Dunbar cider company wins gold awards

THISTLY Cross Cider near Dunbar, Scotland's only registered cider company, has won four Golds from the Great Taste Awards.

Organised by the Guild of Fine Food, the competition involved 6,021 food and drink products being blind-tasted, tested and discussed during two months of intense judging by a 350-strong team including food writers, chefs, delicatessen and farm shop owners, food producers and buyers.

Thistly Cross Cider, which started trading in autumn 2008, was delighted to be amongst the country's most highly rated produce with its Thistly Cross Red (strawberry), Thistly Cross Gold (whisky barrel chips), Thistly Cross 4.4 per cent alcohol) and Thistly Cross 1.1 per cent (low alcohol) all achieving Gold.

Apples are grown on several hectares of orchards on the farm and in the surrounding area.

The four awards for the company, which employs four people, comes on the back of a very busy year for the cider. Three ciders were included in the cider festival held by Mitchell and Butler's Castle Brand chain of pubs in May.

Belhaven Brewery at Dunbar is now distributing the cider and the number of retailers stocking it has risen.

Peter Stuart, head cidermaker, said: "We are delighted with our four awards out of six products and feel this is a great reward for our hard work over the past two years.

Since we started we have been building up our public profile through farmers' markets and various food and drink shows."