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drink

The big apple

Newly crowned ‘Best Drinks Producer’ at this year’s Cotswold Life Food & Drinks Awards, Hayles Fruit Farm lets the apples do the talking in its single origin apple juices and ciders.

You can literally taste the different apple varieties in the farm’s single origin apple juices, and the Badger’s range of ciders are already winning awards in their own right – not bad for a drinks operation that started out by accident – read on to discover how Hayles Fruit Farm turned a bad apple into an award-winning one!

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Fruit has been grown on the site of Hayles Fruit Farm since the 1880 when the land was planted with apples and cobnuts by Lord Sudeley. Over 150 years later, one of the original Bramley apple trees remains and some of the original cobnuts are still grown there!

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The family behind Hayles Fruit Farm

Today, the farm is run and managed by Martin Harrell and his family who, since taking over the 134-acre farm in 1950, have diversified and grown their offering. They were one of the first suppliers that Warner’s worked with over 15 years ago and we still eagerly await their freshly picked strawberries every spring and freshly harvested apples, pears and plums every autumn.

Alongside the fruit, the Harrell family have grown their drinks brand with over 10 single origin apple juices and a range of ciders. The juice was created by chance after a huge hailstorm in 1999 decimated the apples on the trees to the point that they were unsaleable. Unable to sell the fruit, Martin had the great idea to turn it into apple juice.

The juice is a traditional, cloudy drink with no added sugar, preservatives or colouring. The sweetness of each juice depends entirely on the variety of apple used, with Bramley being the driest and Russett being the sweetest, with a whole range in between.

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Cider has been made at the site since the early days of Lord Sudeley and little has changed in the way it is produced. Following traditional methods, Hayles produces a range of Badger’s Bottom ‘scrumpy’ cider and also a range of carbonated fizzy cider. The Badger’s Apple Cider was a Gold award-winner at the Bath and West British Cider Championships in 2021.

 

To find out more about Hayles Fruit Farm see our Meet the Producer feature.

You can find a range of Hayles Fruit Farm drinks at our Warner’s store in Upton-upon-Severn.