Cider & Perry


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What is Cider and Perry?
Cider and Perry Nationally 
Cider and Perry Locally 
Cider and Perry Pub of the Year 
Where to Drink Real Cider and Perry


Orchards are not just the name of nurseries, surgeries or primary schools in Derby, they are places of biodiversity each individually unique and purposeful. While providing a refuge for wildlife and settled soil for rare wildflowers, orchards also provide an income for hard pressed farmers and small scale cider and perry producers.

Calke Abbey Orchard - courtesy Gillian Hough
Photo courtesy of Gillian Hough.

What is Cider and Perry?

Most people have some idea how brewers produce beer but few know much about the processes involved in cider and perry production. The trick is firstly getting the tree to produce fruit and, when it is ripe, swiftly extracting the juice which is then fermented.  It is a bit of natural alchemy really, when you think about it, being able to create a refreshing alcoholic drink from a tree. It is something we have done in the UK for centuries and something we are rather good at. So lets set out some basics:

Cider is made from apples and while these can be special cider apples, normal desert apples and Bramleys can be used as well. The difference is in the mouthfeel and finish with the cider apples creating a more satisfying dry drink compared to the slightly sharp and thinner culinary fruit.

Photo courtsey of Gillian Hough

Perry is made from pears and most commonly Perry pears, which can be rock hard or quite soft, which dictates how quickly they have to be pressed. Generally Perry pears are smaller than the ones you eat and uglier with spots and bulges; but their tannin levels are high and their naturally occuring sorbitol ensures a delicate, slightly sweeter drink than cider.

Cider and Perry Nationally

CAMRA has a dedicated cider and perry committee which is tasked with informing consumers about the choice of real cider and perry available and encouraging producers to continue production.

More information can be be found on the CAMRA national website by clicking the link

Cider and Perry Locally

While Derbyshire is not one of the first areas we think of for cider or perry growing production, we have a number of orchards and interest in both products is growing all the time. Calke Abbey near Ticknell has a thriving orchard and they have been celebrating Apple Day on the weekend closest to the 21st of October for a number of years.

Calke Abbey Apple Day - courtesy of Gillian Hough
Photo courtesy of Gillian Hough.

Three Cats Cider - Involving the local community is behind the success of many Producers and Derby's very own Sue and Chris Rogers of Three Cats Cider are ever thankful for people offering apples, assisting with pressing and teaching others about the whole process. In 2013 the customers at Derby Winter Beer Festival voted Three Cats Cider as their overall favorite and in 2015 CAMRA Nationally judged the Three Cats Medium to be the third best cider in the whole of the UK.

Photo courtesy of Gillian Hough.

Woodthorpe Hall - Holmsfield.

Ashover Cider Company - Ashover.

Cider and Perry Pub of the Year


The 2023 Derby CAMRA Cider and Perry Pub of the Year is the Brunswick Inn.
The finalists are the Flowerpot and the Victoria.


The 2023 Derby CAMRA Cider and Perry Pub of the Year is the Brunswick Inn.


The 2022 Derby CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year is the Brunswick Inn.

The Finalists were: Alexandra Hotel and Smithfield.


The 2019 Derby CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year is the Brunswick Inn.


The 2018 Derby CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year is the Brunswick Inn.
Runners up are the Babington Arms and the Smithfield.


The 2017 Cider Pub of the Year is the Babington Arms.

Old Poets' Corner

In 2006 The Old Poets' Corner in Ashover, was judged by CAMRA to be the best Cider and Perry Pub in the UK. It was only the second time this National Award had been made and demonstrates the considerable skill and dedication of Kim and Jackie Beresford in running the pub. With a varied selection of draught ciders and perries both on the bar and in the cellar it's no wonder customers have travelled from far and wide to sample their wares. Kim said "Customers know they are getting something special when it comes up from the cellar" and it's the Beresford's belief and knowledge of the products and desire to include the local community which makes this pub constantly busy. This is a real winning formula.

Where to Drink Real Cider & Perry

Below are listed some of the places in the Derby CAMRA area where you can regularly taste real cider or real perry. For locations of these pubs please refer to the Derby Pubs page or click on the pub name below.

Derby City
Alexandra Hotel - 2 ciders/perries on sale.
Babington Arms - 6 ciders/perries on sale.
Brunswick Inn - 12+ ciders and perries on sale.
Exeter Arms - 1 cider/perry on sale.
Five Lamps - 5 ciders/perries on sale.
Flower Pot - 2 ciders/perries on sale.
Furnace Inn - 2 ciders/perries on sale.
Lord Nelson - 2 ciders/perries on handpull. Mead also available.
Paper Mill - 2 cider/perries on handpull.
Smithfield - 4 ciders/perries on sale.
Standing Order - 4 cider/perries on sale.
Thomas Leaper - 4 ciders/perries on sale.
Victoria Inn - 6 cider/perries on sale.

Outside Derby
Town Street Tap, Duffield - 4 ciders/perries on sale.
Bank of Beers, Melbourne - 3 ciders/perries on sale.
Bell, Smalley - 5 ciders/perries on sale.


If you have any comments or information about this page, please email

Content produced with the grateful assistance of Gillian Hough.


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Last updated 12th March 2024