Interview with Founders of Hoxton Cidersmiths, Will Austin and Philip Warren


Tell us about your business: What do you do? What did inspire you to start?

We created Hoxton Cidersmiths to share our passion for creating interesting craft ciders, as we have set out to introduce it to a new market and make cider more interesting to consumers and drinkers. We launched our cider about 9 months ago and looked to create a top quality craft cider being 100% apple juice based and made using traditional methods from local apples in Somerset.  

The brand was born out of disenchantment with existing ciders, where we felt sometimes the product itself played too much on heritage, tradition and countryside and as a result didn’t appeal to younger urban consumers.  When we saw all the energy and engagement in craft beer, cider looked a bit left behind and was often an afterthought. We have created a sessionable, mid level ABV cider that is hopefully different to others and that will sit well alongside craft beer and appeal to a similar profile of drinker.

What is innovative / unique about what you do?

We have chosen to focus our attentions on provenance rather than heritage. Everything from the cider to the design is hopefully appealing to younger consumers. There are lots of other great ciders out there that appeal because of their traditions and heritage, with images of hay-bales, horses & carts, and orchards, which are great for these products, but we’re in a different area.

What we’ve set out to do is make ciders that when people taste, it makes them think “That’s not what I imagined cider to be”, conjuring up thoughts that it’s an interesting taste, that’s why we use different apples for each of the ciders, we’re trying to give people the taste of apples, but with each product, different apples. Some people laugh, but when we taste it with them what we’re expecting them to say when they taste it is “I can taste apples”.

Why do you choose Shoreditch to run your business?

The Hoxton Cidersmiths idea was born in Lux Bar Hoxton Square about ten years ago, I lived on Shoreditch High St, 2 minutes away, but it wasn’t until last year that we were in a position to actually follow through with the dream. We wanted everything about the cider created for the urban pub and bar environment, and on a wider scale for a London environment, light carbonation, 4.5% ABV, packaging, brand, 330ml can – it’s time the London community had a great cider.

Hoxton is where the concept was created and developed, so it felt only right that our product be born and launched from this area, it’s the area both Phil and I have an affinity with, and feel represents how we want our brand perceived.

Who/what are your favorite CEOs/Businesses in Shoreditch?

In Shoreditch, we feel there are a number of great things going on. The re-opening of Hoxton Hall has been great to hear, it gives Hoxton massive potential through its arts and culture programmes, Paul King and Perseverance Works do great things for the Shoreditch community and have created a marvelous creative hub, and we recently spent some time with Charle de Carle & The Preshaah at Hoxton Radio.

Within our field of expertise, what Charlie McVeigh has done with the Drafthouse, is create a fresh modern twist on the traditional London boozer, we’re huge fans of everything Max Chater puts his mind to, and we love what Burger Bear has done to the Magic Roundabout, and having Prawnography involved is a masterstroke.

What are your favorite places in Shoreditch?

In Shoreditch we like to support the businesses that have taken our product, so you’re likely to see us in places like Zigfrid von Underbelly, Jones Family Project, Bird Restaurant, and the Magic Roundabout, just to name a few. We also tend to spend a lot of time in The Sun Tavern in Bethnal Green, the different Drafthouses, Bump Caves, and Finch’s Pub, Finsbury Square.

Our view is that we have set out to become part of the Hoxton community and in supporting the businesses, people, and community, we are on our way to doing that. 

What does the future has in store for your business?

We are looking to carry on finding great bars, pubs and restaurants to get as many people as we can to enjoy our product and push craft cider and what’s great about it. We want people to love craft cider the way we do.

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