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Bulmers can trace its origins back to 1887, when Hereford’s Percy Bulmer finally succumbed to his mother’s advice on breaking into the food and drinks industry, as it would never go out of fashion. Today, Bulmers Original is one of the most popular drinks on the market, particularly among 18 – 24 year olds (Source: Ipsos MRBI, Most often drunk brand, MAT October 2011).
The company’s success is particularly remarkable considering the humble circumstances Percy Bulmer started it in. He made his first cider using apples from his father’s rectory orchard and an old stone press on the farm next door. In 1889, his older brother, Fred, returned from King’s College, Cambridge to become a business partner. Together, the brothers managed to persuade their father for a £1,760 loan which allowed them to buy an 8-acre farm on the outskirts of Hereford, where they built their first cider mill. In those days cider-making was a hit or miss affair, with the fermentation process relying purely on yeast occurring naturally in apples. However, Henry enlisted the help of his university friend, Dr. Herbert Durham, whose decision to introduce a wild yeast to the apples ensured fermentation was consistent. This was the beginning of commercial cider-making.
In 1911 Bulmers was granted the Royal Warrant and to this day, it remains official ‘Cider Maker to Her Majesty the Queen’.