|Location||Sandford, Somerset, England|
The company started producing cider in 1904 and has continued in the same family since. They use several varieties of apples to make different brands.
The Thatchers company was founded by William Thatcher in 1904. His son Stanley Thatcher, born in 1910, began selling draught cider to pubs in Somerset and the company’s presence in the area grew. The company is still family owned and employs around 200 people. In 1992 Martin took over from his father, John Thatcher, as managing director.
It has 500 acres of its own orchard, as well as using apples from other growers in the area. Alongside its bush orchards, Thatchers has pioneered a method of growing its apple trees in a hedgerow style. Trained on wires, this enables easier harvesting and also helps to ensure the fruit has the optimum combination of sunlight and rain. It has also led to the development of a new bespoke harvester. At the height of season, Thatchers can press 500 tons of apples per day. Thatchers also maintains an exhibition orchard in which over 458 different varieties of apple tree are grown. Many of the traditional ciders produced at Myrtle Farm are matured in 100-year-old oak vats, which gives the cider a distinctive taste.
There are several brands of Thatchers cider. These are categorised by the brewers as:
- Single Varietal Cider, where only one type of apple is used. Examples have included Katy, Somerset Redstreak, and Spartan, many of which are old Somerset varieties.
- Dual Variety Ciders, where two types of apples are used. Examples have included Somerset Redstreak and Katy, Tremletts Falstaff and Morgan Sweet & Grenadier.
- Core Range, including Thatchers Gold and Haze.
- Premium, including Thatchers Vintage, made from the best apples from each harvest.
- Character brands, including Old Rascal and Green Goblin.
- Super Premium, Thatchers Family Reserve which is a light sparkling apple wine, made from the first pressed juice of the Katy apple.
- Ciders available on draught include TRAD, which is a hazy cider, Cheddar Valley, which has an orange colour and Big Apple, which is a traditional cider.
- Thatchers also produce Cider Barn. These products showcase the artisan apple blending that takes places on Myrtle Farm. There are 3 variants to this range, Redstreak, Spartan and Morgan Sweet & Grenadier.
- Thatchers have previously produced special variety ciders such as Thatchers 458, made from 458 different types of apples, grown in the exhibition orchard at Myrtle Farm.
Thatchers Cider can be enjoyed across many sports clubs and events across the South West. They are involved with teams including Bath Rugby, Somerset County Cricket Club, Bristol Rugby, Bristol City FC, Yeovil Town, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, Bristol Rovers FC, Plymouth Argyle FC, and Exeter City.
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