Start-up’s sweet taste of success

A Berwick-based cider company has won a clutch of world medals at its first attempt.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 11:00 am
Phil Elliott in the Monkey House Cider fermenting shed. Picture by Alan Dearling.

Monkey House Cider took the bronze award in three categories of the International Cider Challenge 2021.

The competition attracted entries from 18 countries over four continents. Its blind-tasting panel of 30 judges announced their decision last Friday.

“We’re over the moon to get this kind of recognition so soon,” said Monkey House founder and cider-maker Phil Elliott.

“This has been our first year of production and we thought it was a bit early to be taking on the world. But we sent some samples to a cider expert just to get his advice, really, and he wrote straight back to say we’d be mad not to give it a go.”

The medal-winning ciders were See No Evil – made with apples from two estates in the Scottish Borders; Speak No Evil – an oak-aged cider made from Somerset apples; and Pineapple & Passionfruit – made from a mix of apples and tropical fruit. A fourth entry won praise from the judges, but did not quite make the medals.

Phil learned his craft in Somerset and has previously co-founded a small craft cider business in the Scottish Borders. His new venture is focused on traditional techniques and small-scale production to create both traditional and new-style drinks, including some craft beers.

Monkey House has been attracting attention from cider aficionados in recent weeks as its products are being stocked by bars and retailers from Newcastle to Edinburgh.