Innovative Technology for Drinks Producers

Based in Somerset, RAF veteran Paul Rolfe bought a rundown cider mill ready to have life breathed back into it! The orchard is home to 2100 cider apple trees which Paul nurtures to produce his variety of cider. The barn contained an old cider press, last used over 40 years ago. Records show the press was last used to produce cider for Ernest Shackleton’s last expedition to the Antarctic. Preserved as a museum piece and cidery restored, new equipment was required for Paul to run his first harvest.



The barn itself was used to manufacture Hurricane wings during WWII and with Paul’s RAF background it was clear that the barn would need to be restored to its former glory. Prior to owning this little gem, all 10 different varieties of apples were sold to a local cider producer. However, Paul’s intensions to make his own cider meant Ad Astra Cider was established.

“Deciding to buy my own cidery was made during one of those moments of clarity you sometimes have. Sat in front of my computer day after day during lockdown I suddenly knew I needed a complete change of direction and almost immediately I saw the Orchard came up for sale. I never considered making cider for a living before that moment, but challenges are what life is all about, so we went for it” – Paul Rolfe.

Due to his limited knowledge, Paul’s objective was to slowly build both production and experience. To retain success, both for their first harvest and many to come, the correct equipment was critical to this supporting this business growth. Between mending the roof, clearing out the junk and learning how to make cider, Paul spent a great deal of time researching the right equipment to start cider production.

“I chose Core Equipment as the equipment looked well-made and solid, and of course the price was right. The customer interaction with Jason Azevedo was fantastic. He answered all my questions quickly and thoroughly and it was really his professionalism that sealed the deal. People buy from people in my experience”

– Paul Rolfe, Ad Astra Cider


After much research and deliberation, Paul settled on Core Equipment to supply Ad Astra Cider with a Sraml JTM100 Washer Elevator Mill, Double Belt Press and Sraml Juice Filter JF1500 just in time for this year’s (2021) harvest.

Ad Astra Cider
Sraml Washer Elevator Mill

The Sraml JTM100 Washer Elevator Mill is capable of providing the capacity of up to 1000 kg of fruit per hour.

Ad Astra Cider
Sraml Double Belt Press

Sraml Belt Press features 7-11 individual pressing rollers and has a production capacity of up to 7500 kg per hour.

“The equipment arrived earlier than expected and Jason was there to help unload and set things up. Although he had another appointment to go to, he did not leave until he knew I was entirely happy. My one (and it really is only one) criticism of the whole experience was the documentation and manuals. They were emailed to me after the delivery in pdf format and the quality was poor. However, any questions I had were quickly answered by the staff at Core Equipment and we ran our first apple press just 5 days later. Really great equipment and great customer service”

– Paul Rolfe, Ad Astra Cider.

We wish Paul and Ad Astra Cider a successful first harvest of many to come!


Complete Production Solutions

Working in close partnership with some of the industry's best European manufacturers; Core Equipment provides juice and cider producers with a wide range of the latest processing and packaging solutions including equipment such as belt presses, tanks, pasteurisers and bottling machines.

Got Questions? Get in touch

Talk to our sales team today to see how Core Equipment can support your business

Contact us