his white wines and cider for autumn, full piece here

The Dovehill Orchard Apple Juice has won GOLD at the Blas Sna hEireann national food awards in Dingle in October 2014, and also won Best in Farmers market in Co. Tipperary.



Cider Ireland logo illustration ARTThe Irish Times magazine supplement of 26th March, “Food Island”, celebrates all that is great about food and drink produced in

Ireland. There was an article on Con Traas, 

The Apples Farmer, and Cider Ireland, along with Longueville House, Llewelyn’s and Highbank Orchards are all mentioned


Great news with recent medal winners:

Katy 2011

David Llewelyn‘s 2011 Katy Reserve gets a Pomme d’Or award at Frankfurt’s International Cider Fair

for more:

Great Lakes Intl Comp 2014

and both The Armagh Cider Co. and The Cider Mill, Slane are medal winners at the 2014 Great Lakes International Competition in Michegan.

for more:


Stonewell Cider was a winner at the recent Irish Food Writers Guild Awards, you can read more about this on Pól Ó Conghaile’s blog here: “The IFWG awards recognise and reward producers of the highest quality food together with industry stalwarts who devote their lives to supporting and promoting Irish food.”



The Inaugural Cider Ireland Craft Cider Competition
Following on from the success of the inaugural Apple and Cider Festival at the Apple Farm in 2012 Cider Ireland was pleased to announce the launch of a cider competition based principally upon the characteristics of the product. It was also pleased to announce that 3 prominent individuals from within the cider and food sphere agreed to judge class submissions with absolute impartiality and most essentially feedback. Our thanks go to Alex Hill, from Vigo UK, Tomás Clancy from the Sunday Business Post and Leslie Williams from The Irish Examiner.

The awards were as follows:

Dry Cider

  • Best in Class: Tempted? Cider
  • Highly commended: Mac’s Armagh Cider
  • Highly commended: The Cider Mill

Medium Dry Cider

  • Best in Class: The Cider Mill
  • Highly Commended: Tempted? Cider


Sweet Cider

Best in Class: MacIvors Cider

Highly Commended: Highbanks Orchard.




Taste & Presentation

  • Best in Class: Longueville House
  • Highly Commended: Craigies and MacIvors



Cider made from Fresh Juice (no  image available)

  • Best in Class: Glassdrumman Cider
  • Highly Commended: Dovehill Orchard (James O’Donohue), W.S. Davis, Con Traas, Fota House Volunteers



At Euro-Toques Food Awards in May 2013, sponsored by EirGrid, Ireland’s top chefs honoured farmers, fishermen and producers who have ensured the survival of some of our most traditional food produce through enterprise and innovation. All five awards, presented at a reception hosted by Ella McSweeney in Residence Club on St. Stephen’s Green this afternoon, went to businesses involving foods with a long history in Ireland’s food and farming heritage.

Two of these awards went to Cider Ireland members:

David Llewellyn of Llewllyn Orchard, Lusk, Co. Dublin an apple grower who, over the course of 10 years has innovated and added value to his apples producing a range of excellent products including juices, cider, cider & apple balsamic vinegar, and apple syrup.


William O’Callaghan, producer of Longueville House Cider, near Mallow, Co. Cork – 3 years ago William launched this cider, produced exclusively with the apples from the 23 acres of orchards on the Longueville estate, onto the market.

“It is important to look to traditional farm products and food production in Ireland to understand what is most suited to our land and climate”, said Ruth Hegarty, Secretary-General of Euro-Toques Ireland at the awards, “But in order for these traditions to survive we must have innovation. All of today’s winners have been innovative in the way they have added value to their product and brought it to market, getting it as close to the final consumer as possible. This is what will ensure the survival of quality traditional farming”.

Apples are native to this land and orchards have long formed part of the traditional garden. But apple cultivation has been threatened by cheap imports, high costs and unpredictable weather. The innovations of growers like David Llewellyn and William O’Callaghan, along with other like-minded apple producers, in developing added value products and marketing direct has allowed the survival of this traditional industry. The Euro-Toques Food Awards are unique in that producers cannot enter or lobby for awards, they must be nominated by Euro-Toques member chefs. The Euro-Toques Food Council considers the list of nominations, taking into account taste, production methods, provenance and many other factors in order to select just 5 recipients who stand out in that year.


Armagh Cider Company

Armagh Cider Company has received two awards at the Irish Quality Food & Drink Awards September 2013, at a prestigious ceremony in Dublin. Sponsored by The Benson Group, the awards were held in Dublin’s Round Room at the Mansion House, presented by leading Irish Chef, Neven Maguire, and were organised by Food and Hospitality Ireland backed by the UK Quality Food & Drink Awards. Founded in 2005 by the Troughton Family, they are still the only Cider Company in the North of Ireland who handle all operations ‘from blossom to bottle’.

Mark Troughton, Director at Armagh Cider said, “We are thrilled to have received awards for our AJ Apple Juice and Maddens Mellow Armagh Cider. This was a prestigious event which attracted over 350 entries and showcases product excellence. We are honoured that our products were selected in the Cold Beverages and Cider categories.”

The Troughton family have been growing apples on their farm for over 5 generations. The first commercial producer in County Armagh, they produce a range of Ciders and Apple Juices primarily using Armagh Bramley Apples which have recently received a PGI status. Once the apples are picked, they are pressed, fermented, blended and bottled in their purpose built cidery based on their farm at Ballinteggart, Portadown; providing full security and control throughout the entire process.

To date this year, the company have also won two Bronze medals at the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Competition held in Michigan, two Bronze awards at the International Cider Challenge, a Silver Medal at the Royal Bath and West Society Show and 3 one star awards at the Great Taste Awards.


In March, Stuart Clark of Hot Press magazine asks How Do You Like Them Apples, read the full piece here: Hot Press Craft Cider spread Mar 2013

Corinna Hardgrave’s article that appeared in the Sunday Times (Irish edition) of 11th November 2012 is available to read here:

Sunday Times Cider page 1

Sunday Times Cider page 2

Stonewell Cider is to be exported to Italy. Clipping from the Sunday Business Post of 21 October 2012: 






The 10th edition of John & Sally McKenna’s Irish Food Guide has hit the shelves, (“highly respected and thorough” Condé Nast traveller, “Ireland’s leading food critics.. the wise traveller pays close heed to their recommendations” The New York Times) and we are delighted with the inclusion of so many cider producers this year. Writing about craft cider the couple say

There is a strong tradition of both making and drinking cider in Ireland… good orchards were widespread in Ireland dating back centuries… Then cider fell out of favour and many of the orchards were destroyed… All that is changing again now, with a burst of  producers blossoming throughout the country. Recently, Bramley apples from Armagh have been awarded protected geographical indication status.

Toby’s Cider “what is notable about Craig and Karen’s ciders is that they use the traditional rack-and-cloth press technique and the ciders are bottle conditioned, with the final fermentation occuring in the bottle”

Tempted? Ciders from DJ’s Juice & Cider “hunt down the Tempted? cider in pubs and good wines shops”

Mac’s Armagh Cider “Sean McAtee is a true artisan cider maker, and a crusader”

Armagh Cider Company “The Troughton family have been growing apples at Ballinteggart House for four generations”

Stonewell Irish Craft Cider “Don’t confuse Stonewell with commercial Irish ciders: this is the real deal”

Highbank Organic Orchards “Their brand new dry cider and Drivers’s cider are two more inspired creations”

Llewellyn’s Orchard Produce David “has simply gotten better and better , and he has that alchemist’s touch”

The Apple Farm “Con Traas is the finest farmer of his generation… His produce is superlative…”


In the Sunday Business Post of 16th September 2012 Tomás Clancy writes about the history of cider production in Ireland and also includes some guidelines for when buying artisan cider “First assure yourselves that the cider producers are personally involved in the process and that it is not a coy cover story for a quasi-industrial blend. Second, make sure the cider is made from pressed apple juice sourced in Ireland, from Irish orchards not concentrate” something we can assure you our members do. For more, read the full article here:

Cider house rules Sunday Business Post 16 Sept 2012.


Ella McSweeney

Broadcast on Saturday 15th September, Ella McSweeney (right) talks to Con Traas of The Apple Farm on RTE Radio One’s Countrywide

Listen here.



photo by Con Traas


The Irish Examiner

Roz Crowley writing in the Irish Examiner on 6th July 2012 chooses Longueville House Cider as the Star Buy

most refreshing drink we sampled and the best one to have with food

For more read the full piece here: rozfood


The Kilkenny People 

Photo: Eoin Hennessy Photography/ as it appears in the Kilkenny People

In the edition of 21 June 2012 the Kilkenny People visit Rod and Julie Calder-Potts of Highbank Orchards


First they brought us organic apple juice, and then came their award-winning apple syrup. And now the Bridgestone Guide-recognised Highbank Orchards have introduced an organic cider…

… Known as Highbank Proper Cider, it has a natural colour, and because there is no added sugar it simply tastes like … apples.

(There is also a non-alcoholic, unfermented version called Driver’s Cider.)

You can read the full article on the Kilkenny People website.



photo by Con Traas

Apple of Armagh’s eyeFrom its 6,000 acres of apple trees, the Orchard county is making dry and sweet varieties of cider that deserve attention, writes John Wilson in The Irish Times  on 30th June 2012.

Cider has seen an enormous growth in popularity in recent years. Real cider bears little resemblance to the mass-produced product, although all the apple-growers I met acknowledged the importance of large companies such as Bulmers to the industry.

You can the full article here: 30-06-12 Irish Times Art..


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