Creating an Artisan Drinks Business

Artisan cider making is thriving, as the popularity and demand for locally produced, high quality artisan drinks grows across the UK and beyond. This one-day course is packed with practical information and expert guidance on how to create a successful artisan drinks business.

This course is run by award-winning artisan cider maker Simon Reed of Rough Old Wife Cider LLP. Simon has been successfully making artisan cider for a decade and has more than 25 years of experience in business and marketing. Drawing upon his extensive knowledge of the industry, Simon will share the secrets of zero cost marketing and PR and show how you can gain significant advantages over other much bigger industrial producers.

Many established artisan cider makers now offer tours, tastings and a look behind the scenes, promoting their brand heavily, while others prefer to surround their wares and processes with an air of mystery. Not everyone can be located on a farm and some of the finest ciders are now being produced from industrial units. This course explores the pros and cons of several different approaches, covering the following topics:

  • Creating a business plan
  • Capital outlay and costs
  • Customer base management
  • Common pitfalls and cost-saving inside tips to help you make a success of your business
  • Retail or wholesale sales approach
  • Dealing with pubs and shops
  • Labelling and containers
  • Apple sourcing and set-up (direct and sub-contracting)
  • Partnerships and associations
  • Business case work through
  • Legal and regulation
  • Marketing and markets, PR and local initiatives
  • Website, branding and social media positioning – online/offline sales balance
  • CAMRA, SIBA and national distribution

You will also explore a range of product development areas including:

  • Still and sparkling
  • Flavourings
  • Bottling and draft
  • Types of containers
  • Pasteurised and non-pasteurised

Refreshments will be available throughout the day, as well as a buffet style lunch prepared by our team of chefs. All ingredients, equipment and recipes will be provided.


Sorry, no dates available.


Subjects: Brewing and drinks, Food business start-ups

Student Success

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Emma de Giacometti - West Street Bakehouse

Emma de Giacometti took a four-week Professional Baking Skills course at The School of Artisan Food in 2017, led by master baker Wayne Caddy. She now runs her own micro-bakery near Cambridge.

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Lynda Hill - Marlow Cheese Company

Lynda Hill - Marlow Cheese Company

Lynda Hill turned her dream of becoming a cheesemaker into reality after taking a professional cheesemaking course at The School of Artisan Food. Today, she runs the Marlow Cheese Company from her micro-dairy.

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Sara Percevicius - The Bake Lab

Sara Percevicius - The Bake Lab

Former graduate Sara Percevicius is the founder of The Bake Lab in Sheffield, a baking business that creates bespoke celebration cakes and baked goods for local people & businesses.

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David Jowett - King Stone Dairy

David Jowett - King Stone Dairy

After graduating with an Advanced Diploma in Artisan Food Production in 2011, David Jowett started making his own award-winning Rollright cheese in 2015.

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