Craft Cider making on Anglesey was an obvious choice for us, a couple of cider enthusiasts who enjoy the taste of fermented apples all year round. Adrian, a biochemist, had been a hobby Cidermaker for many years, experimenting with different methods and varied fermentation periods. However, it was only when we moved to Anglesey in 2014 that we began to contemplate becoming a commercial cider brand. First of all we had to find apples…… and lots of them!
As we wanted to use predominantly Anglesey grown apples we knew that specific cider apples were going to be in short supply but due to experimenting with non cider apples for many years we knew it would be possible to produce a unique flavour of cider using dessert, eaters and crab varieties and so began the task of collecting as many apples as we could find.
We ventured all over Anglesey bagging tons of apples but soon realised it would be an ongoing project to keep spreading the word all over the island. We needed a vast amount of apples to produce the volume of juice required as we particularly wanted to showcase our creativity and produce more than one cider blend. We were blown away by how successful our ‘WANTED’ campaign was and were able to produce cider using apples collected from around forty different locations.
Making great tasting cider takes ingenuity and a passion for the art of Cidermaking, because it really is an art and this is something we take pride in. As we’ve mentioned previously, anyone can make cider but whether it is drinkable is another matter entirely as many of our apple donors confessed.
It isn’t a quick process. It takes a lot of patience in picking the apples, washing, sorting and scratting them before any pressing can begin.
We made our own wooden eight layer tower press which enabled us to press 80kg of apples at a time after they had been through the scratter. The freshly pressed juice was then left to ferment for various periods depending on the final flavours we wanted to achieve.
The five blends produced from the 2016 harvest were:-
HERITAGE – 100% Anglesey Apples (Our award winner!)
HAZY PEAR – Anglesey Apples & Pears (Limited edition)
Môn Katy – Katy Apple variety blended with Anglesey apples.
WOODLAND – Cox varieties blended with Anglesey apples (late presses)
AUTUMN SPICE – Dessert apples with added sugar and cinnamon (seasonal)
Please stay tuned for more of our adventures Craft Cider making on Anglesey.