Rennies Winslow Cider has been named the best cider in the UK, after scooping the prestigious Royal Bath and West Gold award at the British Cider Championships in Somerset.
What started as a tribute to Steve Rennie’s son Sam, who sadly died in 2009, has blossomed into a a thriving cider brand, making waves across the United Kingdom.
Out of a moment of immense sadness Steve enlisted the help of Sam’s close pals Abbie Neal, Franki Warner, Lucy Draper, Elizabeth White and Jason Richens and the group bound together to celebrate the life of Sam who loved cider.
Steve said: “We had a huge surplus of apples in our garden, so we did a bit of research and decided to make some cider.
“Because we had so much, we took it to Winslow’s farmers market and couldn’t believe how well it sold!
“Since then, we’ve just built year on year and it’s proving to be a huge success.”
Amazingly, Steve and the team donate all profits to Aylesbury Youth Concern, a charity helping young people across Aylesbury Vale.
Lucy Draper, who is part of the team at Rennies said: “Sam loved cider, and he was such a massive personality we wanted to do something to remember him.
“He was the lynchpin of us as a friendship group.
“It’s a wonderful thing to get together to remember Sam, and for such a fabulous cause as well.”
The success began at the Hereford International Cider festival, where they came second in a strong group which included entries from Bulmers and Strongbow, amongst other major companies.
There were 190 entries overall from 44 cider makers.
Amazing sales at the North Bucks County Show where they couldn’t keep up with demand, encouraged the team to enter their wares into the Royal Bath and West Gold National Cider Championships, where they won first place.
Steve puts the success down to simplicity.
He said: “We don’t add anything to the mix, just apples and ferment them for nine months.”
“We don’t add any sulphides or carbonation, it’s just apples all sourced locally from around Winslow.
“I think that may be the key to the recent successes!
“That and an amazing team of volunteers, we all get on like a house on fire.2
All of the pulp made after pressing the apples is donated to local farms to feed pigs, so nothing goes to waste and all of the by products are utilised.
However, Steve doesn’t intend to give up his day job as an industrial painter.
“Everything is selling really well, we pretty much sell out everything we make.
“The reception is always really positive, it’s all been a bit of a surprise really!
“We don’t want to make it into a full time job, we’re already busy enough!
“Plus, I don’t enjoy the paperwork.”
The Rennie’s team have taken part in a variety of events over the year and offer draught cider, mulled cider and even Cider Slush-Puppie - a unique blend of cider ice and spices.
If you’re local to winslow, The Farm Deli stock Rennies all year around.