Ok I know people who make cider aren’t called brewers but when I met Peter at IndyMan Beer Con and tried his cider I really wanted him to take part in this because of his passion and knowledge, the cider is damn tasty too, so here’s his entry
What is your Brewery name and where did it come from? Thistly Cross Cider: named after the wee steading and crossroads by Belhaven Fruit Farm.
What is your brewery capacity? That’s a tricky question to answer. We operate on a seasonal basis and our batch size can vary dramatically depending on the time of year. Our Process is a two step process: the production of a variety of base ciders, which, once matured, go on to form the basis of a blend. So our capacity is an annual total and we have to plan and invest a year in advance.
What is different about your brewery? It’s a cidershed! – and very rustic to say the least.
How long have you been brewing for? Thistly Cross was established in time for the Autumn 2008. I started working on a commercial scale a couple of years prior to that.
How did you get into brewing? After spending far too long at Art College, I sat down one day, said a silent prayer for my sins and asked to be delivered a proper job…
What beers do you brew regularly? We are committed to holding in stock seven varieties of cider: Original 7.2%, Traditional 4.4%, Thistly USA 6.2%, Ginger, Strawberry, Whisky Cask 6.9% and Elderflower 0.5%.
What special/seasonal beers do you brew? I am committed to blending the occasional special for draught, on a purely creative basis. This summer, our Elderflower 4% has done very well and we plan to release this in bottle sometime during November.
Where do you think the future of brewing lies? With Thistly, I hope that we can successfully establish a craft cider business, based in Scotland, working with a universal appeal to create a range of ciders that are true to themselves but still represent the innovative best of craft and tradition. The future of alcohol production will be the companies, no matter the capacity, who can best embody this approach.
Do you bottle/keg/cask your beer? We bottle and cask our cider, and have wrestled with kegging..
What is you proudest moment in brewing? My proudest moment is when my wee boy took to asking for a glass of cider. All liquid is now referred to as cider. You’ve got to get them young!
Do you have any brewing regrets? I wish we had had more time in the doing to plan action before having to implement it.
What is your brewing ambition? A hermitically sealed, cycle of life, alternate reality booze thang involving agriculture, on site production, development and consumption… distilled.
What was last beer you drank? 6.8% IPA from Inglenook Brewery.
What is your favourite hop and why? I am a hop fiend… but I am also addicted to tannins…
What is your favourite beer/food combo? Burrito and Chilli Cider 12% at Illegal Jacks was a very nice moment…
Do you have a Brewing hero/inspiration? Yes and I will write it all down one day..
If you could brew one collaboration beer with someone who would it be with
and what would it be? Tempest: on a need to know basis..
How do you spend your time when you aren’t brewing? Enlightened Countryside pursuits!
If you could have one superhero superpower what would it be? Aside from the usual sex and death nonsense, a useful superpower would be the ability to translate flavour into digital code. At the moment, I go about tasting most things without the useful computer print out…
Do you have a website/twitter/blog? www.thistlycrosscider.co.uk also on twitter and facebook.