A toast to East Lothian’s cider and beer makers

Thistly Cross Cider, Scotlands Original Cider hit the high seas with a pop-up sampling tour of the Hebrides as part of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight.
Thistly Cross Cider, Scotlands Original Cider hit the high seas with a pop-up sampling tour of the Hebrides as part of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight.

Thistly Cross ciders and Belhaven beers are flying the flag for East Lothian at sea and at beer festivals.

Pop-up tasting sessions of traditional, elderflower and strawberry Thistly Cross ciders have taken place on board Caledonian MacBrayne ferries to Islay, Mull, Skye, Harris and Lewis.

And Aldi is featuring Belhaven’s Speyside oak-aged blonde ale in its 10th Scottish Beer Festival.

Thistly Cross’s range will be stocked aboard all 10 Taste of Scotland-accredited Caledonian MacBrayne vessels.

Their on-board manager, Anne Mitchell, explained: “We have been working hard recently to increase the amount of local produce we serve on board.

“Thistly Cross will make a brilliant addition to the range of drinks available on board.

“We don’t just stock local produce because it’s local, but because we believe it’s the best.”

Thistly Cross head cidermaker Peter Stuart added: “The Caledonian MacBrayne ferries are an icon of the west coast of Scotland and provide the gateway to many of the communities of Inverclyde and the Hebrides.

“As Scotland’s foremost cider producer, we are delighted to be able to take this opportunity to introduce our hand-made ciders to a new customer base, locals and visitors alike, offering passengers aboard these ferries a real taste of Scotland as they journey to and from these islands.”

Aldi’s Scottish Beer Festival has selected 35 different beers from Scotland’s best breweries and those that prove popular will return for future in-store beer festivals.

Michael Whiteford, buying director for the German-based chain in Scotland, said: “What better way for us to help aid the transition into the autumn months than by launching our 10th beer festival – a celebration of some of the best breweries in Scotland?

“We’ve built a strong relationship with each brewery, and with demand for local produce higher than ever, we’re expecting the beer festival to be a sellout success.”