Bulmers was founded in 1887 in Hereford, England by Percy Bulmer, the 20 year old son of a local clergyman, taking his mother's advice to make a career in food or drink because neither ever go out of fashion.
Using apples from the orchard at his father's rectory and an old stone press on the farm next door, young Percy made the first drop of cider upon which the family fortune would be made. Today Bulmers make 65% of the five million hectolitres sold annually in the UK and the bulk of the exports.
His elder brother, Fred, coming down from Kings College, Cambridge, turned down the offer of a post as tutor to the children of the King of Siam, to join Percy in his fledgling cider business. A lady called Anna got the job instead and hence that wonderful musical film, The King and I, based on a true story.
Meanwhile the brothers, with a 1000 loan from their father, bought an 8 acre field just outside the City walls and built their first cider mill. It was little more than a shack compared to the huge modern, stainless steel, computer controlled cider making plant that has grown up on a 75 acre site nearby.
Cider making in those early days was a hit or miss affair, the fermentation being achieved by the wild yeast in the apple, and more often than not, the cider turned sour.It was a college friend of Fred's, Dr Herbert Durham, who, in the 1890's, isolated the wild yeast to create the first pure cider yeast culture which would ensure all future fermentations were consistent. It was the start of commercial cider making.
Bulmers was first granted the Royal Warrant in 1911 and continues proudly today as Cider Maker to her Majesty, the Queen.