Support Bristol's Cider Orchard

by Branch Cider in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom

We did it
On 21st November 2022 we successfully raised £4,270 with 84 supporters in 28 days

Help us support Far Orchard, Bristol's forgotten cider orchard hidden away behind Ashton Court Estate

by Branch Cider in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom

Bristol is the cider-drinking capital of the world. But the cider orchards around Bristol are rapidly disappearing. We started our new Bristol cider company Branch when we discovered that Bristol's own local cider orchard could no longer find a market for its cider apples. We’re asking Bristolians to help support ‘Far Orchard’ by chipping in a few quid to help buy this year’s apple crop - in return for some very tasty cider!…

Far Orchard is a beautiful 15-acre cider orchard hidden away behind Ashton Court Estate in Abbots Leigh. Despite being the closest cider orchard to town it has almost been forgotten. The orchard was planted in 1951 by Redvers Coates of Coates Cider and was designed to showcase some of the very best apple varieties for cider making. Redvers Coates wanted to make the best tasting cider possible so he insisted that only Somerset cider apple varieties were used in Coates cider. Nowadays the flavours of mass produced ciders are so simple that they can be made with any old apples. That’s why so many cider orchards are under threat. In recent years the orchard has been single-handedly maintained by retired surgeon Christopher Ackroyd. Now in his 80's this will be Christopher's last harvest and the orchard will soon be transitioning to new owners.

We, that’s me Ed & my wife Samantha, stumbled across Far Orchard one winter’s day in 2020. We were blown away by how beautiful and rural it was considering it was only minutes from the middle of town. And with my background in cider I was amazed that I’d never known about this place before, it felt like a hidden gem. My amazement turned to despair when we discovered that the orchard's crop of incredible cider apples were just rotting on the ground. Christopher had been unable to find a market for most of his apples. Having recently returned from several years making cider in America, I knew just how rare and prized these apples were. Cider makers all over the world would kill for these apples. It felt crazy to me that the cider drinking capital of the world’s very own orchard couldn’t sell its apples.

So we decided to do something about it. We promised Christopher that come next harvest time we would buy as many of his apples as we could and turn them into cider that showed just how special these apples are, and why orchards like this one deserve to be supported.

We started Branch to make great cider that gets Bristolians excited about their local apples, to take the passion and pride of Bristol’s cider drinkers and channel it into helping preserve our local orchards. We made some initial small batches of cider with apples from other local orchards last year. We put it on sale at The Apple, the cider bar I started with some friends a few years back, and some other great bars and taprooms around town. The feedback has been phenomenal, so good we decided to enter the ciders into the British Cider Championships, where they won 2 gold medals! Thanks to some wonderful friends and supporters in the Somerset cider industry we’ve been able to find everything we need to make cider with - spare tank space, pressing facilities and packaging facilities. We’re now all set to start making cider on a bigger scale. 

With harvest time upon us again the apples are dropping at Bristol’s local cider orchard. We can’t let these incredible apples go to waste this year! We’re asking for your help. Help us buy these apples and turn them into cider that will make Bristol proud. With your help we think we can turn Far Orchard's entire crop into cider, so not one single apple will go to waste. When/if we reach our initial target of £5,000 we will keep taking donations until we cover the cost of the entire crop. Any further donations will go towards accelerating our plans to build a trailblazing zero-waste cider co.

We’ve tried to design this crowdfunder so it’s a really good deal. It’s like a cider savings account, chip in for the apples now and get great cider later! We’ll be putting on some special parties for our supporters with free-flowing cider when the ciders are ready to share. Your donation will convert into free cider over the bar at those events.

Cider is part of Bristol’s cultural identity, but we can only have a truly thriving cider culture if we support our local cider orchards. So if you want more cider made with local apples in your local pub, join us! Chip in some money to help buy these apples, and we’ll make some really tasty cider for you in return. Make a downpayment on some great local cider and help us secure the future of this wonderful Bristol cider orchard.

BRANCH is a zero-waste cider company. Our ciders are currently available on tap in local Bristol pubs, follow us on social media for details. We promote refillable flagons as the ultimate green packaging solution and plan to launch a returnable, refillable bottle and refiillable alternative to bag in box in the near future. Find out more at


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£25 or more

Cider Lover

Chip in £25 and help us pay for half a tree of apples! As a valued supporter you'll receive invitations to exclusive supporter events where you can enjoy £25 worth of cider on us. (Event dates TBC, invitation for 1 person).

£50 or more

Cider Buddies

Grab your best cider buddy, chip in £50 and help us pay for a whole tree of apples! As valued supporters you'll receive invitations to exclusive supporter events where you can enjoy £50 worth of cider on us between you (Event dates TBC, invitations for 2 people).

£100 or more

Cider Crew

Roll deep! - round up a whole crew, chip in £100 and help us pay for multiple trees worth of apples! You'll receive invitations to exclusive supporter events where you can enjoy £100 worth of cider on us between you. (Event dates TBC, invitations for 4 people)

£500 or more

Cider Army

Mobilise your cider army! Chip in £500 and help us pay for a whole row of apples, about a dozen trees! You'll receive invitations to exclusive supporter events where you can enjoy £500 worth of cider on us between you all, plus shout outs for you / your organisation on our social media (Event dates TBC, invitations for 20 people)

£25,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Cider Legend

Become a Cider Legend! - help accelerate our plans as a trailblazing zero waste cider co. You'll be guest of honour at our supporter events, where you and 100 guests can enjoy £2500 worth of cider between you. You'll receive a tour of the orchard with cider tasting, shout outs for you / your organisation on our social media and you will be invited to help us make a special cider blend! (Event dates TBC, invitations for 100 people)

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