Heineken is introducing two artisanal apple ciders named Bulmers Orchard Pioneers in collaboration with two of its “most passionate and expert” apple growers in Herefordshire.

Heineken has found artisanal apple cider to be one of the key category drivers over the next four years, and Bulmers Orchard Pioneers has been crafted to help drive this growth by bridging the gap between mainstream apple cider and more premium, artisanal apple cider from a trusted brand.

The two apple growers and cider makers who growing the apples that feature in the ciders and helped design the drinks are Kier Rogers and Sarah Hawkins. 

Sarah’s Red Apple Cider is a medium bodied sparkling apple cider, with the subtle bittersweet taste of true Herefordshire apples.

Kier’s Cloudy Apple Cider is a medium bodied sparkling apple cider, with the flavour of fresh apple juice and subtle caramel sweetness.

Emma Sherwood-Smith, cider director at Heineken explains: “Bulmers is a brand with a rich cider making heritage and provenance, starting 130 years ago in 1887 with our pioneering founders, Fred and Percy Bulmer. The relationship with growers has always been at the heart of our cider business, from the late 19th century when the company encouraged locals to grow apple trees on their land , to the present day where we currently work with around 180 growers across 10,000 acres of local orchards.

“As the UK’s number one cider producer, we are committed to driving the cider category’s success for our customers. Bulmers Orchard Pioneers will expand drinkers’ repertoire and act as a stepping stone into premium artisanal ciders, adding value for the retailer and category.”

The two Bulmers Orchard Pioneers variants will be available from March in single 500ml bottles and 4x330ml can packs. They should be positioned on shelf between mainstream and artisanal apple cider variants. The launch will be supported by a £2million campaign.