Are you curious of what goes on on a actual cider farm in Somerset? Join The Journey Tester on a tour of the orchards, mill and tasting room of Thatchers Cider!
The stunning Heather from the Bristol Bloggers group invited me on a Thatchers Cider Tour on the Myrtle Farm within the city of Sandford, which is situated within the North Somerset area of England.
As I’m a big cider fan (you’ll be able to learn all about that, and a brief historical past of cider right here), in fact I used to be excited for the go to to this well-known British cider firm! We might be visiting the orchards, have a behind-the-scenes take a look at the Thatchers Manufacturing unit (The apple cider mill), go to the restaurant and naturally attempt of the ciders that the Thatchers household has been producing right here for over 100 years!
As October is official Cider and Perry (apple and pear cider) month ánd the center of harvest, what beter time that to go to now?
In case you are curious and need to know the place is Thatchers cider made, then comply with alongside:
Thatchers Cider Tour
Whereas I’ve been to fairly a few brewery and distillery excursions, I’ve truly by no means been to a cider mill earlier than, and with it being my private favorite drink, I used to be tremendous fascinated with the whole lot our guides needed to inform us.
We get a brief introduction to the farm and study that it was 1904 when William John Thatcher first made his apple cider at Myrtle Farm. His farm staff obtained partly paid in cider, for those who can consider it! Thatchers has all the time been a household enterprise. That signifies that every little thing they do is about ensuring that there’ll be a viable enterprise for the subsequent era.
At The Thatchers Cider Farm, you’ll be able to truly guide your personal cider tour and study all concerning the craft of cider making. Particular person excursions of max. 15 individuals run each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 11 AM. That is what you possibly can anticipate:
We begin our tour with dressing up in Thatchers hats, reflecting jackets (that is a working farm, in any case – security first!) and get a pair of rubber boots to put on if we would like. After simply 10 minutes outdoors the altering room, I’m completely happy that I obtained them, as a result of it’s raining to arduous that my umbrella is deteriorating on the spot and and my very own footwear would have undoubtedly stayed caught within the muddy area, and I’d should proceed on socks.
My pleasure for cider makes that I cease caring concerning the chilly wind and water coming down and I take in (actually) all the knowledge our information tells us concerning the totally different apple varieties, the rising course of and the harvest they’re in the midst of proper now.
Alongside well-known cider apples like Somerset Redstreak and Dabinett, and common dessert apples like Katy, additionally they develop 458 types of uncommon conventional apples of their exhibition orchard, the most important assortment of cider apple timber in England! Simply 25 varieties of those are used for his or her ciders and every of them have their very own position to play relating to flavour and aroma.
First ever time at an apple cider farm! So Joyful!Our information exhibits us the orchards of the Thatchers apple cider modelApples have been falling off the timber as we walked round (and psst… the pink ones truly tasted fairly good!)
This isn’t staged in any respect ^_^
Our information displaying us how they create totally different kinds of cider apple timber@heathercowperHow is apple cider made? With a lot of ardour, I can inform you now!
Coming straight from the orchards, all apples from Thatchers get tipped into their apple bays, that may maintain as much as 100 tons. Additionally they have apples that they purchase from totally different locations, they usually all keep strictly separated, to maintain the flavours as pure as potential.
We have been fortunate, as a truckload of apples simply arrived and acquired dumped into one of many bays to get washed. Undoubtedly probably the most satisfying 10 seconds of my week, I can inform you!
When they’re clear, the apples get mashed after which pressed (September to December) to extract the juice. With their 5 presses, they will press about 450 tonnes of apples each DAY on the peak of the season! When the household put in their first press again within the 1950s, this was solely about 6 tonnes… They’ve come a great distance!
After testing the bays, we went into the mill, the place I couldn’t take any pictures, however we noticed how the cider fermentation course of labored (particular yeast is added to the apple juice, to show sugar into alcohol), how they received cider from apple juice, the place the cider received saved and later the place the cider obtained bottled and labeled. It appeared a little bit like a vineyard, to be trustworthy, however then smelling of crisp apples all over the place. I most popular it!
What’s cider made out of? Have an informed guess ?On the backside left, you’ll be able to see the oak vats that give the Thatchers cider its distinct flavour. The cider matures in these vats for about 6 weeks. The vats are over 150 years previous and over 30 ft (9 meters) tall! Inside the primary constructing, the cider bottles get crammed and labeled.Cider coming straight from the Thatchers brewery!
The Tasting Room
After seeing the entire course of from rising to bottling, it was time to hit the tasting room at Thatchers cider Somerset. Can’t say I wasn’t enthusiastic about this a part of the tour. We began with their well-known ‘Katy’ cider, which is known as after one among their greatest apple varieties. It’s a medium dry cider and actually away from color.
Then we additionally tasted a few others, amongst which the Apple ‘Cider Barn Redwood’ and ‘Cider Barn Redstreak’. Each wonderful flavours and undoubtedly a few of my favourites.
Right here is a fast overview of all of the ciders that Thatchers at present have:
- Household Favourites
- Thatchers Haze Cider [ABV 4.5% // Apple Cider Cloudy & Sweet]
- Thatchers Gold Cider [ABV 4.8% //Apple Cider Smooth & Golden]
- Characterful Ciders
- Thatchers Inexperienced Goblin Cider [ABV 5% // Medium Dry, Full Flavoured]
- Thatchers Previous Rascal Cider [ABV 4.5% // Medium Dry, Full Bodied]
- Premium Ciders
- Thatchers Classic Cider [ABV 7.4% // Rich & Oak Aged]
- Thatchers Katy Cider [ABV 7.4% // Light & Crisp]
- Thatchers Summer time Classic Cider [ABV 7.4% // Floral & Fruity]
- Stan’s Cheddar Valley Cider [Naturally Cloudy // ABV 6%]
- Stan’s Trad Cider [Traditional, Naturally Hazy // ABV 6%]
- Stan’s Huge Apple Cider Cans [Softly-Rounded, Medium Dry Still // ABV 5%]
- Stan’s Leaf Tornado Cider Cans [Traditional Big Apple Cider // ABV 5%]
- Stan’s Barrel Curler Cider Cans [Full Flavoured Traditional Cider // ABV 6%]
- Cider Barn
- Thatchers Rose Cider [Medium Sweet with Light Fruity Taste // ABV 5.4%]
- Thatchers Redstreak Cider [Single Variety, Bold/Peppery Cider // ABV 8.4%]
- Thatchers Redwood Cider [Rich, Intense Mouth Feel, Hint of Vanilla // ABV 6.0%]
- Thatchers Household Reserve Cider [ABV 11% // Dry & Delicate]
After studying how apple cider is made, it’s time for the style checkAll the apple cider apples at Thatchers!Now that’s an apple cider bottle for critical drinkers!
The Railway Inn Restaurant
After all of the cider tasting, we have been undoubtedly all getting a bit hungry, however what we might discover within the Thatchers restaurant referred to as the “Railway Inn”, I don’t assume any of us would have anticipated!
The meals menu was not solely in depth, however most of the dishes featured cider, which in fact I needed to attempt for myself. I went for the next:
- STARTER > Mussels, Cockles & Clams (In a Thatchers Cider & Leek Sauce + Selfmade Bread)
- MAIN > Thatchers Cider & Honey Glazed Gammon (with Fried Duck Egg, Spiced Pineapple Chutney, Triple Cooked Chips & Combined Leaf Salad)
- PUDDING > 1 Scoop Salted Caramel Ice Cream + 1 Scoop Haze Sorbet.
And in case you are questioning, YES, the Haze Sorbet is made from Cider. As a result of, why not?!
The Thatchers BBQ menu simply seemed superb and all the meals that I ordered tasted to extremely good, I might love to return again right here at some point and style extra of their menu. I can extremely advocate spending a while right here throughout your go to and make reservations for lunch or dinner.
Since 1904, this place is serving cider England loves!Have a drink within the Thatchers pub and sing together with the harvest track of this cider manufacturing unit!
OMG their cheese platter additionally seemed AMAZINGSO SO Proud of my musselsI had the Gammon (prime left) and ice cream (backside proper), which was soooo good. Subsequent to me, I nonetheless had meals envy for the guinea fowl with chorizo pie (prime proper) and sticky toffee apple pudding with cider toffe sauce (backside left)
Thatchers Cider Store
All completely satisfied and full with superb meals and ciders, we made a fast final cease over on the Thatchers store, to refill on Thatchers cider present units, bottles, bar runners, Thatchers cider glasses, apple cider jugs and what not.
Some individuals even purchased complete pirate jugs of cider! Arrrr!!!
The stunning Thatchers farm storeAll of the Cider Thatchers Goodies!
Wow, I had such a tremendous cider expertise over on the Myrtle Farm of Thatchers Somerset and I can extremely advocate paying them a go to. Whether or not you simply go for the restaurant, the bar or for a tour to see how cider is made and have a tasting session afterwards, I’m positive that the tales of the household and their unimaginable meals & ciders can be well-worth the drive over!
Go to Thatchers in Somerset:
Myrtle Farm, Station Rd, Sandford, Winscombe BS25 5RA
Web site: thatcherscider.co.uk
Cider Flavours: thatcherscider.co.uk/our-cider
Guided Excursions: thatcherscider.co.uk/visit-us/thatchers-tours
Railway Inn: therailwayinn.com
£12.00 per individual, about 2 hours, English language solely. Make sure that to put on closed footwear and correct clothes, particularly when it rains! Minimal age is 15 years and the tasting is just for 18+ (all the time deliver your ID). No images is allowed on the tour.
Ebook properly prematurely, these excursions are fashionable!
One among their humorous commercials you may see on UK tv!
Listed here are all our articles the place we point out pretty ciders:
Disclaimer: I used to be kindly hosted by the Bristol Bloggers group and the individuals at Somerset Thatchers to expertise their tour, tasting session and lunch in trade for an trustworthy evaluation and social media mentions. All photographs, opinions and all of the love for cider on this article is 100% my very own, as all the time!