The heatwave might be over but the sun is still shining and in Bristol that can only mean one thing: Cider. Like strawberries and cream, fish and chips, or Chas & Dave, the two basically come as a pairing in the South West. Thankfully, there are plenty of cider pubs in Bristol that specialise in the sweet stuff – or dry if that’s more to your fancy. Be it scrumpy or something a little less headache-inducing, we’ve got you covered.
1. The Coronation Tap
Where else to start other than the oldest of Bristol’s cider pubs and the only cider specialist in Clifton? The Cori Tap has been around since the 18th century and is older than Clifton Suspension Bridge. So it knows a thing or two about the fermented apple juice. The exclusively brewed Exhibition is the highlight of this trip. Be warned though, at 8.2%, it’ll knock your socks off and put hairs on the soles of your feet. It also serves as a regular live music venue, if you like a sing-song with your cider. Which of course everyone does!
8 Sion Place Clifton Bristol BS8 4AX
2. The Apple Cider Boat
It’s universally agreed that the best way to enjoy cider is in the sunshine. Thanks to a harbourside location and almost exclusively outdoor seating, The Apple is the perfect summertime hangout. If you prefer your glass cloudy or clear, sweet or dry, they have something for everyone with a diverse range of ciders on tap. The bar staff know their stuff and cover covering every type of palette. But it’s the location that really sells this spot. And if it does start to rain, you can always try to make it for cover on the boat.
Welsh Back, Bristol, BS1 4SB
3. The Cider Box
The Cider Box has become well-known for sourcing the best and latest independently brewed craft and traditional ciders. For a decade now, they have been distributing these finds to a loyal fanbase through their online subscription boxes or at their Wapping Wharf-based store. Head down in the summer for some playful cider slushies, or in the winter for mulled cider.
It is their taproom, however, that we urge you to check out most. It’s only open Friday and Saturday but is currently Bristol’s only cider tap room and well worth a visit. Situated behind Temple Meads in St Phillip’s, they serve drinks brewed on the premises in collaboration with rotating local cidermakers. They also host regular events, including cider and cheese evenings, bingo nights, and some straight-up parties.
Arch 5, Silverthorne Lane, Bristol, BS2 0QD
4. The Orchard Inn
Another one of Bristol’s traditional cider pubs here (we told you Bristol has a history with the stuff) that has been serving for over 180 years. Sitting on the corner of Spike Island and overlooking the marina, The Orchard Inn cater for all tastes – stocking a range of wines, beers and real ales – but it is their extensive West Country ciders they’ve become best known for. Monday night blues jams are a must for any music fans, while there’s a selection of rolls, pasties, sausage rolls, samosas, pork pies & bar snacks made fresh in-house every morning to keep stomachs full and the drinks flowing.
12 Hanover Pl, Bristol BS1 6XT
5. The Cider Press
Not everyone’s as up for sitting in an old Victorian pub or outside of what looks like someone’s garage as we are, we get it! So if you’re after something a little more modern, but still with a great atmosphere and a selection of ciders, look no further than The Cider Press. Up on the Gloucester Road, there are 30+ types of cider on sale here. It also acts as a proper sports bar with pool tables, TVs and comfort bar food like wings, burgers and nachos. Proper job!
86-90 Gloucester Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8BN
6. Old Lock & Weir Inn
Fancy a slight trip out of Bristol this summer? Take this riverside pub crawl from Bristol to Bath. The River Avon features some stunning sights and some equally jaw-dropping pubs. Along the way you’ll come to the traditional boozer, Old Lock & Weir Inn. Specialising not only in cider but ale too. It’s huge beer garden is great for unwinding with some scrumpy!
Old Lock & Weir Inn, Ferry Rd, Bristol BS15 3NU