How did you get started in the industry? I completed my degree in chemistry then went on to work in a laboratory on a strawberry farm. I have always been interested in the science behind plants and fruit growing. I’m currently doing an ILM course through Discovery Graduates and it’s through them I heard about a graduate scheme at Aston Manor Cider. I jumped at the opportunity to develop my passion for horticulture and make cider. It’s a great time to be working in the industry.
What advice would you give to others starting out? Having a genuine interest in what you want to pursue will help elevate you in your career. In addition to building on your relevant skills and experience, showing your enthusiasm can give you an edge over other candidates.
What does your typical day involve? Head cider maker Rod Clifford has been teaching me all the processes in making cider, from harvesting apples through pressing, fermentation and maturation to the fantastic finished product. Aston Manor has a broad portfolio so there’s a lot to learn about flavour depths of each brand and how to balance them up. I’ve also been learning about the life cycle of the trees and what planting distances to allow, while also expanding my pomology knowledge.
What does the future hold? I like to think that one day I will follow in Rod’s footsteps to be a head cider maker and have the same level of expansive knowledge and intuition that he has. I’ve been enjoying every minute of my job so far and hope to have a long and fruitful career with Aston Manor.
How do you wind down after a hard day at work? My passion for the drinks industry carries through into my spare time so when I’m not making delicious cider at work I’m at home making my own wine. I love being outdoors and am also an avid rock climber.