Gaymer Cider Company
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The Gaymer Cider Company produces and markets Cider. It is owned by C&C Group plc since 2010, who also owns Magners Cider, Bulmers Cider in Ireland and Tennents in Scotland. The combination of Gaymer's brands and the Bulmers/Magners brand make C&C comfortably the second largest Cider company in the UK after H.P. Bulmers.
It was formally owned by Constellation Brands. Constellation Europe was formed in 2004 when Matthew Clark PLC, integrated with Constellation Wines Europe Ltd. Gaymer Cider Company was formed shortly after that.
The Gaymer Cider Company's name was taken from Gaymer's Olde English cyder, a brand of cider first produced commercially in 1770 by William Gaymer and owned by Matthew Clark PLC from the mid 1990s.
The Gaymer Cider Company is the second largest cider maker in the world, producing all of its ciders in its Shepton Mallet plant. The ciders it produces are; Olde English, Blackthorn, Diamond White, White Star, K, Addlestones, Special Vat and Natch. Two new ciders include; Gaymers Original Cider and Gaymer's Orchard Reserve
Gaymer also owns the rights to Peardrax, a pear-flavoured brand of soft drink which originated in the U.K. but is currently manufactured only in Trinidad and Tobago.
Olde English is a brand of cider (generally known by the alternative spelling cyder). Most English ciders are grown and fermented in Herefordshire (e.g. Britain's most popular ciders Strongbow and Woodpecker). Unusually, Gaymer's originated in Banham, Norfolk in eastern England. From small beginnings, most English ciders were grown on farms as part of the workers' remuneration, each worker in the west of England receiving a gallon of cider per day. As times have changed so has the brewing of English cider, many small farms still ferment their own cider but most cider is now brewed commercially.
The Gaymer family had a cider making business in Banham, Norfolk that was very well known and cited as having been in existence since circa 1680. They probably moved their operation to Attleborough as it expanded. In 1896 L.F.Rout & Co Ltd - already cider makers in Banham took over their rivals Gaymer's Banham enterprise when Gaymers moved to Attleborough. Gaymer's started brewing cider for wider consumption during the late eighteenth century from a farm near Attleborough, Norfolk, continuing as a farm concern until 1870 when William Gaymer introduced a hydraulic press and began to sell the cider commercially for the home market and export.
Gaymer's became a national brand but by 1961 the company had been taken over by Showerings. Following several mergers Gaymer's became part of Matthew Clark PLC in the mid 1990s. After over 200 years of cider making in Attleborough, production of Gaymer's cider was transferred to Shepton Mallet in Somerset.
With modern brewing techniques the new owners were able to replicate Norfolk water and carry on the brewing of the distinctive Gaymer's in Somerset without affecting the taste.
Gaymer's Olde English is mostly sold through supermarkets and off licence chains.
In 2004 Matthew Clark PLC integrated with Constellation Wines Europe Ltd to form Constellation Europe, part of Constellation Brands Inc which claims to be the largest wine company in the world. Gaymer's Olde English cider is still produced in Shepton Mallet, along with the other cider brands formally owned by Matthew Clark PLC under the new name Gaymer Cider Company. The current Managing director is Peter Spencer. The Gaymer Cider Company is also developing new ciders using the Gaymer name including Gaymers Original Cider and Gaymer's Orchard Reserve, to be marketed alongside the original Gaymer's Olde English cider. Olde English cider is the proud sponsor of the compost cup, a northern Irish competition held in balmoral way
In 2007, coinciding with a can redesign, the strength of canned Olde English was reduced from 5.3% ABV to 4.5% ABV, with no accompanying reduction in price.