Crispin's Crow Vortex Cider

The Legend

'Twas a cold day, end o' Winter last, an' I hears this commontion up in the sky. All these crows, cawing manically, swirling about the big ol' tree over yonder. Beneath, in the dark, I can just make her out, an' I hears this undulating whistle. A shiver runs through me as the wind picks up, an' the sky darkens, an' just like that, the snow starts to fall...

Born of Snowstorms 2018


Well actually the apples were pressed in November and December of 2017, this was hard enough, but it was when I came to Cold Racking in the Spring, and I trudged miles through the snow, that the legend really came into being. Little did I realize, at the time, that various (foolishly closed) valves were being torn apart by the freezing conditions, still that's a whole other story in itself.

Bottles & Draught

She was in one of my larger vessels and so left alone in a dark cold corner for a long time. When some of my smaller vessels were free again, I split her down and started bottling. Although she had a couple of private outings, the bottles first really became available in The Real Food Store next to Exeter Central Station. One customer, Andy May, @CiderSleuth tweeted:

That's more like it! A lot going on in this: great balance of fruit and acidity, soft tannins, a touch medicinal but really smooth and easy drinking. Dry cider done properly

She was first available draught at the Exeter and East Devon CAMRA Festival of Winter Ales 2019 (30th year). Where she was described as...

A mixed apple base has produced a light, easy drinking cider, clean acidity bringing a freshness of taste.

Basically an easy-drinking session cider, but she always had something a bit special about her.

The Crow Takes Flight

My Father's elderly now and was in hospital during the Winter, so I was planning a trip up to Sussex to visit. There were a few bits I wanted to collect and bring back in the van, so I thought it might be a good idea to take some cider with me. I got in touch with Middle Farm, Firle, whose cider barn hosts The National Collection of Cider & Perry with over 100 draught products available to taste.

I was blown away with the positive feedback...

Just a quick note to let you know that the Crow Vortex has been very well received here. Two tubs have gone out to two separate trade customers already and the remaining cider is building a very strong retail following.

Sincere thanks for such a well-made cider.

- Rod Marsh, Director

Where Next?

Apparently she's available in Reading now and will be at a festival in Bexhill at the end of March.

Who knows how it's all connected and where she'll end up next? It all seems to be about journeys. Travel well fair one.


Photo of Wassail on the Exe by Jenny Steer © 2019

© 2019 Crispin Adams trading as Crispin's Cider, Licensed to Sell & Supply Alcohol