A new taste of India ... all the way from Burnley
From the foothills of the Himalayas to the dining tables of England, a new taste sensation is certainly proving to be a big hit from a base in Burnley.
And Himachal cider can trace its success to a chance conversation between two Burnley businessmen.
David White and Clive Fernandes were enjoying a social drink and bemoaning the lack of “true” ciders currently on the market.
They decided that the market was full of fruit-flavoured ciders with not many offering quality with a true apple taste.
Months of research led them to Shogi in the Himachal Pradesh province of northern India.
They took a range of British ciders out to India before setting up a new business in the Shimla area, home to a famous railway station of the Raj period of Indian history.
Now Himachal Cider is hand fermented, hand bottled and hand labelled within the shadow of the Himalayas before being shipped to this country to be distributed to a client base which already numbers more than 100 customers.
UK Sales Manager for Himachal Tim Goode, based at the company’s headquarters on the Heasandford Industrial Estate in Burnley, explained: “It was a real lightbulb moment for David and Clive who decided that there was a gap in the market for a real quality cider.
“Originally the intention was to solely supply the Indian restaurant trade. We wanted to produce something authentic to go with the food and we believe that by only using apples grown by the Himachal government we have achieved this.
“We need 25 apples for every single bottle, there are no additives and it is a completely natural cider which is slightly sparkling, clean, crisp and refreshing, has a medium dry finish and is bursting with the taste of apples.
“Himachal has already been so successful that we now also supply micropubs, wine shops and other boutique retailers and we are looking to expand that throughout 2017.
“Himachal has already been really well received at the BBC Good Food Show and at the Foodie Festival network of events around the country and now we want to grow the business geographically.
“The highlight for us in 2016 was winning a medal at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Awards in America. It was our first entry into a competition like this and we were delighted to get a medal.”
You can find out more about the cider by visiting www.himachalcider.co.uk