Cornwall LivingIssue #113

Cool and crisp

Fowey Valley, makers of a range of exquisitely crafted fine spirits and ciders for over 25 years.

There is nothing quite as refreshing as a cold glass of cider to end a fun-filled day, embraced in cool condensation and streaked with bubbles to leave a tingle on the tongue. But what you may not know is that a lot of mass-market ciders aren’t real ciders at all, and are usually made up of sugars and flavourings! Over at Fowey Valley, the team have perfected the art of crafting the real thing, made with fresh apples from their own orchard and nothing else.

From humble beginnings of hand pressing apples from their six trees and paying eager helpers with bottles of cider, Master Distiller Barrie Gibson has led the family-run Fowey Valley Cider and Distillery to success, now famous for its ciders and spirits which are, almost without exception, made entirely from scratch. Having grown exponentially, the business has now taken root in a bigger home in Lostwithiel, with plenty of on-site parking for a multitude of visitors to pay a visit from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. 

The free one-hour tours and tastings (which must be booked online) are the perfect way to learn about this age-old tradition, or you can pop into the shop for a quick glance behind the scenes and a taste of any that catch your eye. Of course, a taste of the multi-award-winning champagne-style 2016 vintage cider is on the cards, having taken three years to make with a 400-year-old technique, alongside the easy-drinking Castledore and a range of in-house spirits, including small batch vodka, the famous Foy Gin and an oak-aged cider brandy. 

If you’re keen to learn how to make your own gin or cider, you can also book a three-hour experience where you will learn how to make and take home either a gallon of cider or a bottle of gin to your own recipe, with more than 50 botanicals to choose from! A lot has changed since those first bottles 25 years ago, but Barrie’s pride in producing great cider and distilling exceptional spirits remains as strong today as it was then, so make sure to pay the team a visit for a taste of the real Fowey Valley spirit. 


Fowey Valley Cidery and Distillery