Thistly Cross launches #apples4cider campaign to make more cider

“Thistly’s popularity is growing year on year, but we can’t make all the cider we want without the help of the public…”

East Lothian-based cider maker Thistly Cross has launched an #apples4cider campaign, in which people are invited to swap their apples for cider.
The Scottish producer says it wants to rediscover all abandoned, overlooked and neglected local Northern apple trees to put their fruit to good use, hand-pressing them at its Cidershed, near Dunbar and swapping those donations, big or small, for real fruit cider or apple juice.
Its campaign follows on from last year’s ‘Bucket for a Bottle’ scheme which saw more than 160 tonnes of apples harvested – a figure the firm says it would love to top for 2016.
Thistly Cross Cider uses a blend of Scottish heritage apples which are hand-pressed on Belton Farm in East Lothian and has established a proud tradition of using apples grown across the country from a wide range of sources, including local schools, professional apple growers, estate owners and the general public.
Peter Stuart, head cidermaker at Thistly Cross, said: “The apple season is the most important time of year for Thistly. This year’s harvest is looking bountiful. As apple donations are already flooding in, we’re hoping to exceed the 2015 crop. Thistly wants to give Scottish fruit a chance to really prove itself!”
Thistly Cross was established in 2008 as a collaboration between farmer Ian Rennie and artist-turned-cidermaker Peter Stuart, and has rapidly gained a growing reputation for making ciders that people love.
Stuart added: “Thistly’s popularity is growing year on year, but we can’t make all the cider we want without the help of the public.  Every year, we accept fruit donations from all over Scotland, ranging from a bucketful to a truckload, and to say ‘thank you’ we offer the choice of cider or apple juice in return”.
By using as much locally sourced fruit as possible, Thistly has eliminated the waste that is all too often associated with the food industry of modern times. Apple growers can also help by donating their unwanted and excess apples that would otherwise go to waste.
Stuart said: “We’re on a Thistly mission to combat food waste and encourage everyone to get involved. We also hope to encourage the planting of fruit trees and orchards across Scotland, especially heritage varieties and those less commonly found in commercial growing”.
Apple donations of at least 7kg are welcomed for swapping at Thistly’s drop-off point at The Store, Belhaven Fruit Farm, Thistly Cross Roundabout, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1RG just off the A1 outside Dunbar, which has a cafe and farm shop.
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