The team behind alcoholic ginger beer Hawkes have developed a new cider that is made with apples sourced from around London.
Hawkes Urban Orchard uses a small number of apples donated from trees and orchards dotted around Greater London and within the M25, blended with culinary apples.
The result is a 4.5% ABV medium dry cider, smooth and harmonious in body, complex and rich in texture with a crisp wine-like finish. It is available in 330ml bottles and 30-litre kegs.
Like the alcoholic ginger beer, it was inspired by the “hawkers” of Victorian London – in this case, the apple sellers or costermongers. It was launched at the Craft Beer Rising show in east London last week.
Anyone who donates apples for the cider receives a personalised bottle. Apple donations from community groups including Father Nature and Brockwell Park Community Gardens will be rewarded with more apple trees to plant to support the communities.
Hawkes founder Simon Wright said: “I wanted to create a truly London-style blend, for our first craft cider, made for the people and inherently, by the people.
“I really hope that we can grow our list of community and individual donors over the coming years and that people buy into what we’re doing and why.
“The urban orchards where these apples have been sourced play a key role in the communities where they exist, providing not only a food source but also an outlet for education and rehabilitation.
“We want to work with these community groups and individuals to put to good use some of the apples that they grow, in turn, creating a network of orchards that reap the rewards when we sell our cider.
“To us, the urban apple and orchard are the perfect physical representation of the Hawkes ethos – they show that against all the odds, in the most unlikely of environments you can grow, survive and flourish.
“In all the years I’ve been in the industry, I’ve noticed a tectonic shift in the way consumers think about what they’re eating and drinking. People have a desire to become part of something real, from the people producing their beer and cider all the way through to how and where the ingredients are sourced and used.”
To donate apples, sign up via the Hawkes website at www.wearehawkes.com.