Not all of the sites on the Bermondsey Beer Mile are beer bars. This year Hawkes Cider celebrates its tenth anniversary on the Mile and a lot has changed in that time.
In 2018, Hawkes was purchased by BrewDog. Elliot Ellison, the general manager, who has previously worked for both Marston’s and Fuller’s, commented, “BrewDog said ‘you guys know about cider’ and they let us get on with it”. Since BrewDog’s involvement, volumes started to grow dramatically. Despite having four arches in Druid Street, such has been their success that demand has exceeded what they can produce on site. Elliot explained, “In 2020, we decided to outsource our production to a number of producers as we couldn’t cope; our main one is in Dorset. Last year we sold two million pints with 70% going to BrewDog and 10% is export.”
A lot of the apples used by Hawkes are mainstream apple varieties such as Braeburn and Bramley. “We never use concentrate and it’s all small batch production,” said Elliot. Although the ciders in their core range are carbonated, pasteurised and filtered, that is not the case with all the ciders. “We have been experimenting with unfiltered, unpasteurised, still ciders,” explained Elliot. “There is a vintage Dabinett which we pressed in 2019. It’s fermented using a wild yeast and then aged in steel barrels. Last year we aged a still cider in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels.” The resulting ciders, particularly the Vintage Dabinett, are full flavoured enough to satisfy even the most hardened traditional cider drinker. Look out for them: https://wearehawkes.com/.