Here at Barrel & Hatch we grew up listening to our mothers. Now that we’re all grown up we believe that mother nature knows best too. She nurtures the trees in our orchard, feeds them with the sun and rain, and they, in turn, provide us with real cider apples so we can make real cider.
Everything is done by hand from the picking to the pressing, but that’s pretty much it. Whatever comes from the earth needs to be respected and that’s why our cider is produced with minimal intervention.
Our mission at Barrel & Hatch is to bring people together to experience and enjoy real craft cider the way nature intended. We prefer our wine made from apples, and that’s where the story begins…..
Many moons ago we sat by a fire drinking cider and lamented the fact that the cider we were drinking was just plain awful. It was sweet, insipid and unlovable. We wanted authentic dry cider, made from real cider apples and aged in oak. We put down our glasses, reached for a bottle of wine we would actually enjoy and once mildly inebriated, came up with an awesome idea.We would go on a quest to find the perfect cider apples and make real cider for our own consumption.
This is where our story began and that’s exactly what we did. For a little while we were very happy making cider for ourselves, but then something happened. Another night amidst the sound of flamenco guitars, while sitting around a barrel fire in the barn next to a hatchery where we produced the cider, we had another brainwave. Oh, and let’s not forget the tasty pig slow roasting on a spit (with an apple in its mouth of course). Anyway, so because we’re both lovely guys and not at all selfish, we thought why not share this experience with the masses. We had the apples, we had the equipment, we had the know how, but most importantly we had the passion. Barrel & Hatch soon became a reality and so did the concept of real Australian cider.
Making cider from apples sold in supermarkets is like making wine from table grapes, it’s always going to be inferior. Heard of Kingston Blacks or Somerset Redstreaks? No, they aren’t NBL basketball teams, they are two of the heritage cider apple varieties that we hand pick in our orchards in regional New South Wales.
Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Jonathon are lovely to eat but they just aren’t designed for use in cider production, resulting in a sweet, thin beverage. True cider apples like the ones we grow are hard to find and that’s why every drop of Barrel & Hatch is like liquid gold.
The way we see it, if you can make wine from grapes you can make it with apples. Our cider is more akin to a fine sparkling wine in its texture and flavour profile and hence is perfect for pairing with food. Our chief grower heads out into the orchard at 4am during harvest season, checking the apples and planning the exact moment for picking!
The fruit is pressed and fermented with wine yeasts, before becoming friends with French oak for six months. Once bottled and crown sealed, the rest is up to you. Pop it in the fridge, chill it, crack it open, take a beautiful tumbler or Chardonnay glass and get ready for the most authentic ‘real’ cider experience you’ve ever had.
This dry cider has personality and respects the fruit it was made from. It has an elegant, floral bouquet with a hint of vanilla, all held together by the subtle oak. Acidity is balanced like a trapeze artist and the long finish is textural yet silky smooth with a light sparkle. Welcome to our very first vintage, we know it’s so good that we’re already planning our second.
Antipasto; Olives, Brie, Camembert, Blue Cheeses; Prosciutto, Salami; Pork, Chicken, Fish; Curry & Roast dinners
Vintage 2015 composition
Apples = 33.3% each of Kingston Black, Somerset Redstreak, Improved Foxwhelp
Oak = 100% New French
Residual Sugar = 4 grams per bottle*
Alcohol = 6.7%
Our Fave Drinking Temp = 8-10C**
*Cider Industry Average Residual Sugar = 40-60 grams per bottle
**We just take it out of the fridge 20 or 30 mins before drinking