Cider making in Somerset has undergone a renaissance since 2016 when it looked like The Shepton Mallet Cider Mill would close ending a cider-making tradition in the town stretching back to 1770.
Unite the union hailed the expansion under the new owner Brothers Drinks which has seen the workforce at The Mill jump from 24 in 2016 to more than 180 people currently, with more jobs in the pipeline.
Brothers Drinks, a firm led by four brothers whose family the Showerings originally owned the cider mill, purchased the site from Irish drinks giant C&C in 2016.
Unite’s regional secretary for the south west Steve Preddy said, “This is a genuine good news story in challenging economic times that heralds a renaissance in cider making in Shepton Mallet after a period of great uncertainty in 2016.
“This has been achieved by constructive and continuing partnership working between the management of Brothers Drinks and Unite,” he added. “There are now more people working at the mill than the C&C workforce of 120 in January 2016.
“There were just 24 workers when Brothers Drinks took over, so the expansion has been remarkable in just two years.
“Many of those who initially lost their jobs have come back and we have developed a strong relationship with management who have shown great willingness to work with us.
“Brothers is also producing a new cider brand, Mallets Cider, which will be great for the local area.
“It is a very exciting time for cider production and for the community which shares this 248 year-old historic tradition. Cider making in Shepton Mallet is looking rosy – and long may that continue.”
Brothers Drinks also produce popular third party brands, as well as its own cider brands.