They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But the humble apple has faced tough competition in recent years, with trendy “super foods” like goji berries, wheat grass, and pomegranates hogging the limelight through slick marketing campaigns.
Luckily for our health (and our tastebuds), two Bondi locals have partnered with Batlow Apples to create Batlow Premium Cider. Handcrafted from a blend of 100% Australian-grown apples, brothers Rich and Sam Coombes are helping us fend off the doctors by creating a far more exciting way to fill our daily apple quotas.
When a health scare led Rich to quit his high-pressure job in the corporate world, he decided it was time to revive an old dream to create his own product – “it struck me that life was too short and precious to be doing something I didn’t love”. Enjoying drinks with mates on Bondi’s grassy knoll one summer afternoon, he realised that there was no cider equivalent of a Coopers beer – locally made and premium quality.
He and Sam contacted Batlow Apples, and so began the journey to create what has the potential to become an iconic Australian cider (watch this space!).
While most ciders made in Australia are artificially flavoured, the Coombes brothers were determined to follow the example of premium overseas producers by using real fruit and very little else. Batlow Premium Cider uses fresh crushed, locally-grown apples, contains no concentrates or added sugars and is gluten-free, making it one of the healthiest ciders on the market.
Rich’s vision of “turning Australia’s favourite apples into Australia’s favourite cider” has not always been smooth sailing. The concept has been in production behind the scenes for over a year, with the boys quickly learning the ropes of supply chains, distribution networks and visiting factories to understanding exactly how apples are turned into an alcoholic beverage. Friends and family were used as taste-testers (a job for which I’m sure were no shortage of applicants), enabling them to refine the flavour to appeal to the Australian market and combine a mild sweetness with a “medium-dry” finish.
The apples are grown, picked and pressed in small batches in Batlow, NSW, and then transported to the cidery (yes – that is a real word!), where they are allowed to ferment under strictly-monitored conditions. This process ensures one of the freshest, crispest ciders on the market, and explains the rave reviews I’d heard from those lucky enough to try the first batch. My first bottle was appropriately enjoyed with takeaway on North Bondi’s grassy knoll – an instant convert, I will regularly be consuming my daily apple quota in liquid form.
Watch this space – I predict Batlow Premium Ciders will be the drink of choice (over imported ciders) in trendy small bars around town within 6 months. If they don’t already stock it, people will be asking why…
For your info…
Batlow Premium Cider has an alcohol level of 5.5 per cent and will be sold in 330ml bottles in 4-packs and cartons of 24 bottles.