Cider Museum and King Offa Distillery
Cider Museum and King Offa Distillery
One of the more popular visitor attractions in Hereford, the Cider Museum is attached to King Offa Distillery, which produces a range of ciders and cider-based fruit liquers. The museum tells the story of how cider is made, tracing the process from growing apples, milling, pressing, fermenting, and bottling.
There are displays on the history of cider making over the centuries, including historic machinery and tools. There is a recreation of a cooper's workshop and vat house to explore, and the original cider champagne cellars used by the distillery. One nice feature is that you can listen to recordings of local oral history, telling about life and work in the cider industry years ago. There is also a series of Victorian watercolour paintings depicting perry pears and cider apples. A special exhibit displays English lead crystal cider glasses dating back to the 18th century.

The Cider Museum is run by a charitable trust whose aim is preserve the history of cider making worldwide, not just in Herefordshire. With that in mind, the museum displays a huge range of items associated with the making of cider and perry, including drinking horns, aging casks, cooper's tools, cider mills and presses, company records, advertising posters and packaging materials, distillery machinery, historic photographs, and much more. There is a research library associated with the museum where interested people can dig deeper into cider making history. The museum hosts a regular series of special events, including art exhibitions, cider and perry competitions, and cider making festivals.

And here's a little something extra you wouldn't expect from a cider museum - the museum owns a Steinway concert grand piano as a result of an anonymous bequest, and make this marvellous instrument available to the people of Hereford. The piano is located in Holy Trinity church to take advanatage of that building's superb acoustics, and is available for performance hire, professional and serious amateur recitals, and educational use.