Saxby’s grand opening: A sty fit for a tap room

Pigs are in the blood of the Saxby family and now proudly sit on the front of their cider bottles. Following our recent visit to their farm in Northamptonshire, Phil Saxby, AKA ‘The Guvnor’, told us a little bit more about the story behind the Saxby’s brand and delicious ciders.


Originally an arable farmer, Phil diversified into cider making back in 2011 when someone asked if he had any apple trees, as they would like to buy the fruit and make their own juice. He immediately decided to plant some trees for them. While planning the new orchard, the thought occurred to try making his own cider.

Phil tried out his first batch of cider on a home-made press, collecting apples from neighbouring gardens and the roadside. He later admitted it wasn’t the best, but he now had the bug! The new orchard was planted with a blend of cider apples and dessert fruit – a blend Saxby’s still use to this day. The business has continued to go from strength to strength, and Phil uses apples from his own orchards as well as others from Northamptonshire and Herefordshire farmers.

The Brand:

The name was simple, Phil Saxby, Saby’s… But why the pig? That derives from a family business that started in 1904 and finished in 2008, specialising in pork pies and sausages. The story goes that Roger Moore was a massive fan and would eat Saxby’s pork pies on the set of James Bond films! So, the family history has always had a pig connection with pigs and they now carry that on their logo and bottles. Saxby’s pork pies, is now Saxby’s cider, and produced on the farm where the pigs used to be housed. Pigs do still roam the farm but just as pets these days.

Trip to Saxby's Cider

Opening Night @Saxby's Cider! 👀. 🍻 🍏 Phil and the team are opening their tap room tonight for the first time. It was great to pop in yesterday to see the all the hard work that has gone into preparing the barn and learn a bit more about the 🐷 .Don’t forget their stunning ciders are all available at Fetch The Drinks.📦. –

Posted by Fetch The Drinks on Friday, 28 August 2020

Lockdown measures:

The Tap Room at Saxby’s

Saxby’s have made some great additions this year and have found new and inventive ways to ensure their products can still be enjoyed by all cider drinkers. Firstly the addition of the new Tap Room, in one of the barns, which enjoyed it’s grand opening last week. You can book a barrel in advance for you and your friends. They are also offering cider tours, a great way to see the apple’s journey from orchard to bottle. Finally, to cap off your day with Phil and the team, you can visit the Saxby’s visitor shop and get your hands on their stunning ciders and merchandise.

Ciders available:

Can’t get to their Northamptonshire home? Don’t worry, we have a great range of Saxby’s available at Fetch The Drinks. Where you can order online and have delivery straight to your home! 🐷

Saxby’s Original Cider

Saxby’s Original cider uses a blend of cider and dessert apples. This is a well-balanced, crisp medium cider with a fresh zingy start and a wonderful appley finish.

Saxby’s Traditional Cider

Saxby’s Traditional Cider is a a medium dry cider, with a long flavour with oaky notes and definitely very moreish!

Saxby’s Cloudy Rhubarb Cider

Saxby’s Cloudy Rhubarb Cider is blended with real Yorkshire rhubarb giving a subtle sweet finish.

Saxby’s Plum Cider

Saxby’s Plum cider has been blended with plum juice, the result is a mouth-watering medley of mists and mellow fruitfulness.


Two new producers now available at ftd!

We are delighted to be starting 2020 with two new additions to our list of producers. We like to think we offer one of the most extensive cider lists in the country, working with over 85 producers from home and the continent. Adding to our ranks now is two extremely popular and upcoming producers; Bushel + Peck and Tricky Cider!

Bushel + Peck, simply gather unsprayed fruit from gardens and traditional orchards all over Gloucestershire and use them to make the best cider and perry possible, in a straightforward way.

Many people who have apple trees in their back gardens don’t know what to do with all the fruit.  We use that surplus fruit to make fine Bushel + Peck cider and perry.  In return we give our fruit suppliers free cider, or apple juice if they prefer.  It’s a sustainable way of making cider, using locally available fruit that might otherwise go to waste.

Although a very small cider-maker, B+P still collected about 2 million apples during the autumn of 2016, with that figure likely to have increased four years on. That’s (quite literally) millions of apples picked by hand, washed by hand, pressed by hand (with a little help from a hydraulic pump) and, once fermented and matured, bottled by hand.  All very much like the way cider has been made in Gloucestershire for centuries – using local varieties of local apples to make local cider, to pay farm workers (in part) in times past, and now for enjoyment.

After you’ve tried a cider from Bushel + Peck cider or perry, we hope you’ll think all their effort was worthwhile.

Bushel + Peck cider available at Fetch The Drinks:

Fresh + Crisp – more typical of the way cider is made in the eastern counties of England. It is what it says, refreshing, with a pleasing appley aroma and a clean, crisp flavour.

Rich + Mellow – made with variety of sweet, bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples. It has a greater depth of flavour and complexity, characteristic of cider apples. A well-rounded and smooth cider.

Perry – delicate, refined, smooth and subtle, with a distinctive acidic twang. It’s made with a blend of perry pears gathered from some truly magnificent trees around the county. Some have compared it to drinking prosecco.


Tricky Cider is run by Matt Gillett, a lover of both Cider and Somerset. A life long disciple of cider, Matt took over Tricky in 2018. Now operating from Higher Willand Farm high on the Blackdown hills he aims to produce high quality traditional ciders with complex rich flavours and tannins. His not so secret approach is to make use of the many old and varied orchards that exist across the Somerset levels to source not only a wide variety of fruit, but some of the best quality and most sought after cider apples around.

At Tricky they believe that real craft cider is not getting the recognition it deserves. Unlike the majority of mass produced ciders available today, their cider is only made from real cider apples, never from concentrate. Sugar is only added to sweeten a dry cider and not to increase alcohol content. All Tricky fruit ciders are made with their own cordials including elderflower from the farm, and rhubarb from our generous rhubarb donors!

Tricky available at Fetch The Drinks:

Crimson King – smooth with a scent of vanilla and a bite to finish, a strong dry cider for cider lovers. This single variety cider heralds from a cluster of 8 majestic trees on the slopes of Pennand Hill near Glastonbury.

Dry – their signature cider is a smooth and tasty blend of cider apples; mixed varieties from old orchards combine with some of Somerset’s favourite apples to make a fine dry cider.

Summer Berry – a dark berry red Wizard, a refreshing and easy to drink taste of the summer.

Wizard Medium – is made from a base of Yarlington Mills and Dabinet. Well balanced and full of flavour.

An ice cider at this chilly time of year!

New Cider at Fetch The Drinks – Broadway Press

Something a little bit different is brought to you by the Broadway team in the Cotswolds. 

“At Broadway Press, we take inspiration from Mother Nature to develop our unique flavours. When an apple freezes, something magical happens, and when thawed it provides a sensational drinking experience.”

All of their Ice Cyder is made from the first, ‘virgin’ press of the freeze-thawed apples which create Iced Apple Juice.

This differs from other ice ciders, which are produced from freeze-concentrated apple juice.

This is why their products are spelt ‘cyder’ and not ‘cider’, as they only use virgin press apple juice and never juice from concentrate.

Allowing natural yeasts to take hold of the juice and work their magic to create a
truly unique alcohol with a smooth, fruity and more-ish flavour!

It really is something to behold and a cider taste unlike no other… 😋



Tasting notes – Citrusy, razor-sharp and punchy cyder, perfect with spicy food.

Dry Ice:

Tasting notes – Smooth, zesty and bitter-sharp cyder with lasting finish.


Tasting notes – A rich, beautifully sweet, indulgent summery treat.

Harvest time brings new products at Fetch The Drinks!

New Cider Alert!

We’ve got some stunning new ciders now available at Fetch The Drinks. What better way to celebrate World Apple Day?

Beard & Sabre
I∂unn – the keeper of apples and granter of eternal youthfulness. Idolised in the Poetic Edda Lokasenna – a pagan era goddess. A smooth drinking medium still cider, low in acidity but with a dry mouthfeel imparted from the pressing of specially chosen British bittersweet cider apples. The true taste of the forbidden fruit and a great all year staple that pairs well with food. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. -Full juice, not from concentrate -Sweetened with apple juice, never artificially -Pressed apples from our Shepton Mallet orchard.




Cider – an easy-drinking classic Herefordshire Bittersweet Blend. 100% Juice. Full of fruity, earthy aromas and soft tannins. An “all day” cider, perfect for Parties and Festivals.

Perry -traditional Perry is similar to Cider, but made from Pears. Herefordshire is one of only four counties in Great Britain where Perry is traditionally produced. This delightful and refreshing drink surprises most people with it’s natural sweetness and floral bouquet.



Black Fox Organic – hand crafted with up to 14 different, carefully blended cider apple varieties to deliver a deliciously rounded cider with a lively, tangy finish and light honey hues.

Craft Organic – medium organic cider, easy drinking with the classic Dunkertons deep apple flavour.

Dry Organic – dry by name and dry by nature, this cider is one for the more adventurous enthusiast. Hand crafted blended cider apple varieties with lower levels of sweetness, the result is a beautifully crisp full bodied cider delivering a refreshing dry finish.



Dry – a 6% crisp refreshing dry draught cider bursting with flavour.

Medium – delicately balanced to produce a stunning traditional cider.

Sweet – subtlety sweetened with a rich fruity flavour.



Saby’s clean up at Great Taste Awards 2019

We recently received the fab news that Saxby’s have won three Great Taste Awards in 2019. Their stunning ciders are gaining in popularity every year with Fetch The Drinks customers and this news comes with little surprise. We stock their Traditional, Original, Cloudy Rhubarb, Plum and Mulled to cover all your festive needs. The Blackcurrant is curretly unavailble but following the below judge’s comments maybe we should bring it in!

Here’s what the judge’s had to say:

🏆 Saxby’s Original Cider: “Bright and clear pale gold cider with a lovely floral and earthy orchard aroma. Plenty of fresh apple in the mouth, well rounded, well balanced between the sweet and the sharp. A well-crafted cider.”



🏆 Saxby’s Plum Cider: “A wonderful garnet colour. This has sweet apple and caramel notes on the nose, and the apples come through on the nose with a well-judged hint of plummy stone fruit on the finish. This tastes honest and clean and bright. A well-made cider.”



🏆 Saxby’s Blackcurrant Cider: “Glorious blackcurrant red with lots of life in those shiny bubbles. Heady blackcurrant on the nose with a refreshing dryness to it. Well balanced sweetness with the tannic dryness making for a very pleasant mouthful with a long fruity finish. Appreciated the use of home grown blackcurrants and these are certainly the hero of the flavours, and well represented in a jolly decent cider.

“We found a pleasing prosecco spritziness with a good combination of blackcurrant and apple happily well balanced by a sharp note at the end. A well-made fruit cider.”

This now means they have won 8 Great Taste Awards since 2017 and are now a Great Taste Producer too!

Order Saxby’s online or if you are in the trade visit our B2B site here.


Ampleforth Abbey: A View from the Orchard

They say the best time to plant an apple tree was ten years ago, and the second-best time is of course now. It is over 50 years since Fr Edmund Hatton OSB planted a new and modern orchard on former pasture. A collection of varieties selected to provide a succession of ripening apples from early August through to December, with late storing varieities keeping the community and apple pie beyond Easter.

Their 50 year old trees, grafted onto dwarfing rootstocks, are now reaching the end of their lives – lasting much longer than similar trees in commercial orchards. To help future proof the orchard they are now replanting, taking out the most diseased and least productive trees to make way for new ones, a fantastic opportunity to introduce new varieties. Some have been chosen as they are less prone to disease where as others offer the opportunity to extend their range. This includes Belle de Boksoop and Ashmeads Kernel, two richly flavoured heritage apples, robust and very well suited to their location. In addition, they have also added Foxwhelp, Fillabarrel and Tremlett’s Bitter all ‘bitter sweets’ that will add a real bite to their cider.

Ampleforth cider already boast over 70 different varieties of apple! Some way off the 2,000 in the National Apple Collection at Brogdale, Kent. Many commercial orchards only grow around seven types! They are using their replanting programme to showcase more of their apple heritage and will be sure to delight the many visitors on the Orchard tours.

The Orchard tour makes a visit to the Abbey and surround valley well worth is. They begin each year with the first apple blossom and continue until the end of harvest in the autumn. Not only can you see a fully functioning Orchard first hand you can also taste apples that will never be found in supermarkets, such as Beauty of Bath, Irish Peach, Ribston Pippin and Pitmaston Pineapple.

The management of the orchard is of course of great importance and interest too. Although not certified organic, no chemicals are applied, preferring instead to manage pests and diseases by careful husbandry, selective pruning and by encouraging beneficial insects and birds. Their mowing regime means that the grass sward beneath the mature trees is now left uncut, helping to protect soil, reduce water loss and minimise compaction. It also enables small meadow flowers to flourish, and these, along with the trees and shrubs on the orchard’s perimeter, provide additional forage and habitat for beneficial insects and birds. These things all add interest for their visitors and help fulfil a mission to practice good land stewardship.

We can’t recommend a visit highly enough. But if you can’t make it to North Yorkshire then you can at least sample their cider by ordering from here – Ampleforth Products


Tim & Steve, the Ampleforth Pommeliers


All the luck you need – Touchwood now available at FTD!

Brand new to Fetch The Drinks, is a delightful cider from Cornwall – Touchwood Cider!

Here’s everything you need to know…

Touchwood Cornish cider is the result of a long term-project to reinstate apple growing to Cornwall. Therefore allowing Touchwood cider to grow apples and to reintroduce cider making to their small farm in Mithian.

Nigel Smith came to Woodlands farm in 1984. In the yard was an old granite circular trough. This trough was originally used for crushing cider apples. The old building was an old cider barn, however the apple orchards were long gone. In 1984 Cornwall County Council introduced a scheme to reinstate and save old varieties of Cornish apples.

Nigel started planting many different varieties of apples to his orchards. With nearly 30 varieties of apples, these are then crushed and pressed traditionally. We use only natural yeasts on the apples to ferment the apple juice. Afterwards it is racked and matured for over 12 months. Before we add the sugar we blend the apple juice.

Every harvest Touchwood work closely with WWOOF– World wide opportunities on organic farms. So if you are looking for the chance to meet a local family, and be close to some of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall, contact WWOOF for further details.





Top Cellar – Harrow Wood Farm

One of our top sellers this year has been Harrow Wood Farm! They were established in 2016 and have gone on to be one of our most popular ciders this year, especially at festivals looking to unearth the next cider gem. You can read how it all came about below and the grand plans for the future, with 800 tress recently planted on their camp site.

Dickie is an amazing character and is extremely passionate about his production, even if it does “make him sad to see the cider leave the barn!” 😂

Their story: (

It all started just over 2 years ago on a trip to watch Bath Rugby with a good friend.
He’d been making cider for some time and produced about 10 gallons each year.

I had just finished running a holiday park in the Purbecks for 27 years and was looking for a fresh challenge.
So after further conversations with John, I bought two books. The first was entitled ,”Making Craft Cider,” by Simon McKie and the second was, “Craft Cider Making,” by Andrew Lea. I particularly liked these books as they had lots of pictures in them!

So starting from a blank sheet of paper I designed the barn I needed and what I thought was the right equipment.
This is where I found a wonderful firm called Vigo Ltd at Dunkerswell. It was like going into a sweetie shop with lots of shiny things that pressed, stored, cleaned, bottled, carbonated and labelled. A one stop shop for the budding novice. I believe they cater for grown ups as well!

So new barn assembled and equipment bought, I was ready to become an expert in a single bound. Well how hard can it be just rotting apples and seeing what it turns out like.

I also planted some 800 apple trees on my farm to produce my crop, in due course. They were Kingston Black, Dabinett, Katy, Somerset Red Streak and Browns.

The first year I managed to buy some apples from Mr Dan Green who has a little orchard in Chalmington just North West of Dorchester. I made two batches of cider, one was nearly all Browns and the other was Dabinett. The first batch turned out really well with the Yeast I added, but the second batch tasted like old bananas.

So to my first learning curve, you cannot just chuck in the juice, add yeast and hope. No you have to kill bacteria and wild yeasts and furthermore the sulphites won’t work if the Ph is over 3.8. So now I have to become a chemist, talk about all the gear and no idea!

So I took to my 2 books and read them properly this time, ascertaining that I really had to stabilise my Ph to about 3.5 by adding malic acid and then adding about 100-150ppm sodium metabisulphite to sterilize the apple juice. Then I had to wait 24 hours and add my cultured yeast. The results this year have been excellent and I have produced some tasty cider with no one dying.


MEDIUM CIDER: His Harrow Wood Farm cider is a blend of Dabinett, Yarlington Mill and Browns.
This is an orange/golden colour with a slight dryness underneath the tongue when tasted.

Well worth a visit if you are in the area, even if just to hear Dickie’s passion for his cider alone!

Fetch The Drinks goes Continental!

We are now stocking four new cider producers, have you come across any before?

English football is celebrating a clean sweep of sides in the final of European competition, while here at Fetch The Drinks we now boast some of the finest European ciders in our ranks!

French Cider:

The French have been making cidre for centuries , particularly in Normandy and Brittany, with many English apple varieties originating from across the channel.

Breton Cider, Brut Traditionnel (5%) – a soft full-flavoured cider nurtured under the warm Brittany skies! Made from ripened varieties, these ciders now carry the AOC for the region.

Their Brut has a good tannin and an acidity blend or creme brulee sweetness and a perky fizz.

Wignac – a new orchard planted on the old Wignacourt’s estate in the Ardennes has reinstated the traditional 100% juice cider previously made by the Marquis.

Cidre Naturel (4.5%) – medium dry blend of 65% cider and 35% eating apples

Cidre Rose (4.5%) – medium sweet blend of 88% pure apple juice and 12% pure grape juice

Luxembourg Cider:

With no real cider background before the birth of Ramborn, who are reviving the tradition of cider-making, putting good use to the otherwise wasted fruit, and breathing new life into traditional orchards throughout the country.

Ramborn, Original (5.8%) – The first Luxembourgish cider producer fermenting only the freshly pressed juice of apples and pears grown exclusively in meadow orchards.

Their original is a medium dry blend of Rambo, Boskoop, Bonapfel and Luxemburger apples.

Spanish Cider:

The Asturias region of Spain has a passionate cider fan base, with some stunning ciders produces in the area but none with more heritage than El Gaitero.

El Gaitero – Exceptional Spanish craft cider from Asturias, Northern Spain where cider has been made for generations.

Medium Dry (5.5%) – freshly-pressed Spanish cider apples, naturally sun-ripened in local orchards

Red Grape (4%) – clear blood red with a taste of sweet red berries and apples

Meet the maker – New Forest Cider

Based in the stunning surroundings of Burley, New Forest Cider produce a range of products to match. Recently we were kindly invited in to hear their story. It’s a great day out with amazing heritage to look through before enjoying lunch in the Tea Rooms and popping in to the Farm Shop, where it’s not just cider you can purchase!

Drive into Burley and you will spot the cider barrel by the post office, “This way to the home of New Forest Cider”. Mind the wild ponies as you meander through to their road side Tea Rooms covering the secrets of the orchards and barns. Burley depicts everything you would expect from a traditional, New Forest Village, the rows of apple trees and gaggle of geese ensure your expectations of the cider production is no different. Beautifully quaint from the moment you arrive.

The cider barns are located a short walk up a track, where their products are made in the traditional way. Combining English apples from their own orchards and cider fruit from Somerset and Herefordshire. It’s definitely worth trying the unpasteurised, real cider straight from the barrels, there is usually dry, medium, sweet, Kingston Black and Perry as well as a selection of bottled ciders including a handcrafted Cider Bouche – which we can confirm is absolutely delicious!

They aim simply to produce an interesting, full juice, draught Cider that is free from artificial colouring and flavouring.

Shop New Forest Cider at Fetch The Drinks:

A dry traditional blended farmhouse cider filtered, still and clear in appearance and full flavoured. Available in; Dry, Medium, and Sweet.

Kingston Black: A classic single variety cider using the Kingston Black apple, filtered for a pleasingly dry traditional still version.

Mixed case of 12 bottles: A New Forest cider mixed case will consist of: Kingston Black, Traditional and Oak Soaked.

Recent Festivals their ciders went to:
Victoria Inn, Colchester
The White Swan, Stokesley
The Wash House, Milford on Sea
The Stable, Southampton
The Station House, Durham

If you are planning a trip to visit them why not make a weekend of it and join them for the annual steam pressing weekend. An amazing chance to thee cider making as it was done in days gone by, with the use of a variety of vintage presses ranging from a ‘workman’ steam driven mobile press to the simplicity of a hand operated twin screw press using straw.