Official launch for new Purbeck cider with a golden touch

A new cider for Purbeck to treasure has been created, with the intention of making it the flagship drink of Dorset.

Purbeck Gold was officially launched by local company Purbeck Cider at the Horse and Groom in Wareham on Wednesday 31st January 2024. The award winning pub is one of the first places to offer the new brew on tap.

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The first official launch party for a new Purbeck Cider brand was held at the Horse and Groom, Wareham

Locally pressed, produced and packaged

The sparkling medium sweet cider is made solely from bittersweet apples grown in Dorset and is pressed, produced and packaged in the county as well.

Local apple varieties including Dabinett, Yarlington Mill and Harry Masters Jersey go into the blend, which replaces No.10 in Purbeck Cider’s growing catalogue of drinks.

No.10, first launched in 2017, was the tenth anniversary cider for the company and earned itself a niche following. But with a greater emphasis on bittersweet flavours, the new Purbeck Gold is expected to appeal to a broader market.

Dozens of guests from the hospitality and tourist trade in Dorset came along to the party at the Horse and Groom, which has just been voted East Dorset’s rural pub of the season for winter 2024 by the Campaign for Real Ale.

Purbeck Cider hopes to get the new Purbeck Gold into many more pubs and clubs across Dorset and Hampshire, with the aim of producing a quarter of a million litres of it and making it a brand which could become synonymous with the county.

PURBECK CIDER

The new Purbeck Gold brand will be promoted heavily across Dorset and Hampshire

“A flagship cider for Dorset”

Joe Hartle, founder and owner of Corfe Castle based Purbeck Cider, said:

“Normally a launch for one of our new brands is quite organic and we just get it out onto the market for people to enjoy, but this time the marketing guys saw something very special about Purbeck Gold and were insistent that we should do our first proper launch party for it.

“We feel we have a massive opportunity here for Purbeck Gold to become a flagship cider for Dorset.

“It is made in our factory from our own fruit – we have 40 acres of our own fruit at Lower Bushey Farm and have four other orchards in Dorset, originally planted for the Taunton Cider company.

“There are 10 varieties of apples grown in those orchards, all bittersweet fruit, and together they make a golden cider which we believe is something special.”

A first ever official launch for Purbeck Cider, at the Horse and Groom pub in Wareham

A passion for premium cider

Joe started his own cider company after research into Dorset’s forgotten orchards, deciding that the Isle of Purbeck deserved to have its own cider produced from traditional Dorset apple trees, and pressing his first batch in 2007.

After planting his first orchard on the family farm at Church Knowle the following year and increasing his production capacity to 10,000 litres, Joe discovered he had a skill as well as a passion for creating premium cider.

Within five years, Purbeck Cider had a new press on the farm and by 2016 he moved to Bushey Farm where he had the chance to plant new orchards, open a new press house and increase output.

It led to the creation of Purbeck Cider’s ten year anniversary cider, Purbeck No.10, using 100 percent single pressed British apples, with no artificial flavours, additives or concentrates.

PURBECK CIDER

Joe and Ben carry out winter pruning and orchard management in Purbeck Cider’s orchards

Keeping historic apple varieties alive

Joe Hartle added:

“Our foundations are built on a passion for regenerating and planting orchards in order to produce the very best cider apples.

“It’s thought that Dorset was once home to over 10,000 acres of orchard and today we are lucky enough to be making cider from the fruit still being harvested here.

“Managing the land and supporting historic varieties is a very rewarding part of the job that we love, there’s a great sense of pride to have produced a product from start to finish.

“We are always looking for ways to move the company ahead while still remaining true to our roots, and we have moved forward from No.10. Purbeck Gold has more of a bittersweet focus, a true community cider, made by local people with local fruit.

“This is truly the only cider you can buy at the moment that is only Dorset fruit, only produced in Dorset and only packaged in Dorset – it’s a great opportunity for pubs in the county to support a truly local drink.”

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