What’s the product?
Who’s behind it?
Honey’s Cider was started by Bob Honey and his daughter Jules, the second and third generation of Honeys to live at Upper Midford Farm, 3 miles south of Bath. Over time, Jules’ husband Gerard ‘Krow’ Coles became increasingly involved with the business, as Bob focused on rearing his herd of traditional Hereford cattle and Jules moved on to a different career. Recently, with Krow taking on some brilliant new projects (including serving as a director of The Packhorse in South Stoke, a community owned pub, and opening The Moorland Social, a community focused brunch and pizza bar in Bath), Kim, a longstanding part of Honey’s as ‘the office’, has taken charge of operations. In keeping with the family theme in Midford, Kim’s partner Matt is chief delivery driver and her father Pete (who was retired!) enjoys helping her with picking and pressing the apples. All the apples are milled, pressed and fermented at Bob’s Farm with Bob frequently checking in and always first in line for tasting, as is Krow, who also makes guest appearances delivering if there is a cider emergency.
What’s the story?
The Honeys bought their farm in Midford, near Bath, back in 1960, but it wasn’t until 2002 that Bob Honey decided to revive the orchards that had once been part of the farm. Old maps of the area showed ‘orchard’ marked on several paddocks that had since been turned completely to grass so Bob reintroduced the ‘grazed orchards’, a sight once common place in Somerset. Grazed orchards have widely spaced trees so that sheep and cattle can roam freely between them, taking advantage of the shade and shelter of the trees whilst fertilizing the soil. The cows even eat the apple pomace, the leftovers after the juice has been pressed – it’s a brilliant symbiotic system from start to finish. The apples grown are all classic West Country cider varieties, combined with a small proportion of eating and cooking apples to balance and round out the flavour.
The idea for Stoney Bonk came from local farm workers in the 1950s and 60s, who mixed ginger beer with cider to make a lunchtime pick-me-up that wouldn’t get them totally sozzled! Honey’s Cider decided to bottle this little piece of Bathonian history and it was a huge hit.
Why we love it…
Stoney Bonk is a brilliant, original product – the combination of cider and ginger beer is a masterstroke, and when it’s served ice cold on a hot day, there’s simply nothing more refreshing.