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Get the cider in – delivery services to brighten the dark days of lock-down

Martin Cooper April 17, 2020

Martin Cooper turns his thirsty attention to craft cider…

The first two articles in this series have shone the spotlight on craft beer but now I’ll turn my attention to England’s greatest invention – cider.

As the warm weather arrives with cruel timing and you’re lucky enough to have a garden, what better way to last-out the lock-down than enjoying traditional cider and perry at its best. On the other hand if the weather turns, it rarely rains indoors.

Fetch The Drinks

Operating since 2014, Fetch The Drinks is a specialist craft cider wholesaler and distributor.

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The company works with more than 100 cider producers and, ignoring my flag-waving earlier, recently took on a number of producers from mainland Europe, including France, Spain and Luxembourg.

In normal times, Fetch The Drinks supplies pubs and festivals but the company has diversified during the lock-down to cater for home delivery.

Its network covers the UK and offers all styles of cider ranging from rich and mellow to fruity and traditional.

Fetch The Drinks specialises in 35-pint, bag-in-box (BiB) cider. Unopened, a BiB will last six to eight weeks, while many pasteurised ciders have a 12-month shelf life.

Once opened, however, the shelf life is about four to six weeks unless you can keep the cider in a cool dark place or the fridge, in which case it should last for eight weeks.

The firm also offers mixed cases and monthly subscription package Fetch Cider Club.

Crafty Nectar

Somerset-based Crafty Nectar offers next-day delivery of cider boxes, bottles and gift sets.

The company was one of the UK’s first craft cider subscription services and has a wholesale arm that sells UK artisan cider into pubs, clubs and restaurants. Currently focusing on home delivery, Crafty Nectar also produces its own, eponymous brand.

The company offers gluten-free cider made in the traditional way, with no concentrates or artificial flavourings and sourced directly from small independent producers.

Cider Online

As the name suggests, Cider Online will courier cider and perry to anywhere in mainland UK.

Goodies include 20-litre BiBs of Oak Cask cider from Ross-on-Wye Cider & Perry Company, which works out at about £1.48 per pint (plus carriage).

Other notable offerings include a mixed case of Herefordshire cider from Colcombe House and bottles of Rocquette Cider, which is produced in Fauxquets Valley on Guernsey.

Bristol Cider Shop

Despite the name, Bristol Cider Shop will deliver anywhere in mainland UK.

Some of its most popular items are cider gift sets, Somerset cider brandy and gift vouchers.

Cider delivery costs £10 (for up to 20kg). As well as bottled cider and perry, the shop also offers cider vinegar, liqueur and even books.

Enjoy your tippling, whether it’s tipping down outside or not.

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Martin Cooper is a senior editor and writer at The Focus. The man behind the style guide comes from a newspaper and magazine background and has worked in the sports, aeronautical and hospitality industries. While head of production at The Argus he appeared on the Jeremy Vine radio show and worked as a freelancer on the sports desk at The Sunday Times. Martin is also an FA Level 1-qualified coach and took his youth team from division five to division one in two seasons before going out at the top.