Kicking Goat Cider struts into Henley

Kicking Goat Cider struts into Henley

Kicking Goat, a new craft cider with character, is strutting into Henley and across the nation from James Pearce and his family who live in Stoke Row, Henley-on-Thames and it’s really rather good.

The Pearce family have been farming in Somerset for three generations, although James and Francois, his son who works in the business with him on the marketing side of things, have both lived in Stoke Row for the last 16 years. Interestingly cider has been in the family for years with Malcolm Pearce, James’ father, being responsible for making the first ever commercial cider in Asia twenty years ago. So with what appeared to be cider in his veins it seems that the stars were aligned when James met his wife Tash whose family farm one hundred and thirty acres of apples in Kent, now the family are devoting everything to launching their new cider, Kicking Goat .

What’s in a name? Originally the cider was named Red Cow Cider, however Red Bull took an afront to the name and the branding and stomped it’s foot! Not wanting to get into a bull fight James and the team set about renaming the brand. Villagers local to the orchard remember a goat on the farm many moons ago that would kick the fence down during harvest to eat the apples and the new brand was born. We think that Red Bull gave them a gift, Kicking Goat is a stonking brand name!

James says, ‘We have seventeen of the best cider apple varieties in our ‘romantic orchard ‘ which all crop at a different time which makes harvesting tricky but creates the most intriguing and complex blend of bittersweet and bitter sharp apples. With a natural product we are always in the lap of the gods as far as weather and crop are concerned but we’re confident that we’ll always produce a quality product.

Our mission is to work with operators who want to give their customers what they want to drink rather than telling them what they’re going to have . Virtually everyone we speak to would prefer a full juice craft cider rather than the alternative; we want to give the consumer the choice .

There’s a lot of chat in the industry about what goes into the big commercial ciders so we came up with the kicking goat strap line of ‘all apple no kidding’ .

James Cummings, owner of Stable 34 in Henley says, ‘As a recently opened craft beer and cider tap house we wanted to provide our customers with a quality independent craft cider; Kicking Goat hits all the spots and has been a huge success for us’.

Though produced in Somerset it certainly has Henley’s fire and passion captured in every bottle and James tells Experience Henley that it won’t be long before we’ll see Henley Cider. He has already had the opportunity to harvest some of the cider apple trees at the Dunsden Green Community Orchard which they have blended with their Somerset orchard base. We can’t wait to taste it.

We love Kicking Goat and we can just imagine drinking this smooth appley cider on all those lazy, hazy Henley summers days we’re going to get this year (fingers crossed), and we reckon you will too.

Follow the Kicking Goat journey on Instagram at @kickinggoatcider.

You can buy Kicking Goat by the bottle from Woods Wines in Nuffield and by the bottle and on draught at Stable 34 in Hart Street, Henley.

Originally article featured on Experience Henley