The Oldfields Story
Hopefully this website provides all the information about our ciders that you are looking for whether is what they taste like, how they are made or what we are up to.
Sometimes we are asked for a bit more detail about Oldfields Orchard Ciders. As we mentioned briefly on the 'meet the team' page, our splendid ciders are made by the award-winning team at Hobsons Brewery and Geoff Thompson at Oldfields at Frith Common in Worcestershire.
Geoff's family have been at Oldfields since the 1960s, at a time when the Teme Valley near Tenbury Wells was a famous fruit and hop growing area. Geoff has been growing hops since 1978 and supplying them to nearby Hobsons Brewery for almost 20 years. Until autumn 2013 all Geoff's cider was made for home consumption!
Once the decision had been made to team up with Hobsons and make a commercial cider, the Lambswick Drinks Company was set up and a cider press and fermentation tanks were purchased and installed in a purpose built pressings hall at Oldfields Farm.
In September 2013 our first press took place. We used Discovery eating apples from nearby Augernik Fruit Farm. Intended as a trial, this first press astounded us with a light, crisp cider, very different to a full bodied traditional cider.
Geoff selected Dabinett, Harry Masters Jersey and Yarlington Mill apples, all high quality bittersweet cider apples grown in the local orchards for our first 'proper' cider. Eight pressings took place and were fermented in stainless steel tanks for fresh, clean flavours. We like to think of ourselves in the mould of an Aussie winemaker, using modern techniques to get full, ripe fruit and new and interesting flavours.
We asked a local artist to design the labels, the illustrations are of windfalls from our orchards. To reinforce the fact that the ciders are made from freshly pressed apples we added realistic shiny drops of dew to the label.
The bottled ciders were launched in April 2014 and are now stocked by many great, local independent stores and a few selected quality-minded local supermarkets. Plans are now in place for launching the cider in keg in the spring of 2015.
The harvest in 2014 has been an amazing year for apples in Worcestershire, the crop is outstanding if a little riper than 2013. We are experimenting with some new apple varieties from Geoff's neighbours and keeping a close eye on fermentation because of all the extra sugar this year. Will keep you posted.
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