First ciders made entirely in Sheffield set for release next month
Sheffield’s only cider-centric bar and urban micro-cidery is set to release its first three batches, produced with apples collected from 31 houses around the city.
Back in September 2021, The Cider Hole opened in Kelham Island, becoming Sheffield’s only cider-centric bar. This March, The Cider Hole will fulfill its promise of also becoming Sheffield’s only urban micro-cidery by releasing three ciders produced on-site.
On Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March, The Cider Hole will begin pouring three 200-litre batches of cider – all of which contain local Sheffield apples and two of which were produced with 100% local apples collected from gardens around the area.
“As far as I am aware, no one has been producing cider using locally sourced Sheffield apples for at least a couple years,” says The Cider Hole’s owner and cidermaker Mike Pomranz who has been covering the cider industry as a journalist for seven years. “I’m excited to be salvaging fruit from people’s gardens and turning it into Sheffield’s best cider… not that I have any competition!”
This past autumn, Pomranz put out calls on Facebook and Reddit asking if anyone with extra apples would donate them in exchange for free cider. He received over 70 leads and eventually collected apples (and some pears) from 31 different houses around Sheffield – including plenty of unexpectedly interesting finds in neighbourhoods like Crookes and Pitsmoor. He then crushed, pressed, and fermented all of the fruit in his cosy shipping container bar in Krynkl on Shalesmoor.
The results are two batches of wild yeast fermented cider made entirely from Sheffield apples: Cool Neighbours – a tart, funky, and dry cider named after all the cool people Pomranz met collecting fruit; and Too Many Apples – a tangy, drinkable cider which earned its name after Pomranz found more fruit than he bargained for.
The third cider – Ask Albert – is a naturally-fermented mix of Sheffield garden apples and proper cider apple juice provided by Ross-on-Wye Cider in Herefordshire, resulting in a more traditional tasting English cider with a touch of tannin. Tannins are common in cider apple varieties, but are few and far between in the mostly cooking apples collected from gardens, which is why Mike put in a call to Ross-on-Wye cidermaker Albert Johnson for Harry Masters Jersey and Browns juice.
All three ciders will be served in thirds and halves directly from the fermenters until either all of the cider has been consumed or bottling becomes required. Refillable milk bottles will also be available for takeaway.
Mike himself will be on-site for both days of the release event, pouring cider and answering questions. The Saturday 5 March session will run from 1pm to 10pm. The Sunday 6 March session will run from 1pm to 6pm. Both sessions are free.
In the meantime, The Cider Hole continues to be open as normal and now stocks over 60 ciders as well as a large selection of beers and wine. For hours, check The Cider Hole’s website: istheciderholeopen.com.