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Steve’s hundred-acre ‘Orgasmic’ orchard

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Drink | 0 comments

STEVE Layton’s grandfather bought a farm in the Wye Valley in 1930 and soon started growing apples, supplying Bulmers and Westons. Then at aged 14, Steve himself made his first cider. The artisan cider maker says: “I pressed the apples on a homemade press to start with and then 10 years ago I went into production.” Still producing under 7,000 litres, Layton says he could probably sell two or three times as much but because of tax rates he keeps it under. For now he’s selling to local shops and pubs, mostly in bottle, and to cider wholesalers for the CAMRA cider festivals in the UK. “Bulmers checks the alcohol levels for me – you don’t get every business helping each other out like that,” says Layton who sells products from other Herefordshire producers in his farm shop. This includes...

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Meet Herefordshire cider-maker Tom Oliver

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Drink | 0 comments

CRAFT cider-makers in Herefordshire, Somerset, Worcester, Devon, Dorset, Kent – and even Cheshire – are doing their bit to increase the popularity and accessibility of this ancient British drink. Once “the most wholesome drink in Europe” according to 18th century diarist John Evelyn, cider has returned as flavour of the day and, according to Mintel analysts, it is now equal in popularity to lager. But the question is often asked, what makes it artisan? Depending on the cider-maker you happen to be talking to the general answer is that “it’s none of that watered down stuff”. Hand-crafted cider is fermented from heritage cider apples using naturally occurring yeasts and is 100% full fruit juice. Other cider-makers mature their cider very slowly in oak barrels while others believe in no filtering or pasteurising. For them the cider is served in its natural draught...

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Once Upon a Tree makes cider to drink with food

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Drink, Food & Drink, Places to visit & stay | 0 comments

Once Upon a Tree producer Simon Day says his Herefordshire cider and perry are perfect for food and provide a fresh alternative to wine. Like Henry Weston, who started cider production in Herefordshire in 1880, Simon Day found himself living among apple and pear orchards at the Dragon Orchard in Putley and decided to make cider and perry. A professional winemaker by trade, Day entered his first cider products for the International Cider & Perry Competition in 2008 and scooped three first prizes. Then in 2012, Once Upon a Tree was named Best Drinks Producer at the BBC Food & Farming Awards. After BBC Radio 4 devoted a programme to the awards, cider and perry sales shot up dramatically for Once Upon a Tree. Day says he’s been able to turn his hobby into a business because of the awards....

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