After 15 very happy years making cider, I am sad to report that I have decided to hang up my picking trousers, put down my panking pole and call it a day. I have been very reluctant to call last orders on what has been a very fulfilling and rewarding chapter in my life, but the physically demanding nature of traditional cider making has finally caught up with me – my body has been complaining and I have been forced to listen.
I would just like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everybody who has supported me over the years and whose kind words and appreciation have spurred me on whilst picking in the rain and pressing in the frost! Thank you to my loyal customers, orchardeers, publicans and all of the other wonderful selection of cafés, bars and farm shops who have all banged the drum for local and traditional produce. Please keep banging that drum, the heartbeat of rural life.
Cider making has been kind to me and given me more than just frozen hands, weary bones and being blamed in the high street for various hang-overs. It has given me the opportunity to fully appreciate the stillness and beauty of a traditional orchard in the late autumn sun, revealed some remote and stunning corners of the countryside and, above all, it has introduced me to some wonderful, warm, hardworking and ingenious people, some of who will be friends for life and some who are sadly no longer with us.
But don’t panic just yet! Whilst I am no longer pressing, the nature of long fermentations and patient maturing means there will be supply of delicious cider for a little while yet – but when it’s gone, it’s gone! For simplicity and value I will be selling my remaining stock in cases of twelve including a final blend ‘Last Orders’ – pressed with classic bittersweet cider apples – Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Kingston Black, Chisel Jersey and Brown’s Apple. Hand picked in 2021, wild-fermented and matured for twelve months to yield a deliciously fruity, full-bodied cider which I am sure you will enjoy. Again, many thanks for your support and encouragement. Cheers!