Tradition is behind our philosophy of Rough Old Wife cider making
Real cider is facing the same issue that real ale did 25 years ago with the number
of outlets for cider rapidly diminishing. As a result of this CAMRA set up a cider
and perry committee (APPLE) within CAMRA to inform consumers about the choice of
real cider and perry and to encourage producers to continue production.
Recent reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy have resulted in landowners being
paid for "grubbing up" their trees. In a worst case scenario without trees there
will be no fruit and without the fruit there will be no cider or perry.
At Hawkins Rough Orchard with Defra help we helped restore the orchard to full glory
and are a full supporter of the CAMRA real cider and perry campaign to ensure we
preserve and more importantly bring our Kent cider to a new generation. The orchard
is also helped in it's pollination by our own bee hives producing a delicious honey
known as Petham Vale - this keeps our process completely in tune with nature and
maintains the best of conservation practises.
Rough Old Wife cider (ROW) has therefore been made strictly to the guidelines being
promoted by CAMRA’s Real Cider & Perry campaign:
These are as follows:
The liquid content before fermentation must consist entirely of non-pasteurized apple
(cider), or pear (perry) juice.
ROW: 100% apple juice entirely from ancient, unsprayed or heritage and community
mixed variety apple trees.
No apple or pear juice concentrates to be used.
ROW: No additional juice or concentrate has been added at any stage of our cider
Normally, only the sugar naturally available in the fruit should be used to cause
fermentation, but in years when the level of natural sugar in the fruit is low, the
addition of extraneous sugar to aid fermentation is acceptable.
ROW: We have not added sugar, our mixed variety apples ensure a good balance between
sweetness and acidity and the natural yeasts present are sufficient to generate a
No pasteurization to take place during the production process in relation to the
ROW: Our cider is completely un-pasteurised maturing for nearly 1 year in oak whisky
casks before being freshly decanted into hygienic airtight bag-in-box. This provides
you with a natural refreshing drink with no loss of essential ingredients.