Looking for things to do around Hay on Wye for the grown up’s? There are heaps of distilleries in and around the Hay on Wye area which offer tasting experiences. These experiences usually include a tour of a distillery, with an introduction to the brand’s booze offering and history with the chance to taste, try and buy all the alcohol on offer. Some will offer just tipple tastings and with others, you can make your own. With so many quality producers in the area you are spoilt for choice. Here is our list of the top tasting experiences to get you in the spirit.
The Black Mountain Botanicals Gin School is back open in Michaelchurch Escley, in the shadow of the Black Mountains in the Golden Valley. Spend the afternoon in the award-winning Herefordshire distillery. The master distiller will give you all the training needed to distil your own personal bottle of Gin. Choose from a huge range of botanicals.
A micro distillery based in the heart of Hay on Wye, walking distance from By the Wye. Pop in to the shop to try some of their Wild Knapp Gin or Dr Beakys Gin, sample locally brewed Lucky 7 Beer, along with a selection of natural and biodynamic wines, gorgeous glassware, bar ware and hand poured candles using the same botanicals that they use in the gin.
Visit this field to bottle distillery, nestled deep in the wonderful Herefordshire countryside, where expert tour guides will take you through the secrets and skills that go into making their award-winning range of gin and vodka. During the tour, you will enjoy; a Chase GB Gin & Tonic followed by a tutored tasting and a zesty Pink Grapefruit Gin & Tonic to finish. Afterwards, you’ll be able to browse the distillery shop and stock up on your favourite Chase spirits to enjoy at home.
White Heron drinks is the home of the famous British Cassis and British Framboise. Blackcurrants have been grown on this rolling terroir for four generations. Take a tour of the blackcurrant farm, talk to the farmer, see the Cassiserie and taste the delicious product. And last but not least enjoy a cocktail or two.
Taking English malt, Herefordshire hops, our own strain of yeast along with liquor (water), we brew ales at our Leominster brewery. Visitors to the brewery can see the brewers in action. Open each Friday 10-5pm with a couple of firkins of our ales set up for visitors to sample and perhaps purchase bright, draught take-outs.
Wythall Estate Vineyard is set in the beautiful Wye Valley AONB near Ross-on-Wye. Vineyard tours and tutored wine tastings take place on Saturdays. They begin with a walking tour of the Vineyard with Frank. He will talk about the grape varieties grown at Wythall Estate, the pruning methods used and explain about the vine management from planting through to harvesting. A tutored tasting will then take place in the dining room of the 16th century manor, a truly unique experience.
Herefordshire Cider Trails
One of the other must-do things to do around Hay on Wye is sample some cider. Herefordshire cider is the stuff of legend and we are home to many speciality makers, from artisans to big brand names. Visit during blossom season to see the cider orchards in all their glory.
Take the opportunity to meet our friendly cider makers – many offer guided orchard tours and a glimpse behind-the-scenes of their cideries. Or, take a relaxed stroll around their fruit trees, complete with wild flowers, busy birdlife and buzzing pollinators.
Sampling is, of course, an absolute must! Herefordshire has stacks of award-winners on its books but which maker will capture your tastebuds? Enjoy a drink with a picnic under the blossom and take home a few favourites.
Tom and Lydia of Artistraw Cider are passionate about making natural cider – no added extras – just apples. Located within walking distance of Hay on wye, they are lucky enough to enjoy access to some of the most beautiful and wild orchards in the country. Their bottle shop is open by appointment for cider sales all year round between the hours of 9am and 10pm, get in touch to arrange an appointment on 01497831366. Cider tours and tastings run throughout the Summer months, booking is essential for the tours, get in touch for more information.
Westons Cider tour experience allows you to go behind the scenes and into the heart of the Mill, where they will guide you through the process of making our award-winning brands, all rounded off with a tutored tasting. The popular Tour Packages also include tasty food in the restaurant, enjoy a tour and tasting followed by a cream tea, a ploughman’s or even a two course lunch.
Nestling between orchards and hop fields in the rolling North Herefordshire countryside sits Little Pomona Cider House with its Tasting Room and Shop. Book your own Tour & Tasting on Saturday afternoons to go behind the scenes and meet the makers. Tasty bar snacks are specially chosen to match the ciders and perries.
Gwatkin Cider has a lovely café area that will be opening this year serving home-made food, all washed down with our award-winning ciders and perries.
- Booktown Taxi – 07881 726547
- Hay Bus Hay Taxi – 01497820444
Make sure you check out some of these amazing producers – add a tasting experience to your list of things to do around Hay on Wye ready for your next stay at By the Wye.