Northern Irish cider adds smaller bottle for on-trade

Long Meadow Cider

Northern Irish cider producer Long Meadow has launched a smaller bottle size to support the brand’s move into the on-trade.

In response to approaches from restaurants in London, it has introduced a 250ml bottle for its range after the success of its 500ml bottles in the off-trade. They include the crisp Long Meadow Blossom Burst and Long Meadow Medium Cider, both at 4.5% ABV.

The company, based on a family-owned orchard at Loughgall in county Armagh, was formed in 2012 by apple grower Pat McKeever with son Peter. It has doubled output of its bottle-conditioned ciders in the past year because of strong growth in sales in the UK, Ireland and France.

Pat said: “We’ve now developed a good position with off-licences in the London area and are keen to expand sales in this important market for us. A number of restaurants have asked us if we would consider supplying the cider, especially our medium and Blossom Burst products because they would be easier to handle than existing sizes.

“Business is going extremely well, and we’ve had to quadruple output to meet the growing demand for our cider that’s made without concentrates, just natural apple juice.”

The McKeever family has been growing apples for more than 50 years on the Armagh farm and had been encouraged to branch out by the feedback from cider enthusiasts across Northern Ireland. It was also the first to develop an oak-aged cider using Irish whiskey casks.

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