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Cider Country

‘James Crowden is Britain’s best cider writer. I always turn to his work first when I want top research and inspiring opinions. His new ‘Cider Country’ is the book we have all been waiting for’


‘A fascinating read’

Join James Crowden as he embarks on a journey to distil the ancient origins of cider, uncovering a rich culture and philosophy that has united farmer, maker and drinker for millennia.

£18.99 – Hardback

Published by Harper Collins

Cider Country by James Crowden
'Cider Making' - 1678, John Worklidge

‘Cidermaking in the 17th century was a gentlemanly art’,

by John Worlidge, 1678

Cidermaking has been at the heart of country life for hundreds of years. But the fascinating story of how this drink came into existence and why it became so deeply rooted in the nation’s psyche has never been told. In order to answer these questions, James Crowden traces an elusive history stretching back to the ancient, myth-infused civilisations of the Mediterranean and the wild apple forests of Kazakhstan.

Meeting cider experts, farmers and historians, he unearths the surprising story of an apple that travelled from east to west and proved irresistible to everyone who tasted it. Upon its arrival in Britain, monks, pirates and politicians formed a pioneering and evangelical fan base, all seeking the company of a drink that might guide them through uncertain times.

But the nation’s love-affair with cider didn’t fully blossom until after the reformation, when the thirst for knowledge about the drink was at its peak. This infatuation with experimentation would lead to remarkable innovations and the creation of a ‘sparkling cider’, a technique that pre-dated Dom Pérignon’s champagne by forty years.

Turning to the present day, Crowden meets the next generation of cider makers and unearths a unique philosophy that has been shared through the ages. In the face of real challenges, these enterprising cider makers are still finding new ways to produce this golden drink that is enjoyed by so many.

Spanning centuries and continents, Cider Country tells the story of our country through the culture, craft and consumption of our most iconic rural drink.

Cider Country - How an Ancient Craft Became a Way of Life

Available 19th August

£18.99 – Hardback

Published by Harper Collins

Other cider books by James Crowden

Ciderland by James Crowden


The West Country is justly famous for its wide variety of delicious ciders. Over the last thirty years there has been a quiet revolution in the area with a steady growth in cider producers, from small, local companies to well-established outfits pumping out millions of gallons a year. In this book, James Crowden charts the development of cider making in the West Country, from the sixteenth century monks to the diverse industry of today.

Buy this book
Cider - The Forgotten Miracle by James Crowden

Cider, the Forgotten Miracle

Cider – The Forgotten Miracle is a witty, energetic and unforgettable investigation into the history of farmhouse cider. A fresh assessment of ancient traditions that have not only influenced the landscape for the better, but produced excellent cider into the bargain.

Find out more about this book

Cider – The Forgotten Miracle is occasionally in stock on this website, or via Abe Books.

Cider Country Talks

2021 Talks

  • 2nd July: Bristol Cider Salon 
  • 2 October: RHS Rosemoor 
  • 3 October: West Milton Cider Club
  • 7 October: Brendon Books Taunton
  • 9 October: Gregg’s Pitt Much Marcle
  • 14 October: Shute Literary Festival
  • 16 October: Apple Day Burrow Hill Cider
  • 27 October: Stoke sub Hamdon
  • 28 October: Cerne Abbas
  • 10 November: Bridport Literary Festival
  • 17 November: Wells Museum

2022 Talks

  • Sat 12th March: Shaftesbury Lit fest
  • Sat 26th March 12 noon: Oxford  Literary festival, Exeter College, Oxford
  • 8th April 2.30pm: Museum of Somerset Taunton
  • Wed 25th May, 7.30pm: Ilminster Literary Festival
  • Thurs 2nd June Bath & West
  • Friday 3rd June: Bath & West
  • Fri/Sat 18th June: 3 Counties Show Malvern
  • Wed 22 June, 7.30pm: Chalke Valley History Festival
  • Fri/Sat 2nd July: Cider Salon Bristol
  • Wed July 13th, 11.45am: Ways with Words Lit Fest Dartington
  • Tues 19th July, 6.30pm: Castle Cary
  • Sat 17th Sept, 12 noon: Abergavenny Food Festival
  • Sun Sept 18th, 8pm: Appledore Lit fest
  • September 21st  1pm Frome Literary Fest Silk Mills. Cider With cheese + Ned Palmer
  • Wed October 5th – Winsham Poetry Club
  • Sun October 9th, 2pm – Big Apple Much Marcle
  • Tues October 11th, 7.30pm: Lopen Sunday school room
  • Thur 13th October, 2.15pm: Mere Literary Festival
  • Wed 19th October, 7.30pm: North Curry Village Hall, TA3 6NQ
  • Thursday 20th October, 9.30am: Ilminster Theatre
  • Friday 21 October, 10.30 am: Dartmouth Food Festival at Dartmouth Yacht Club
  • Sat 22 Oct, 3pm: Dartmouth Food Festival (venue tbc)
  • Sunday 23rd October, noon: Dartmouth Food Festival (venue tbc)
  • Mon 24th October, 4pm: Yeovil Lit Fest
  • Wed 26th October, 7.30pm: Axminster Heritage Centre
  • Wednesday 9th November: Bridport Lit Fest
  • Friday 11th November: Ebenezer Presents Old Seed factory Aller.
  • Sat 19th November around 12 noon: Bridgwater Arts Centre History day
  • November (to be confirmed): Crediton, Sandford Orchards

2023 Talks

  • 28th February: Merriot Gardening Club
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