What we do and why we do it ...
Simply, we gather unsprayed fruit from gardens and traditional orchards all over Gloucestershire and use them to make the best cider and perry we can, and we try to do it in a straightforward way.
"Grown in Gloucestershire = local provenance"
Surplus fruit from gardens
Many people who have apple trees in their back gardens don't know what to do with all the fruit. We use that surplus fruit to make fine Bushel + Peck cider and perry. In return we give our fruit suppliers free cider, or apple juice if they prefer. It's a sustainable way of making cider, using locally available fruit that might otherwise go to waste. If you live in Gloucestershire, if you may have surplus fruit from unsprayed trees then you can find out more about supplying apples or pears to us on the "Surplus Fruit?" pages.
"Using surplus fruit = sustainability"
Fruit from traditional orchards
We also gather fruit from several traditional orchards around Gloucestershire. Traditional orchards are ecological havens, each orchard home to hundreds of species of fauna and flora. Valuable though they are, traditional orchards are disappearing; perhaps just 3,000 acres left in Gloucestershire, from a zenith of 15,000 acres in the 19th century. By using fruit from traditional orchards, by attaching some value to the fruit from the orchards, we are making our own contribution, however small, to their survival and the ecosystems they shelter.
Traditional varieties of fruit
Arlingham Schoolboys, Tewkesbury Baron, Longney Russet, Gloucestershire Underleaf; these are just some of the 100+ varieties of apples that are unique to Gloucestershire. Great Britain, and England in particular, has an astonishing array of apple and pear varieties, each with their own characteristics, reflecting and particularly suited to the local geology and micro-climate of the area they come from. With so much diversity close to hand, what need is there to get apples from further afield?
Premium artisanal cider
Although we are a very small cider-maker, we still collected about 1 million apples during the autumn of 2015, and double that in 2016. That's (quite literally) millions of apples picked by hand, washed by hand, pressed by hand (with a little help from a hydraulic pump) and, once fermented and matured, bottled by hand. All very much like the way cider has been made in Gloucestershire for centuries - using local varieties of local apples to make local cider, to pay farm workers (in part) in times past, and now for enjoyment.
After you've tried a bottle of Bushel + Peck cider or perry, we hope you'll think all the effort was worthwhile.
Not just words
We try to run the business along the same sort of basic, decent, principles. For example, our bottles are packed in cartons, bought from a firm that uses only FSC board. It would be cheaper to use a shrink-wrapped tray, but plastic isn't a renewable resource, FSC cardboard is.
Similarly, we bought our pasteuriser from a local engineering company, T Booth Engineering. It would have been cheaper to buy one off-the-shelf, probably imported, but we think it's important to use local skills and resources, wherever possible.