Founder, Henry Weston, established the drinks business in 1880 on his livestock farm after seeing an opportunity to make cider from the surrounding apple orchards. Nurturing the land to ensure a healthy harvest was as important back then as it is today. Without insects to pollinate the apple blossom there is no fruit and no harvest, so working carefully with the natural biodiversity has always been fundamental to the Westons team.
Back in the 1980's Westons Cider developed a way to process the waste-water created from the cider making process. Why send it down the drain when it could be cleaned and used to irrigate the apple orchards again?
It began as a few small ponds naturally filtrating water and developed into a water treatment system including nine reed ponds, a wetland, that cleans the water so it can go back into the local brook. It also provides a haven for wildlife; Westons work with the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and the British Ornithology Trust to ensure the fauna and flora are cared for. Migratory and rare birds flock here alongside mammals such as water voles and insects like Damselflies. These green spaces are just as important to the local wildlife for habitats as they are to cider making.
Creating blends where the apples are sourced from within a 50-mile region of the cider mill is key to ensuring the rural economy remains supported for the future. It's something Westons have always done in their 140-year history. Growers and most of the staff live locally and help to grow the business whilst the producer maintains traditional orchard spaces. Over £4 million pounds worth of apples will be bought from the region this year!
Little owls, barn owls and field fares are just a few of the many bird species that can be spotted amongst the apple trees. Get closer and you may just be lucky enough to spot a Noble Chaffer Beetle or one of the small mammals that live in these green places. The farm team plant wildflower margins around the orchard edges to provide nectar for pollinators and seed for birdlife, to support a diverse home for wildlife, all year round.
Remaining true to tradition, such as maturing in aged, oak vats, is a testament to the care that goes into producing the very best ciders. It takes more time and is not the easiest way, but the right way to give the best depth of flavour. The delicious Henry Westons Vintage draught is made each year using apples from a single year's harvest and the refreshment 'stalwart', Stowford Press - both available in 50 litre returnable kegs.
When Westons make cider, nothing is wasted, even the
remaining pomace of pips and skin from the apples is turned back into energy
then Co2 to carbonate their products. Also reducing and switching out plastic
to cardboard wrap where possible and using FSC grade cardboard in their
packaging. They now have over 400 solar panels on their roof tops and only
source energy from renewable suppliers. As a 5th generation cider
maker, that history of always considering nature is a part of what they do, so
they can still be making quality products for another 140 years!
Stowford Press is the UK's 3rd largest draught apple cider, well known for its refreshing taste and authentic apple flavour. It's an award-winning cider made with 100% local, home-pressed apples, all sourced from within 50 miles of our cider mill in Herefordshire.
(CGA Strategy, On Premise Measurement Service, P4 23/04/2022)
Bag-in-Box Crafted Ciders - driving outlet occasions and value
Crafted ciders are a strong and emerging category in the on-trade and Westons BiB range is well placed to capitalise on this emerging trend with a broad choice of styles, ABV's and profiles, both apple and fruit flavoured.
Shop the full Westons range here.