Rosie met with Cider Maker Sam Mount and Mark Hopper from the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM).
After being given a tour of the orchards and learning more about the cider industry, Rosie listened to concerns about cider makers’ tanks remaining largely blocked with the 2019 and 2020 harvests, which may need to be destroyed to make way for this year’s apple harvest. Worse still, was the fear that without support, decades old cider apple orchards may vanish from the countryside. The impacts of the numerous COVID lockdowns, pubs, bars shut and cancelled festivals over the last 12 months, has left some apple growers and cider makers in a perilous position.
“Cider makers are asking for much needed support to allow them to recover from the impact of COVID and for the government to keep their pledge to reduce red tape for business.” said Mark Hopper NACM “ The Treasury review into how cider and other alcoholic beverages are taxed is an opportunity to provide much needed support for our industry, but cider makers are concerned about more complexity and added cost.”
Sam Mount said, “It has been a challenging year but there are some positives, such as connecting more directly with our local community. Opening The Barn as a cafe, bar, shop and deli has been a great experience and a way for people to get closer to their local food and drink producers.”
Speaking after the visit, Rosie Duffield said “it is good to see a local business continue to be optimistic during what has been a difficult time. The food and drink sector welcomed the freeze in cider duty in the Budget, helping local pubs and the wider supply chain in their Coronavirus recovery, but the NACM have made a number of arguments for the future and these issues are definitely something I will look at.”
- Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield was in Bekesbourne on Friday 23rd April 2021 visiting Kentish Pip Cider on Woolton Farm.
- The Mount family have been growing apples at Woolton Farm for four generations. For more information on Kentish Pip Cider visit: https://www.kentishpip.co.uk/
Thanks to the wonderful support of the local and national community, grants and donations, The AET are thrilled to announce that they have now moved into their new home, Pavilion in The Park (PiP). The wonderful new building includes the AET office, public loos, a café and community space. The café opens today and the Community Space on the 17th May (at present). To find out more do email firstname.lastname@example.org
Helena Conibear – CEO of The Alcohol Education Trust – commented:
“This has been a two year journey for us, and what a journey it has been with the pandemic. We are so grateful to those who have made this possible and what a treat to have a proper office at last!”
The new address and contact details are:
The Alcohol Education Trust
Pavilion in the Park, The Great Park
St John Way, Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2FG
Tel: 01305 259142
The Alcohol Education Trust is a Dorset charity that works nationally to ensure 11- 25 year olds make safer choices around alcohol. Through early intervention and harm minimisations the charity helps young people to make more informed responsible life choices through the schools and youth organisations and parents/carers it supports free of charge with award-winning resources, workshops and training that. build young peoples’ resilience and life skills. You can learn more via www.alcoholeducationtrust.org and www.talkaboutalcohol.com
Following the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards recently presented Kingsley Ash of Thornborough Cider with the very first Breakthrough Cider Maker Award and announced the launch of the 2021/22 Awards. These remarkable awards are free to enter and offer aspiring cider makers advice, guidance and guaranteed listings in the on and off trade.
Barny explains: “The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards are nothing like any other cider competition. It’s the competition that I wish I could have won when I was starting out. Without a budget, without much help and support, it can be really daunting trying to get started in any career, let alone cider. The winners of these awards benefit from priceless help on the journey: mentoring, advice on strategy and branding, technical help with cider production and guaranteed listing in both on and off trade. This is an award with the kind of bankable bonus that doesn’t grow on trees!”
He continues: “The cider makers entering the Breakthrough Awards have their sights set on growing and improving all parts of their businesses and to get more of their fantastic ciders into more hands. The BCMA is a slingshot prize to a cider maker that the judges feel has the kind of promise, purpose and potential to go to the next level and I am thrilled that Sandford Orchards has been able to make these awards a reality. It feels great to be able to give something back to the industry that has given me so much.”
The overall winner of the inaugural awards was Thornborough cider. Barny elaborates: “The cider was sharp with a light bite and fantastic biscuity finish. Dry cider is harder to make well because sugar is so helpful at ironing out imperfections, so when dry cider is good, it’s brilliant! Kingsley Ash should feel rightly proud of his contribution to cider so far, and pretty excited about where he can take it.”
Barny adds: “Thornborough’s branding is really strong and elegant, and the business proposition behind it is sound and purposeful. We could also see plenty of opportunities to help Thornborough grow and improve and this is where the BCMA is invaluable.”
Rick Wyatt from Pang Valley and Marc Salter of Ex-press Cider both took away silver awards. Richard Yarnell from Mitchells and Butlers was one of the judges on an expert panel which included Susy Atkins, drinks writer and broadcaster, Helen Thomas, managing director of Westons Cider and The Ciderologist, Gabe Cook. Richard comments: “The Breakthrough Cider Maker awards is an exciting new initiative from Sandford Orchards, which seeks to support the growth of another ambitious cider maker by awarding prizes that directly impact on the winner’s ability to grow. I was very excited and honoured to be asked to join the judging panel, the quality of the entrants shortlisted for the award was very high and finding one overall winner caused much debate and discussion among the judges.”
Barny finishes: “It was a real pleasure to be part of the judging and, as a business that wants to move cider and the perception of cider forward, we are really excited to get a chance to work with this year’s winners and start the search for next year’s winners too. Bringing cider makers together is always brilliant for sharing ideas and dreaming up plans which we all hope will bring the joy of cider to more and more people. By supporting the energetic future of cider across the country we will grow our category, reach out to curious wine, beer and spirit drinkers and grow the love for this marvellous drink. I would like to thank everyone involved.”
The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards were launched by Sandford Orchards at the end of 2019 in collaboration with Westons Cider, Vigo Limited, Darts Farm and The Stable. The Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards will be back again in 2022, recognising and celebrating excellent quality whole juice ciders from around the UK. They are free to enter and open to cider makers producing between 3,000 and 15,000 litres of cider per year who can register their interest now at sandfordorchards.co.uk.
The prize includes: business strategy mentoring with Barny Butterfield, founder Sandford Orchards, a retail listing at Darts Farm, Devon, on-trade listing with a The Stable restaurant, £500 to spend with equipment and consumables supplier, Vigo limited and a technical visit to Weston’s cider to quiz the cider makers.
For further information on Sandford Orchards and the Breakthrough Cider Maker Awards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk email email@example.com or follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Sustainability and diversity have been placed at the heart of CraftCon 2021 as it heads online, on 29 and 30 April.
Hosted by the Three Counties Cider & Perry Association, CraftCon is the only professional conference in the UK dedicated to the craft cider sector.
While legendary cider authority Andrew Lea will open the virtual conference taking the audience to where cider apples began, with his journey to the Tian Shan foothills of Kazakhstan, Bill Wiggin MP and Ian Liddell-Grainger MP will join the National Association of Cider Makers’ Mark Hopper and SIBA’s Barry Watts on the final afternoon on a panel exploring to explore the case for duty reform.
“We are delighted that Eleanor Léger from Eden Ciders, the new president of the American Cider Association, will be joining us to speak on ice cider,” says TCCPA chair Simon Day, Once Upon A Tree. In addition, taking advantage of the virtual nature of the conference, US cider luminaries sharing their wisdom with CraftCon delegates include Ria Windcaller, MC of leading podcast CiderChat, Brian Rutzen, aka Cider Brian, and ANXO Cidery’s Sam Fitz.
Sessions over the two days will encompass sustainability in all its forms, from orchard biodiversity with a panel chaired by James Marsden, Gregg’s Pit, through to economic sustainability, with a panel featuring producers of all sizes, including Barny Butterfield, Sandford Orchards, and Polly Hilton, Find & Foster.
Cider production features strongly, with sessions including the joy of single variety ciders, with the Johnson family, Ross on Wye Cider & Perry, what makes great dry cider, chaired by James Finch, the Cider Critic, the technical challenges posed by kegging, chaired by Gabe Cook, The Ciderologist, and co-ferments and cider hybrids, with Pilton Cider’s Martin Berkeley and Once Upon A Tree’s Simon Day.
Chris Atkins, Ragged Stone Cider & Perry, organiser of the Perry Festival at the Three Counties Autumn Show, will share his passion for perry, talking delegates through the unique flavour and heritage proposition it offers while also shining a light on its future.
The pan-industry group Cider Women will take the gender debate one step further with an interactive session focusing on how all can work together “to shape the future and grow this dynamic and creative industry“. Meanwhile, Helen Anne Smith, founder of the Burum Collective, will be joined by Ren Navarro, of Beer. Diversity. North America, to focus on Improving Diversity, Inclusion and Equality.
“Alongside these sessions will be opportunities for networking chats, an online trade show and we’ll be bringing tasting sessions too,” says Simon Day.
A CraftCon 2021 Tasting Box is being put together. “These products will relate to the speakers and their talks,” says Lucie Mayerová, TCCPA communications officer. “While we can’t have our popular bottle share, we want to make sure that we offer a full experience and that all enjoy the event as much as possible.”
“When CraftCon started in 2019, it was a landmark moment for UK craft cider producers – finally we had an event for cidermakers, from cidermakers,” says Albert Johnson, Ross on Wye Cider & Perry Co and TCCPA secretary. “The technical and business knowledge and expertise that was shared and the connections forged was of enormous benefit to all who attended. I’m so happy we are able to have that experience again, this time online, to help bring cidermakers from all over the country – and indeed the world – together.”
All sessions will be recorded and accessible by ticket holders afterwards.
“CraftCon will help attendees become more informed, make better business decisions, and ultimately, produce better quality cider for the drinker at home,” says Albert Johnson. “I can’t wait!”
The TCCPA is most grateful to the National Association of Cider Makers and CraftCon’s confirmed Gold sponsors Vigo Ltd, Lallemand and Core Equipment. Without their support, this event would not be possible.
For further information, head to craftcon.co.uk
Tickets cost £25 for members of TCCPA and £40 for non-members, which include 1-year membership.
Limited edition T-shirts, bearing the slogan #ThatchersPubHeroes, will be given to participating pubs and bars for them to sell themselves to customers. Proceeds stay with the pub – raising over £250,000 for UK pubs and bars.
In 2020, Thatchers donated over 6,000 kegs of cider to pubs and bars up and down the country to help get them back on their feet following the first national lockdown.
The Somerset cider maker is inviting pubs and bars who wish to be involved in the initiative to sign up at www.thatcherscider.co.uk/ThatchersPubHeroes. They will then receive 20 #ThatchersPubHeroes t-shirts free of charge.
The offer is open to Thatchers draught stockists throughout the UK and Thatchers is encouraging pubs to be quick to claim theirs as there are only 20,000 t-shirts available.
Martin Thatcher, fourth generation cider maker says, “The last 12 months have been challenging for us all, but none more so than for businesses within the hospitality industry, many of whom face an uncertain future. Whilst we can’t wait for pubs and bars to be open again, we want to do what we can in the meantime to lend our support and offer much needed cash in the till. So we’ve created a limited-edition #ThatchersPubHeroes t-shirt in support of pubs and bars across the country. Made for pubs to support pubs!”
Thatchers is offering participating pubs social media support too – the cider maker will be letting its followers know which pubs are selling the t-shirts via an online map featured on their website. Every business can download their own Social Media assets from www.thatcherscider.co.uk/ThatchersPubHeroes
Devon based Sandford Orchards has launched a brand new collection of Vintage Ciders; a finest cask-aged cider, ‘Sandford Reserve’, a fresh oak-finished cider, ‘Apple & Oak’ and a mighty vat-aged cider named ‘The General’. This new range is available nationwide from retail outlets and www.sandfordorchards.co.uk RRP £32.00 for 12 x 500ml bottles.
Barny Butterfield, Chief Cidermaker at Sandford Orchards comments: “Every apple harvest has a distinct character. To use the term ‘vintage’ a cider must declare the year of harvest with the age of the cider providing a strong indication of its depth of flavour and maturity. A huge amount of effort went into creating our new vintage ciders and we are thrilled with the results. We trialled more than forty different potential winners before whittling them down to these three, each of which boasts their own unique characteristics.”
Apple & Oak – Fresh Oak-Finished Cider (ABV 6.7%)
‘Apple and Oak’, is a dry vintage cider aged in new oak barrels. It showcases youthful, ripe, bittersweet apple flavours which are complemented by hints of vanilla and toasty oak. The ideal accompaniment to a cheese ploughmans or cured meats, it’s the ‘cider nouveau’ of the collection.
Sandford Reserve – Finest Cask-Aged Cider (ABV 7.4%)
Sandford Reserve is the ‘exhibition’ cider of this new range. Using the pick of the 2019 crop and matured in larger wine casks, Sandford Reserve drinks like a smooth, oaky, chardonnay with flavours of honey, Madeira and dried fruits. It’s the perfect partner to curry or spicy Asian food.
The General – Mighty Vat-Aged Cider (ABV 8.4%)
The General is the Imperial Stout of this vintage range. This super rich cider is bold and satisfying with the flavours of Seville orange, plum and baked apple. It is a superb complement to gamey meats or a fully-laden Sunday roast.
Founded in 2002, independent, family-owned Sandford Orchards is based in Crediton, Mid Devon in the oldest working cider mill in the UK. The area has long been known as one of the most fertile parishes in all of Britain, both for its grazing and ability to grow apples. Crediton sits in the lee of the moors, so receives the right amount of rain and the right units of heat in summer.
Sandford Orchards takes a fresh, natural and low impact approach to producing cider. With their recent rebrand and expanded capacity, they are starting 2021 in a strong position to meet the needs of their fast-growing fan base as well as cider drinkers who want to trade up to something more authentic and better tasting.
Combining tradition and innovation, Sandford Orchards produces an award-winning range of core session ciders including Devon Red, Devon Dry and Devon Mist and fruit ciders; blackberry flavoured Fanny’s Bramble, Berry Lane using perfectly ripe raspberries, Old Blossom made from delicate Elderflower and an invigorating and zingy Cider Ginger.
For further information on Sandford Orchards please visit www.sandfordorchards.co.uk, follow Sandford Orchards on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
*Sandford Orchards Vintage Range of cider is available in cases of 12 x 500ml bottles RRP £32.00 and can be purchased from selected retail and hospitality outlets or online at www.sandfordorchards.co.uk.