Sunday, 23 March 2014

Long Crendon Cider - craft cider

Long Crendon Cider

The launch of Long Crendon cider will take place at the Eight Bells pub, Long Crendon, Bucks during the 2014 Easter Beer Festival, a fitting venue as the cider is produced at Long Crendon Manor and sold exclusively through XT Brewing Co, who are also based in the village.

Cider has been made at Long Crendon Manor for a number of years using their own orchard apples for household and local consumption. However, when XT started brewing beer they also took an interest in the artisan cider from the other end of the village, which had previously only been available in the Manor kitchen or occasionally the Eight Bells and the Cross Keys in Thame.

It was Spring last year when alcoholic coercion from Russ and Gareth of XT morphed into business planning by Tim and Sue at the Manor to move on from the old hand scratter and butterfly press to an electric miller and a brand-new Voran hydraulic press. Supplied by Vigo, the twin bed press is capable of providing a force of 380 Bar (that’s a whopping 5,500 Psi!) to extract the juice from the apple pulp. This means that the process is very efficient and the apple pommace which is left over after pressing is perfect for being fed as a supplement to the Gloucestershire Old Spot and Large Black rare breed pigs at the Manor.

Apples sourced from the Manor and a number of local orchards are harvested in the summer to produce a medium dry cider. Still and clear, it has an ABV of 5.5% and is appropriately called: Late Summer cider. These apples are hand-picked (good quality wind falls are fine!) and are usually left for a week or two before crushing and pressing which allows the natural yeasts and acids to get to work under the skin.

The Autumn varieties are made primarily using the famous Dabinett cider apple from Herefordshire. Again, according to the time of harvesting the apples, the three Autumn ciders on offer are: Early Autumn, Mid-Autumn and Late Autumn. Strengths are also 5.5% ABV and the tastes Medium Dry, although the Autumn ciders have a very different colour and flavour to the Late Summer cider.

Packaging this year is in 10l and 20l polypins available through XT Brewing Co.

The significant investment in the cider process at Long Crendon Manor means that production volumes this year will be significantly greater than last year to provide a larger and broader offering in 2015.

Long Crendon Cider –

Late Summer – 5.5% ABV Medium Dry. Still.
Early Autumn – 5.5% ABV Medium Dry. Still.
Mid-Autumn – 5.5% ABV Medium Dry. Still.
Late-Autumn – 5.5% ABV Medium Dry. Still.

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