Appeal for apples as weather hits cider maker's crop

By Tristan Harris Friday 02 November 2012 Updated: 02/11 08:29

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Buy photos » Steve Cooper is facing an apple crisis due to this year's atrocious weather. Picture by Neville Collins. 42012027ncb2 www.buyphotos247.com

AN AWARD winning cider maker has made a desperate appeal for apples as this year's wretched weather has led to a shortage which is threatening production of his popular drink.

Steve Cooper, from Tardebigge Cider, usually gets six or seven tonnes of apples from his orchards but the cold and rainy conditions this year, coupled with the fact there are fewer bees and nectar problems, have reduced his crop to less than a tonne.

As well as a lack of apples, those that have grown have been a lot smaller than usual.

Now Mr Cooper is urging residents or orchard owners who have got apples to get in touch with him so he can continue to make his award-winning cider.

Mr Cooper has been making craft cider since 1999 with his wife Christine and their Tardebigge Medium Cider has just been awarded the Cider of the Year title by the West Midlands branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).

The beverage was up against 29 other ciders in the contest, which were all put through four blind tastings.

But Mr Cooper said unless he could get some apples, the chance of getting equally quality cider next year was looking increasingly bleak.

"The award has been the bright light in what has been an otherwise gloomy year," he said.

"Some of the trees out there which are usually full have not got one single apple on them at all.

"This has been the worst year we have had for cider-making, since 2000 during the foot and mouth crisis."

Anyone who can help Mr Cooper with his quest for apples should call him on 07712 223371.

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