Stowford Press

English | Cymraeg

A review of Stowford Press

ABV: 0.5%
Calories per bottle: 89 (27 per 100ml)
Score: 5 out of 5

Henry Weston and his descendants have been making cider at Much Marcle in Herefordshire since 1880. They’re clearly experts in apples, and these days they create 30 different types of cider on their farm, and export to 40 countries.

Stowford Press LA was launched back in 1994, making Westons low-alcohol pioneers. Possibly because the term “LA” does sound a bit 1990s (anyone for a Tennet’s LA?), the brand was revamped in 2010 as Stowford 0.5%.

The first thing to say about it is that it’s a good cider. It tastes of cider apples. It’s got depth and complexity, and it steers a good middle course between being too sweet (like a lot of commercial ciders) and being mouth-puckeringly sour (like one or two farmyard scrumpies).

At 0.5%, this is not a totally alcohol-free drink, but for anyone who’s looking to cut back (rather than abstain) it’s an excellent choice. No one’s going to mistake it for a traditional 7% or 8% cider, but most of us would never guess it was so low in alcohol.

The smart yellow-and-black packaging closely matches its 4.5% equivalent, avoiding the trap of making a low-alcohol drink look like some poor relation of the “real thing”.

It’s free from artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners, and gluten too. It’s also suitable for vegetarians and vegans and is certified kosher. And it’s matured in oak vats, which might explain the lovely colour.