Over the winter months, a new batch has been quietly developing at a secret location in West End. Last autumn volunteers from the Kirkby Fruit Project crushed no less than one and a half tons of apples into 780 litres of juice, and poured it into 30 litre barrels. All these apples were collected by, or donated to the Project, so not only are they creating a great product, they’re doing so from fruit that would otherwise simply have gone to waste.
Once in the barrels, the juice was left to ferment over the winter, at a steady temperature of around 13 degrees. That’s it: no additives, no chemicals, no nasties. All fruits have yeasts on their skins, and cider, like wine, can be made using only these natural microorganisms to produce fermentation. As a result you don’t know quite what you will get, whether it will be a good vintage, a great vintage, or merely a drinkable one, but as with wine, the slight uncertainty is part of the pleasure of production. Craft cider has been made this way since time immemorial. Early tastings suggest that this could be another wonderful year!
The new cider will be for sale for the first time on April 30, the day of the Tractor Run and Kirkby 10k race, from a stall in the Market Place. Be among the first to try it.