Sunday, 14 August 2016

Traditional Cider Making Course

1- day course run by Mid Shires Orchard Group 

Saturday 17th September 2016 – 10am to 4pm 

About the course:

This ‘hands-on’ course is run by local craft cider-makers, Mike and Barbara Jones, and will introduce you to the art and skills of the traditional cider-maker.

The aim is to give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to make good cider and enjoy the process. The course will cover the theory, practice and methods used for selecting, preparing and juicing apples, then for blending the juice and fermenting it in the right way, to produce a high quality cider. You will then practise the theory, to create a gallon of cider to take away and finish at home. The environmental health, legal and administration aspects of cider production, as a hobby and for a small-scale business, will also be covered.

See the full programme of the course here.

About the hosts 

Mike and Barbara Jones have been making Little Horwood cider for over a decade. The cider is the result of their expertise in selection and blending of juice from hand-pressed, locally-grown apples. For several years, they have shared their knowledge and experience by running ‘Introduction to Apple Juicing and Cider Making’ courses each year, in Milton Keynes. This course is now made available at Little Horwood, in the idyllic setting of the historic Recreation Ground Hall, set in tranquil grounds behind the village church.


The cost for the course is £45 per person, which includes a year’s membership of the Mid Shires Orchard Group, a gallon of fresh apple juice to take home for making into cider and two bottles of Little Horwood cider.

For existing Mid Shires Orchard Group members, the cost is £35 per person.

Your support for our course raises funds for the Mid Shires Orchard Group. This enables the group to achieve more in conserving, promoting and helping communities enjoy the orchards and top fruit heritage of the four ‘mid shires’ counties of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire. 


There is lots of car-parking on site. Access to this is via the car park for the Shoulder of Mutton pub, next to the church. Drive up through the pub car park and turn right through the gateway at the end. Follow the track to the car park.

How to book your place?

To reserve your place, e-mail Mike Jones at:

Mike will confirm if places are available and advise how to pay. Payment will secure your place.
Please note that due to the nature of the course, the minimum age for course attendees is 18 years.

The importance of variety:

The flavour and quality of cider, say Mike and Barbara, depend very much on the type and varieties of apples used and how their individual characteristics are blended. Their own orchards are planted with a wide range of apple varieties, which can be used individually or brought together, to produce different styles of cider.

The importance of variety is a theme that runs throughout our course, first of all in apple tasting, then in how to appreciate and blend apple mixes for pressing and juicing. The chance is then given to taste several single variety ciders, to understand their different styles, before trying your hand at blending to achieve your own perfect cider!

Mike, Barbara and the Mid Shires Orchard Group thank you for your support. They look forward to welcoming you onto our Traditional Cider Making Course.