Ale expert in real cider foray

13 June, 2008

Thatchers creates whole-juice Applewood in second contract-making deal

Nigel Huddleston

Hall & Woodhouse has teamed up with Thatchers to enter the cider market.

The Somerset-based cidermaker is

­creating an oak-aged product called Applewood for the Dorset brewer.

It's the second deal of its type for Thatchers, which is also contract-making Green Goblin for Wychwood.

Applewood is a 6% abv bottled whole-juice cider made with Dabinett and Redstreak

apples and aged in

oak tanks.

Rick Payne, Hall & Woodhouse

brands marketing manager, said the cider won't be given the over-ice marketing treatment. He added: "Cider is seen as very much a West Country product, but there isn't a major producer in Dorset, so it seemed a natural step for us to take.

"We wanted what you might call a real cider rather than a mainstream cider.

"It's a different consumer proposition. The over-ice ciders are being drunk mainly by people who will also be standard lager consumers, but the products being made by companies

such as Thatchers and Westons have the same sorts of consumers who are buying into the bottled ale category."

Hall & Woodhouse has also added to its range of premium bottled ales with Long Days, a seasonal summer ale made with raspberries and brewed to 4.5% abv. The brand is being listed by Sainsbury's and Tesco.

The brewer is

introducing across its range 27%-lighter bottles , which are taller and narrower to meet the display requirements of major multiples.

The company's Tanglefoot brand has been repackaged in clear instead of brown glass and given an updated label.

Payne admitted this could mean a "slight trade-off" in product quality from the beer potentially becoming light-struck, but he added: "I'm sure the majority of consumers won't notice any difference."

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