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New lightweight bottles for Thatchers cider

Thatchers Vintage 2013 is the first of Thatchers packaged ciders to feature new lighter weight glass bottles.

The new style 500ml bottle, now embossed with the Thatchers name across the shoulder, and featuring a slimmer neck, represents an 18% saving in weight. The bottle has been designed and produced by Ardagh Glass, which has been a supplier to Thatchers for ten years.

When Thatchers last redesigned its glass bottle a 21% saving in weight was then achieved. The Somerset UK cidermaker will now begin to move all its 500ml bottled ciders into the new packaging.

Thatchers has also redesigned the label for the 2013 Vintage Cider. The gold and black label, which features a picture of Thatchers founder, William John Thatcher, has been enhanced with red for increased shelf stand out, and features the 2013 International Brewing Awards Champion Cider medal.

Ageing in oak vats which have been standing for over a hundred years, gives the new 2013 Thatchers Vintage Cider a unique character that reflects Thatchers hands-on approach to cider making.  

Thatchers Vintage is a medium dry, fresh, softly rounded cider, which at 7.4% has a fruity, floral aroma created by the bittersweet apples chosen from the 2013 harvest, such as Dabinett, Somerset Redstreak and Tremlett’s Bitter, that are carefully blended by Thatchers master cider makers at Myrtle Farm, Somerset.

Fourth generation cider maker Martin Thatcher says: “The character of this Vintage cider comes from the traditional methods that have been passed down over the generations. Consumers appreciate that ageing our cider in authentic, 100 year old oak vats gives this cider a delicious, depth of flavour that can only originate from Thatchers.

“The light-weighting of our bottles is part of a sustainability programme throughout the company, which includes projects such as the creation of our own energy from biomass, to the installation of our own water borehole. Creating lighter bottles makes sense – not only are there savings in energy during production, but we estimate that our full delivery loads will be 1.7 tonnes lighter.”

Matching cider with food campaign

Thatchers Cider has also launched a campaign that promotes the versatility of its ciders to pair alongside food. The cider maker has asked two specialist chefs to create a series of recipes that not only work exceptionally well with its ciders, but promote the best regional food produce.

Martin explains: “Cider is such a versatile drink, that we really think it goes amazingly well with food. There are so many opportunities to consider how to match a dish with different styles of cider – whether with more traditional meals like fish and chips, to tapas-style bar snacks, and more spicy food.

“Within the Thatchers range for example we have rounder, fuller styles of cider such as Thatchers Vintage which works well with bolder, deeper flavours, while a lighter fresher style of cider such as Thatchers Rosé really cleanses the palate and works fantastically well with Indian and spicier dishes.”  

As a West Country cider, Thatchers asked two West Country food experts to create a series of dishes that represent regional produce at its finest and match perfectly with Thatchers range of ciders. 

Tim Maddams is the former head chef at River Cottage, and now runs his own community food project called Hall and Hearty.  The dishes he has created for Thatchers include some pub classics, such as Cider Battered Pollack Fillet, Chips and Mushy Peas to pair with Thatchers Gold ; alongside some mouth-watering snacks and starters such as Root Vegetable Fritters to pair with Thatchers Rosé and Herb-crusted Salt Beef to pair with Thatchers Vintage.

Bini Ludlow runs her own Indian Cookery School where she places emphasis on authentic Indian cuisine, and original flavour combinations. The menus she has created for Thatchers include Bateta Varas, a delicious starter or bar snack, to pair with Thatchers Katy; Paneer and Sweet Pepper Curry to pair with Thatchers Rosé; and West Country Shoulder of Lamb and Aubergine curry to pair with Thatchers Vintage.

All the recipes are featured on where recipe cards are available to download.


31 May 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor