Harleston Cider finishes fruitful year with award

Deb Wooley, assistant cider maker at Harleston Cider Company, picks apples on Norfolk-Suffolk border.

Deb Wooley, assistant cider maker at Harleston Cider Company, picks apples on Norfolk-Suffolk border.

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A cider manufacturer based in Harleston is set to cap a very successful first year in the commercial industry when it receives a major award at an annual festival which runs later this month.

Ken Woolley, chief cider maker of the Harleston Cider Company, will accept a national Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) award on behalf of the business at the second annual Mid Anglia CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival, which takes place in Yaxley Village Hall, from Thursday, May 14 to Saturday, May 16.

Mr Woolley, who is collecting the award from CAMRA’s Regional Cider Co-ordinator, Chris Rouse, told the Diss Express: “We are very pleased to receive the CAMRA cider award and it has made a big difference to us. It is a fitting achievement for a boutique cider maker.”

The Harleston Cider Company initially started manufacturing its beverages back in 2010 for domestic use, but made the transition into commercial trading last May, and won an award at the Norwich beer festival late last year.

The company currently makes three varieties of cider and a cider vinegar, including its signature Cider’er’oad, which is made from apples picked from local orchards and gardens, and from hedgerows along the Norfolk–Suffolk border.

Mr Woolley said the business, which is operated by just two producers, had gone from strength to strength and would continue to follow its ethos of sourcing and producing its ciders locally when it expands this autumn.

“Sales have increased dramatically and we plan to double our production later this year,” he said.

“It is great to use the local apples that are available to us which might otherwise go to waste, rather than importing them from abroad.”

To learn more about the Harleston Cider Company, see www.harlestoncider.co.uk

nHarleston Cider Company’s Cider’er’oad and vintage brew will be among 18 ciders and 35 real ales exhibited at the CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival in Yaxley next week.

The event runs on Thursday between 5pm and 11pm, and on Friday and Saturday from 11am until 11pm. A Borderhoppa bus service will be running from Diss railway station to the festival and back, at a charge of £2 – call 07542 577688 for details.

Admission to the festival is priced at £2.50, although anybody carrying a CAMRA membership card can enter for free.

For further information, go to www.midangliacamra.com