Founded in 1816, in the heart of Somerset, Sheppy’s Cider produce traditional ciders from home-grown apples. David Sheppy is their sixth-generation cider-maker, the latest in 200 years of Masters of Cider based at the Sheppy’s family apple orchards and House of Cider in Taunton. We recently took the chance to ask a few questions to David to discover more about the Sheppy’s Cider collection stocked by Matthew Clark.
What’s the story behind Sheppy’s Cider, how did it all begin?
It was in 1816 that my great, great, great grandfather picked and pressed his first batch of apples on his Somerset farm and the rest, as they say, is history.
Sheppy’s is steeped in a cider-making tradition that goes back centuries, making us one of the oldest cider makers in the world. We have a healthy respect for tradition – but that’s not to say we’re outdated! Over the years we have invested over £3.5 million in our production facilities, including installing a new apple pressing facility, new bottling and kegging lines, plus new stainless steel vats with modern thermal jackets to keep up with the growing demand for premium craft cider. This year we have taken the next step in the Sheppy’s evolution and brought in new branding for our range, which was shortlisted for an award at the Beer & Cider Marketing Awards.
How would you describe the Sheppy’s Cider collection?
Sheppy’s Cider is proud to stock three key lines with Matthew Clark that showcase some of the very best in award-winning premium Somerset cider. The Sheppy’s Classic Draught Cider is one of our strongest performing lines and a fantastic gateway into exploring the Sheppy’s range with a classic celebration of full-flavoured Somerset character. The Sheppy’s 200 Special Edition Cider (previously known as ‘Old Conky’) was launched last year and symbolises Sheppy’s rich 200-year-old heritage in a traditional blend of modern apples with an elegant, modern twist. The Sheppy’s Oakwood Cider is on the more traditional end of the spectrum and slightly dryer also.
In short, we would describe the Sheppy’s range in Matthew Clark as a strong trio of award-winning craft ciders – a collection that will signpost any bar, restaurant or pub’s position as a premium outlet for discerning drinkers who enjoy the full flavours of real craft Somerset cider. Our family business has been winning accolades both at home and around the world, including two Great Taste awards this summer, proving that Somerset is still the beating heart at the middle of the global craft cider movement.
How is Sheppy’s Cider produced?
We were founded in 1816. Two centuries later, we’re still here and still championing the same methods to make our cider that were used generations ago - balanced with the very best of modern technology. Every drop is genuinely crafted using homegrown apples and naturally occurring wild yeasts.
There is no secret recipe. It's simply about the experience and craftsmanship...By David Sheppy, Master of Cider
There is no secret recipe. It's simply about the experience and craftsmanship that has come from 200 years of knowledge and cider making, passed down through six generations of Masters of Cider before me.
What’s the best way to enjoy Sheppy’s Cider?
Ask any Sheppy’s fan and their answer will be different. Some will say that they enjoy it perfectly chilled on a hot summer’s day in their local pub garden – others will say that they love it warm and mulled on a crisp Autumn day. We’re not going to say that anyone is right or wrong, nor are we going to say that there is just one ‘best way’ to enjoy it – we know there are so many!
Here at our House of Cider near Taunton we have a resident chef who loves working our cider into his menu – just this month we served scallops cooked in cider, which was brilliantly received by our customers.
When it comes to pairing with food, premium menus that require the finest ingredients shouldn’t skimp with a sub-par cider – a Sheppy’s Cider is perfectly situated to go alongside high-quality ingredients and the best of British produce.
Finally, what’s special about your ciders and why should an outlet stock them?
Sheppy's is a true artisan brand with a rich heritage spanning 200 years that I am proud to bring forward into the 21st century. From apple to bottle, I like to be involved with every drop of cider that bears the Sheppy's name. Experience, instinct and knowledge are key to all my ciders and nothing leaves the family farm in Somerset without my signature on it - it's my personal guarantee of quality and provenance.
The Sheppy's collection of ciders have been created so that the discerning drinker - and the retailer - can explore and choose which one is right for them. Crafted by one of the oldest cider makers in the world, each one represents what we believe to be best in class.
Thank you David. You can find more information about Sheppy's Cider here. If you want to stock Sheppy's Cider, click here to place an order online now, or here to request an account with us; and don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your spirits range is a success, from free menu design and print services to barware.