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Location Sandford, Somerset, England
Year opened 1904
Thatchers Cider is a cider producing company based in Sandford, in North Somerset, England.
Thatchers Traditional Dry Draught Cider in a pint glass, as served in a pub
The founder, William Thatcher, first started making cider for his own farm workers in 1904. As the 20th century went on, he started to sell the ciders to outsiders, and eventually to pubs and clubs. The company is still family owned.
Traditional cider is produced here from locally grown apples. The apple trees are trained on wires, like grapevines to enable easier harvesting and also to ensure the fruit have the same combination of sunlight and rain. Over 25,000 tonnes of fruit are processed each year, though some of this comes from external orchards.
Most of the ciders are matured in 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 included Cox's, Katy, Redstreak, Tremletts and Spartan, many of which were old Somerset varieties. These ciders are sold in bottles through supermarkets.
Speciality Cider, including Oak Matured Cider (aged in rum barrels); Christon, a cider from a single orchard; and Vintage, pressed from the best of a good year.
Traditional Bottled Ciders, such as Gold, Premium Press and White Magic. These tend to be clear and slightly sparkling ciders
Bottled Scrumpy These, such as Mendip Scrumpy, Old Rascal and Somerset Draught (sold in jugs and bottles) can be hazy or clear, and are made from the pure juice of apples. Mendip Scrumpy is now available in supermarkets in a 2l bottle. It is cloudy, has a sediment and is quite dry, this is very different from most other supermarket ciders.
Draught Ciders Sold in pubs predominantly in the south west of England. These include Gold and Old Rascal, which are sparkling ciders.
Draught Scrumpy Heritage and Traditional are hazy, or cloudy ciders. There is also Cheddar Valley cider, which is cloudy with a distinctive orange, almost red, colouration. These rough ciders have a short shelf life and are generally tapped straight from a barrel kept in a pub's bar rather than its cellar.
In April 2007 Thatchers produced a special Wurzel Me cider in honour of local musical group The Wurzels.
Thatchers produce ciders for other companies, notably Black Rat, available as a sparkling or cloudy draught cider, and sold under the name of the Moles Brewery in Melksham, Wiltshire.
Thatchers also press juice from apples and other fruit for a number of companies for use in products such as Ribena and Magners Irish Cider.