Free cider when you donate apples


THIRSTY Scots have the chance to win free cider – by donating spare apples.

Thistly Cross is offering free cider or apple juice to those who give up their unwanted fruit, welcoming donations from large orchards as well as apples grown in residential gardens.

Makers at Thistly Cross are asking for apple donations
Makers at Thistly Cross are asking for apple donations


Peter Stuart, Head Cidermaker at Thistly Cross said: “The apple season is the most important time of year at Thistly Cross. Apple donations are already making their way to the farm and, as a proudly Scottish brand, Thistly is inviting the public to donate their spare fruit and, in return, we’ll give them cider or apple juice.

“One of the things that make Thistly Cross Cider so unique is its blend of Scottish heritage apples, hand-pressed on our farm in East Lothian.

“We have a tradition of using apples grown across Scotland from a wide range of sources including professional apple growers, schools, large estate owners and the general public who grow apples in their gardens at home.

If you donate your spare apples you'll be given free cider
If you donate your spare apples you’ll be given free cider


“We even use apples donated from the grounds of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.”

Based in the heart of East Lothian, Thistly Cross was established in 2008 as a collaboration between farmer, Ian Rennie, and artist-turned-cidermaker, Peter Stuart.

The unique Scottish cider has rapidly gained a growing reputation for making ciders that people rave about. The traditional cider producer now serves up its variety of ciders across the UK as well as in a number of countries throughout Europe and as far away as Australia and the US.

Peter added: “Our popularity is increasing, but Thistly can’t make all the cider it wants to without the help of the public! Every year, we accept fruit donations from all over Scotland, ranging from a bucketful to a truckload.

Apple donations help limit unwanted waste and benefit the environment
Apple donations help limit unwanted waste and benefit the environment


“And to say ‘thank you’ we’ll give everyone who donates apples their choice of cider or apple juice. Essentially, we operate a ‘bucket for a bottle’ system.

“Our unique system of using donated apples also eliminates the waste that is all too often associated with the food industry of modern times. Apple growers can do their bit to reduce this by donating unwanted and excess apples that would otherwise go to waste.”

Think your apples might fit the bill? Then donations of apples in exchange for cider or apple juice can be delivered directly to The Store, Belhaven Fruit Farm, Thistly Cross Roundabout, Dunbar, East Lothian. Alternatively, for those living further north, fruit can be handed in at Gordon Castle, Moray.