Sunday 29 May 2011

146 Expansion...

Making 2500 litres this year was an effort to make sure that the usual outlets can keep a stock of 146 Cider further throughout the year, but also so that I could start to grow the distribution chain a little. I then mixed this up a bit by producing 2 new type of cider - admittedly it has always been planned to produce both an Eastern and Western style to sit alongside the 'Hampshire' style of the main '146' blend. However, it was more due to having too many really good desert apples for the ratio, plus a new supply of apples from Dorset which I wanted to check out on its own (as well as keeping the Hampshire cider from Hampshire!!)

This is both a good and a bad thing. Good because now there are other ciders to try. Bad, because it means that while the overall stock of cider is up collectively, each blend is more limited. And so the need to be careful about spreading things too thinly becomes a factor to supply.

This coming week, the three blends will start to be sold to the usual outlets - both in draught and bottle conditioned forms. It also is the week of the Southampton Beer Festival, which falls just as the cider reaches maturity properly.

Having said that, all three blends have been present this weekend at the Rowbarge Ale Festival in Guildford, as well as a trial quantity of Hampshire Heritage being available at the Flowerpots for the first time. The Flowerpots also makes its own beer - so is an ideal pub to supply full juice cider too. Lets hope both of these pubs want to continue with it (although I am still missing a regular pub to supply in Southampton itself!!)

On the retail side, I hope to add one more to the mix which would mean that the bottles can be found in Fareham as well as Southampton and Gosport. Again, while an expression of interest has been made, I will have to feed back later this week on the outcome.

Overall, the two main blends of Hampshire Heritage and Wild West cider should start to be seen in more places - just ever so slightly. A controlled expansion is always better than a quick one which leaves no more cider!

Oh, and one more thing. Next month I hope to be retailing my own cider at the Windsor Royal Racecourse Cider Festival. I should have my Personal Licence in place by then so it will be the first time I have got to do this for myself. If it goes well then I may do a few more...

1 comment:

  1. So thanks for an informative and entertaining article which has pulled me away from the day job for a happy five minutes!