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Are you ready to go on a cider adventure?

Mike Pomranz, owner of the Cider Hole shares his passion for fermenting and the local ciders we can enjoy from their micro cidery.

The Cider Hole, Shalesmoor
The Cider Hole

If you think of cider, places like Somerset Devon and Cornwall are likely to jump to mind. Well, get ready for new adventures as there is some exciting cider making happening in Sheffield right now.

Most people know about our great beer in the city and we’ve shared the latest local beer innovations and exciting new openings. To date, there’s not been much mention about local ciders - well, this is about to change.

We spoke to Mike Pomranz, cider aficionado and owner of the bar, bottle shop and micro cidery - The Cider Hole at Krynkl, Shalesmoor.

He tells us why he’s passionate about fermenting and the local ciders we can enjoy from their micro cidery.

Tell us about you and the micro cidery.

I've been covering the beer industry as a journalist for over 15 years. I got interested in craft beer touring the Pyramid Brewery in California as a teenager and things just spiralled from there.

About 8 years ago, an editor I worked with needed someone to cover a cider story. He assigned it to me assuming cider and beer were similar - and that's when I learned that cider and beer aren't similar at all.

I soon became as obsessed with cider as I am with beer and, once again, things spiralled out of control!

When I first started writing about beer, I tried homebrewing to learn the process. With cider, I did the same thing: tried fermenting my own cider with foraged apples.

When I learned how easy it was to open a small commercial cidery in the UK, I figured, hell, why not go for it? And here we are!

What inspired you to start the business?

Compared to the U.S, when I moved to Sheffield in 2016, opening a micro cidery in the UK is insanely easy.

I started talking about it to different people and they all said why not? Dann and Martha at St. Mars of the Desert Brewing told me to go for it. So did my wife Claire - which was probably even more important!

The Cider Hole, Shalesmoor
The Cider Hole

What have you been brewing recently?

The idea behind Exemption Ciderhouse (the brand name I produce at The Cider Hole) was to use apples from gardens around Sheffield and our first three batches all used local apples.

Two of our ciders - Cool Neighbours and Too Many Apples - were made with 100% Sheffield fruit from gardens across the city - 31 in total.

The third cider - Ask Albert - is a mix of 25% Sheffield apples and 75% proper cider apple juice from Herefordshire to create a more traditional tasting cider.

For anyone new to trying cider, what would you recommend?

First, toss everything you think you know about cider out the window. Strongbow, Rekorderlig, screw all that rubbish! Proper cider can have so much more complexity and diversity.

I'd recommend coming into The Cider Hole and trying one of our ever-changing cider flights. We'll talk you through some different ciders from top modern craft cider producers. Even if you don't love those particular ciders, hopefully, it will set you down a path to better appreciating cider in general.

Who are your favourite cider producers right now?

Trying to get me in trouble with these questions by picking favourites!

As a northern cider bar, the first place I went to start selecting ciders for the bar was in Herefordshire, since it's so close by. A lot of Brits tend to think of cider as a southern drink, areas in the West Country, but Herefordshire has a great cider-making tradition and is producing some amazing stuff.

Oliver's, Ross-on-Wye, Little Pomona, Butford, Gregg's Pit - not only do they all make amazing drinks, but they've all been very receptive to what I've been trying to do here in Sheffield.

What do you think of the Sheffield cider scene?

I think one of the false equivalencies between beer and cider is that cider needs to have a "scene" like beer.

Cider will never be as big as beer. But you should still be able to hunt down good ciders, and that's what I've been trying to do: make a home for good cider.

What are your favourite cider and food matching combinations?

I've always been an advocate of drinking what works for you. That said, if you've never had an ice cider with dessert, you're missing out.

We do small pours of Malus Danica, an ice cider from Cold Hand in Denmark. I think it's worth coming by The Cider Hole just to try that!

Learn more

Disabled access: The Cider Hole is located on the first floor of the building but there is a lift. Krynkl has level access and a disabled lift to access all floors, with disabled compliant bathrooms on all floors

The Cider Hole, Unit 1.3, Krynkl, 294 Shalesmoor, Sheffield, S3 8UL

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