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We’ve been crafting real ales since 1997, and now we’re dabbling in cider making… October is CAMRA Cider and Perry month and with a huge range of apple varieties ready for harvesting, it’s the perfect time to experiment.

We’re working with St. Anns Allotments in Nottingham to hopefully gather 450kg of apples. The fruit will be pressed, filtered and left to ferment, hopefully creating a cloudy local cider up to an ABV of 7%. This cider making pilot could produce 700 pints of Nottingham cider, and, if it goes well, there will be many more to follow.

Colin Wilde, managing director, says: “Food and drink with local provenance is really important, so exploring cider making is a natural extension for us. Many people grow apples that might go to waste because they have too many. We want this project to be organic, sustainable, and community focussed.”

CRB cider Gary Franks web

Gary Franks, Castle Rock’s cider maker, prepping for the first press

Managers of the allotments have been really supportive, and confirmed there are plenty of trees to be harvested, with more than 500 gardens on site. So here we turn to you and ask for your apples! Whether you’re an allotment holder at St. Anns or have your own Nottinghamshire orchard, please support us in this new project by donating your excess apples! We need 100 more sacks to get this first press going, and we’ll give you a bottle back for every sack you donate!

Sacks can be collected from the Vat and Fiddle or the St. Anns Allotments Visitors’ Centre, and once filled with good quality apples, can be returned to either.

If you’d like to get involved, drop cider maker Gary an email on gary.franks@castlerockbrewery.co.uk




Please note: We ask that donated apples be fresh and unbruised and be of any recognised variety.   Empty sacks for filling are available from St. Anns Allotments Visitors’ Centre and the Vat and Fiddle, adjacent to the brewery on Queensbridge Road, Nottingham.