Latest Blog Posts

Flavoured Cider, The Best Is Yet To Come

Craft Cider got everybody’s attention, but its the flavoured variety that’s stealing the show. After storming into the market around ten years ago flavoured ciders are here to stay, customers love them and producers can express their creativeness through innovative new flavours and combinations. Strawberry, elderflower, honey, whisky cask, mixed berries and ginger to name a few, are the existing blends but many predict that will increase. “Consumers will soon see a more diverse range of cider variants, some of which will be made up of unusual and exotic flavours, such as guava, or even infused with spirits.” Scott Parker, trading manager for beer and cider at Molson Coors.TC straberry

So what are your favourite combinations? There is one clear frontrunner at the moment, strawberry, and Phil Patterson, partner of the approachable group, believes “it’s all about trust and consumers trust strawberries in a cocktail or a pudding. The status quo remains”. One of our personal favourites is the Thistly Cross strawberry and the Hunts strawberry, both have proved exceptionally popular among the trade but also when selling to customers, we sure can understand why.  Read More

Summer, Cider, Cricket!

Summer, Cider, Cricket. The great traditions of our British nation. All going hand in hand and in no bigger way than the start of ashesthe Ashes this summer. At 11am on the 8th of July at The Swalec Stadium, Cardiff, the first ball of the 2015 Ashes will be bowled, and the first sip of Cider will be drunk in what promises to be an enthralling series.

A devastating and ruthless Australian side return to English soil to retain the Urn they won so comprehensively in their 5-0 drubbing in 2013/14. However, England with their new Australian coach and their side too finding their feet and swagger will hope to bounce back with the support of the Barmy Army.

Batsmen will come and go, bowlers will live and die by the sword, one nation will bask in glory while another will be left dejected. However, with your opening partner, and personal choice of real cider the ride will be smooth and enjoyable, a blistering century or 5 wicket haul will always conclude with your most trustee of companions until the next mornings play.

Cricket, with its lunch and tea intervals, all-day action and gentle pace is a sport that lends itself kindly to the British public and the cider drinker. An opportunity to enjoy the easy drinking and refreshing taste of real cider throughout the day is a thought that provides as much excitement as the cricket itself.

Come on England, give us something to celebrate, otherwise it will be a long summer drowning our sorrows.

Battle of the Cidermakers: Dorset v Herefordshire

Euston Cider TapThis Friday (6.15 – 8.30), 20th June, at The Euston Cider Tap the first ever Battle of the Cidermakers will take place. Where a carefully selected team of cider makers from Dorset and Herefordshire will do battle. Each maker, will bring a selection of their very finest products to represent their county in a number of categories; dry, medium and sweet. There will be a group of judges scoring each product without knowing which one they are tasting, for the scores to be collated at the end and an eventual winning county will be crowned Cream of the Crop.

Featuring award winning ciders from:

Oliver’s Cider & Perry, Newton Court Cidery, Once Upon a Tree – Herefordshire

Purbeck Cider Co, Sherbourne Cider, Dorset Sunshine, Dorset Nectar – Dorset

There will be plenty for everybody to enjoy, including; ‘meet the makers’, ‘sample a range of award winning ciders’, ‘observe blind tasting judged by a panel of experts’ and Free Entry for all. All entering participants cider will also be available at the bar.

So, please come and join us at 6.15 this Friday, in the upstairs room of The Euston Cider Tap.

FTD

 

Brought to you by The Real Al Company and Fetch The Drinks!

Fetch The Drinks at the Ageas Bowl – Hampshire Fare

A freezing cold Ageas Bowl was the scene and Hampshire were taking on Essex at the start of the new T20 season, with the hosts looking to continue their impressive form of reaching finals day every year since 2010.

Of course we weren’t there for the cricket, but it made for a juicy extra to be pitched up on the boundary edge with our stall facing onto the square. I am sure it was all part of the boss’ master plan.

The Ageas Bowl, Fetch The Drinks warm up

The Ageas Bowl, Fetch The Drinks warm up

 

Unfortunately, due to the licensing at the ground we were unable to sell our fantastic range of Hampshire cider’s and beer’s during the match, much to the disappointment of all who attended the game. Not only were we selling at a more competitive price but our extensive and lovingly produced product range would have made for a pleasant change to the usual suspects at the bar; we felt like KP to the main bar’s Andrew Strauss.  The products we were showcasing included the ; Mr Whitehead’s, 146 Cider, New Forest Cider, Laverstoke Park Farm and Vibrant Forest. However, we were not to be disheartened and were able to sell the concept and products of who we represent to a large number of future customers.  Furthermore, many customers returned after the close of play to take home their goody bag of ciders and beers.

Despite our hands being a bit like Monty Panesar’s (tied behind our back) it was still a great occasion for ourselves and all the other stall holders. Although, the alcohol selling legislation will not have changed by the next time we can hope for some slightly better weather though and hopefully another Hampshire win.

So despite not being a characteristic swashbuckling knock from the Fetch The Drinks team, they managed to grind out a positive victory in trying conditions to leave with their heads held high. The next home fixture at the Ageas Bowl will again provide a stern test, but with good technique and fast drinking between the wickets we can hope for another successful evening.

Hampshire bowling to victory

Hampshire bowling to victory

A big thank you must go to the Hampshire Fare for making the event possible and to the Ageas Bowl for hosting us. We promise not to excite too many customers with our craft range next time and leave them disappointed with the purchasing options. There is a craft storm brewing though, and although the big boys have kept a good line and length we are ready to clear the ropes and deliver to the public what they want.

You may be able to hold back KP, but you can’t hold back craft (n/o).

Bournemouth Cider Festival with Fetch The Drinks – Cider Fex

On the 1st May, Fetch The Drinks hosted their very own Cider Festival, Cider Fex, at the Shelley Theatre in Boscombe.

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Being our first event we were unsure what to expect. How many people would come? Have we chosen the right ciders? Has the event received enough publicity and most importantly will people enjoy it? Well looking back on the event we have to say it was a resounding success. 200 people attended and all stayed right until the last orders bell was rung, enjoying the ciders, atmosphere and the live music from Thirstyman and The Sarah Griffin Band.

We had chosen 13 ciders which we were going to have on offer, and it must be said all were equally as popular as each other. It will make next years selection committee even the more difficult. We had ciders from Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Scotland. The ciders selected were; Dorset Sunshine, Wessex, Burrow Hill, Countryman, Hitchcox, Farmer Jim’s medium and Copper Top, Lawrence’s, Hunts Strawberry, Dorset Nectar Raspberry, Orchard Pig Maverick, Thistly Cross Whisky Cask and Twisted. We hope to add to the range and offer a different variety at the next event, thus hopefully covering at least one product from all the producers we represent.

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The night began at 6pm, after an afternoon of preparing the venue from the Fetch The Drinks team and the kind volunteers at The Shelley Theatre. The band area was erected, posters and programmes were printed and arranged, Fetch The Drinks beer mats placed on all tables and the mandatory taste test from the boss was undertaken before all the guests arrived. We were assured this is one of the most important factors of hosting an event like a cider festival while he made his way through the 13 ciders we had on offer.

 

Our first guest arrived at bang on 6 and there was a steady stream of cider drinkers for the next few hours. They were able to enjoy their first half pint which was included in the entrance fee and live music from the bands which began at 8.30.

Thank you again to everyone who attended and made our first festival such a success. We hope to see you all at the next one, but if you can’t hold out until then please find all our products available on our website http://fetchthedrinks.com.

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Or if you would like us to a host a cider tasting event or cider festival for you email cheers@fetchthedrinks.com for any further enquiries. We often get many requests like this so please don’t hesitate to ask.

Cheers,

Fetch The Drinks

Day out in the sun!

The delivery team had a fantastic day yesterday, from collecting products from some of their local cider makers to delivering to festivals and pubs. Bexley Beer Festival, on this weekend from Thursday 23rd to Saturday 25th, was the first stop where we dropped off a variety of 11 different ciders from our range. The Old Dartfodians Sports Club was an extremely suitable location for a festival with the marquee erected on the boundary edge of the cricket pitch outfield. Hopefully the weather will hold and we thoroughly recommended heading down if you are in the area, it promises to be a cracking innings.

Belly Beer Festival

Bekley Beer Festival

Our journey then directed us west and into London. The Flying Pig, Dulwich, was one stop of note. It was our first involvement with the pub, where they specialise in Craft Beer and BBQ and hopefully the start of a long affiliation with them. We have supplied them with a small range of our ciders and if their customers enjoy them as much as we do it is a journey we will be making rather more frequently.

The Flying Pig

The Flying Pig, Dulwich

Our final delivery of note and where our day concluded was The Crown Hotel in Amersham. They have been a loyal customer from the start and was great to hear of the success of our products within their bar which was demonstrated by the size and variety of their order. Popping into Su Chases Interiors (http://www.suchases.com), Amersham, for a cup of tea with family rounded it all off before the journey back down South.

Another day beckons out on the road, however a little closer to home. We look forward to seeing all our suppliers and customers in the near future. In the mean time pick your favourite products from our website and get them delivered to your home – fetchthedrinks.com

Cheers

On the Road Again

On the Road Again

Coming Soon – Copse House Cider with Fetch the Drinks

Fetch the Drinks are extremely excited to now be working with Copse House Cider. The cider producer, based in Sandley, Dorset, is putting together a fantastic range of products while also restoring 300 acres of farmland on Kine Bush Farm. Their team are both enthusiastic and passionate about their project and we are thankful to be a part of it.

Where it all happens... Inside the cider mill

Where it all happens… Inside the cider mill

Bob, The Master Cider Maker behind Copse House Cider, has 30 years of experience within the industry and in 2013 was awarded the Bath & West Gold Medal for his lifetime contribution to the cider industry.

“Hidden away, among the narrow lanes of Sandley, we’re busy unlocking the taste and tradition of Dorset cider making. Thankfully, our master cider maker knows all the secrets.”

What will it be for you – Still or Sparkling? There isn’t long to decide, products soon coming live to the Fetch the Drinks website!!!

Copse House Cider - Cider Mill

Copse House Cider – Cider Mill

Sparkling perry older than champagne? Yes but don’t let on…

Do you remember the “Hey…I’d love a Babycham” ad from the 70s and 80s?  Growing up then I had no idea what Babycham was, but it always seemed exotic, mysterious, cool and sexy (although still never drank it!).   However it’s only good old fashioned sweet sparkling perry that, like most commercial ciders and perrys, is probably made from just concentrate, sugar and water.  Little did we know then that it was probably the pre-curser to today’s alcopops.  However a number of craft cider producers now also make fantastic perry cider which is definitely not an alcopop – high quality 100% juice ingredients giving rise to a fantastic ‘new’ craft drink, growing rapidly in popularity.

Also a little known fact is that bottle fermentation was made possible by the British who originally started adding sugar to their ciders in the 16th and 17th centuries leaving them to ferment to form perry or cider champagne, and now developed to the sparkling drinks for the mass market we know today.  They were also able to make the glass bottles strong enough to withstand the pressure, which ultimately enabled the French to develop their mass market world wide brand of sparkling wine … champagne.

We have some great sparkling perry’s made from 100% perry pears and available to buy on the website from Tutts Clump, Gwyntt Y Ddraig and Mr Whiteheads – http://fetchthedrinks.com/shop-category/perry/

 

Shake ‘n’ Catch – cider apple collection going hi-tech?

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As physicist Isaac Newton realised while he was sitting in his garden many moons ago, apples like to fall out of their tree with gravity force. This law of nature is something that cider growers are all also acutely aware of.

When cider apples hit the ground, the quality of the fruits is severely compromised. This is why Thatchers is currently trialling a new way of planting trees that could help to eliminate this problem.

The largest trial of its kind in the UK, the research project is being led by John Thatcher, who started the experiment in 2010 when he planted some 16ha of trees at the Somerset-based cider maker’s Shiplate orchards. Two years later, he planted another 41ha on the site.

All 70,000 trees in the trial have been planted in an innovative, new hedgerow style, meaning they reach a height of 2.74m (9ft) and are planted 1.5m (5ft) apart. This enables Thatchers’ growers to collect the apples using a new straddle harvester, which the family business has helped to develop.

This hi-tech machine harvests the apples using a “shake-and-catch” method that stops the fruits from shooting onto the orchard floor. John says: “We believe that harvesting apples off the ground is not an option for the future, so this major trial will be of immense value.”

With thanks to Horticulture week.

UK Duty Exemption removal requested for small cider producers

The European Commission has formally requested that the UK amend an excise duty scheme that exempts from duty small producers of cider and perry.

The UK exemption covers those producers that produce not more than 70 hectoliters of cider or perry over a period of 12 consecutive months and who make such products for sale. Read More