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A sea of Apple Blossom - Hogs Back Brewery

A sea of Apple Blossom

Did you know our refreshingly cloudy Hazy Hog cider is crafted by friends and fellow family business, Thatchers?

We caught up with the expert cider makers to find out the latest news….

At Thatchers Myrtle Farm in Somerset, the apple trees have woken up from their winter slumber and are bursting in to blossom. The birds are in full voice and deer are roaming the orchards. It’s a welcome sign that winter is behind us and warmer, longer days are ahead. The bittersweet Dabinett trees are alive with pink and white petals, and Tremlett’s Bitter is looking resplendent. It’ll only be a couple of weeks before the blossom fades and we see the first tiny fruitlets of the year. It also means it’s time for Thatchers to give their orchards the 5-star treatment. That’s because they know that happy apples make better cider.

Down on the family farm they are all slightly obsessed perfectionists, making cider with nothing but love. That’s why they don’t just grow 8 types of apple, they grow 458, and turning those juicy apples into a refreshing pint of cider is a craft they have spent 120 years and four generations perfecting. It’s their dedicated attention to detail that delivers the perfect pint of Thatchers to your local pub. 

Chris Muntz Torres, their Farm Manager, who with his team of experts, look after the 500 acres of orchards explains: “I think we’re all looking forward to some warmer weather, and the trees are too after what’s felt like a long, wet spring. They do enjoy a cold spell though; it helps them reset and wake up from the winter. But now as the warmer weather arrives and there’s plenty of moisture in the rich Somerset soil, the trees will be working hard to produce a bountiful crop of juicy apples for our cider.”

“In the meantime we’ve been busy making sure the trees have everything they need; from careful pruning to seeding wildflower meadows to help pollination later in the year. They’re responding well and already bursting with beautiful blossom which, although too early to say for sure, is a good sign we’re set for another strong harvest this year.”

The 5-star treatment is not just reserved for their apple trees, it’s given to the whole supporting cast of cider makers; from the two and half million honey bees who make Myrtle farm their home and help pollinate the trees, to the tiny insect that enriches the soil. 

As a family company Thatchers has been working in partnership with nature for 120-years. From planting new orchards using regenerative farming methods, to enhancing biodiversity with wildflower areas – or even building a 4m high, 5-star hotel for nature in an acre of wildlife haven, they’re committed to looking after nature. 

They’ve planted over 158,000 trees, added beehives to every orchard, and with the help from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, made sure their orchards are bee friendly. 

Every one of their ciders is made using 100% renewable electricity and with 3,500 solar panels, there’s plenty of juice being created at the farm. Even the apple bits left over once the juice is squeezed is turned into green energy. 

In the mill, new technology has just been installed which captures all the CO2 created in the fermentation process, then reuses it to give the cider its lovely bubbles. And they’re constantly reviewing their packaging too, from replacing plastic with sustainably sourced card in 2016, to using lighter cans and saving the equivalent of a whopping 5.9m cans a year. They’ve even changed the way they wash their kegs and fruit, reusing and recycling to save water consumption, and have switched to electric forklifts and LED lights. 

If you want to catch them on the road to net zero, you will have to travel fast! And in the meantime, you can relax knowing that the cider you’re about to order at the Tap or buy in the Brewery Shop is as good for the environment as it tastes in the glass.

Buy Hazy Hog fresh or bottled cider now!

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