Hogan’s Cider is one of a new breed of artisan cider maker that has placed itself firmly on the cider map with a fresh and distinctive approach to the age-old tradition of cider making.
Produced in the Malvern Hills, Hogan’s is made from the juice of fresh pressed cider apples grown in the Three Counties – Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
This majestic setting is in a part of the world renowned for its cider heritage, so the perfect place to turn simple ingredients provided by nature into delicious, thirst-quenching drinks.
What we do is source fruit in the Autumn from lots of apple orchards in the counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. We wash the apples thoroughly and then mill them to a fine pulp, close to the consistency of porridge. The pulp is then pressed between two continuous belts to squeeze out the juice. We expect to get over a pint of juice from each kilo of apples (a kilo is around 2 1/4 pounds).
The next stage is a slow and cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks – up to as long as four months. During this time yeast converts the sugar in the apple juice to alcohol. We then pump what is now a very young cider out of the tanks and remove the sediment, made up largely of dead yeast cells, from the base of the tanks, thoroughly cleaning and sterilising them before pumping the cider back in. The cider then goes through a period of maturation for several months.
After maturation we blend prior to packaging for sale in bottle or as draught. What we are trying to achieve during the blending process is a good balance between alcohol strength, tannins, acidity and sweetness.
Perry production follows the same process except for washing the fruit – perry pears are more dense than water and so sink in a water bath. However perry pears seldom need washing as they are hand harvested.