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Westons creates hop cider for new collection

Following the successful launch of Caple Rd cider, the UK's first cider in a can, premium English cider producer Westons has launched a collection of canned craft ciders.

The collection of lightly sparkling ciders is now available and comprises Caple Rd No. 5, the latest Caple Rd variant, which is double-filtered from fresh English apple juice to give a crisp, dry and complex taste with a powerful tart finish. Complementing the challenging dryness of Caple Rd No. 5, Westons is also launching two cloudy flavoured ciders under the Rosie’s Pig brand.

Rosie’s Pig Handbrake Cloudy Cider with Damson is a slowly matured, medium-sweet cider which has hints of cherry and hedgerow fruits and a sharp finish. Rosie’s Pig Flat Tyre Cloudy Cider with Rhubarb is made from freshly pressed apples paired with a refreshing infusion of rhubarb juice to provide a fruity taste and tart finish.

The final launch in the collection is the result of a collaboration between Westons Cider and Purity Brewing Company to create a hopped cider – Pure Hopped – which is a blend of English cider made from apple juice from Herefordshire and a dash of the finest hops from Worcestershire. Pure Hopped is a beautifully balanced and smooth cider, with subtle citrus flavours. All of the ciders are packaged in 330ml cans.

Caple Rd No. 5 and the Rosie’s Pig Cloudy Ciders were introduced to the on-trade market in the spring and are now available to the off-trade for the first time. Pure Hopped is launching in the on and off-trade markets now for the first time. The new collection comes amidst a growth opportunity for both craft beer and cider, with followers looking increasingly towards premium drinks which have a point of difference, traceability of ingredients, and artisanship.

Tessa Holden, brand manager for the craft collection, says: “We are extremely excited to be launching our new collection of craft ciders. The new ciders will help attract more drinkers to the cider category as a whole, where Westons is leading the way in driving a genuine craft offer.

“The launch follows the highly successful introduction of the UK’s first craft cider in a can, Caple Rd Cider, to the market, two years ago. Our category insight showed that craft cider is the second biggest trend in the on-trade at the moment and following the successful launch of our Rhubarb and Damson flavoured cloudy ciders under our Rosie’s Pig brand in the on-trade market we have now launched them in the timely format of the 330ml can. When looking at innovation, growing the cider category is a priority for Westons and its also high on our customers agendas.

“Pure Hopped is the result of a chance meeting on a visit to Worcestershire-based fruit and hop farm, Stocks Farm, which brought together Westons head cider maker Guy Lawrence and Purity’s founder Paul Halsey. As they meandered though hop bines and orchards at Ali Capper’s Stocks Farm an idea struck them both. They shared a cursory look and both thought ‘what if…’

“Enjoying a drink at the end of the walk, looking out over the rows of hops and apple orchards, Guy told Paul to bring his finest hops to the cider mill where they would combine them with a unique blend of 100% cider apples. Two weeks later they poured two glasses straight from the tap."

19 September 2016 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editorial assistant