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Our History

More than a century of cider making heritage is crafted into our ciders.

1904 – When it all started

It was 1904 when William John Thatcher first made his delicious apple cider here at Myrtle Farm. His farm workers who enjoyed William’s finest as part of their wages were said to be the best around – just like the cider. Today, we still have the best cidermakers working at Myrtle Farm, just like the cider!

1910 – Stanley Thatcher was born

Stanley Thatcher was born in 1910. Stan was the real cider business pioneer, he was the person who decided to start making draught cider and sold a lot to local pubs.

1965 – Our first ever hydraulic press arrived at the farm

The hydraulic press made the whole cider making process a little bit easier on the Thatcher family backs! The old manual presses were quite hard work to operate.

1970 – John Thatcher steps in

John took over the business, expanding the orchards and the presses, back in the 70’s. Although he’s now retired and enjoying a much earned rest, like most farmers John is still a big presence around the farm, offering his opinion and experience, and is always on hand to do a bit of ‘quality control’.

1973 – Martin’s first tree planting

Martin Thatcher planted his very first tree on Myrtle Farm aged just 5 years old. Martin’s children Eleanor and Peter still help out with tree planting when they can.

 

1981 – Moving the vats

Our historic oak vats were moved into a new warehouse on the farm. It wasn’t easy! But it was definitely worth it. They still mature our cider, even though they are 150 years old.

1984 – We said goodbye to the pigs

Myrtle Farm was originally a working animal farm and it was in 1984 when the last of the pigs were taken to market so we could concentrate more on cider making and make room for more orchards.

1992 – Martin Thatcher takes over

In 1992 Martin took over from his father, John Thatcher, as managing director of Thatchers and he’s still in charge today. His job involves looking after the whole operation, from the orchards to the bottling and beyond, and making sure our cider is the very best it can be. We produce more cider in a day now than we did in a year back then.

1993 – The first Thatchers Open Day

We opened up the farm for the first time so that people could come and see how we make our cider, have a tour of the mill and the orchards and do some cider tasting while they’re here. The Open Days are now a regular part of our calendar, attracting thousands of people each time.

2004 – 100 years old!

In 2004 we had all sorts of fun celebrating 100 years of cider making at Myrtle Farm.

2007 – The shop grows

We expanded the shop so we could sell our own cider at the farm as well as lots of other lovely local produce. Stop by and visit us if you’re ever in the area and try before you buy.

2010 – Thatchers appears on TV for the first time!

Thatchers very first television advert was launched in the summer of 2010.

2010 – More space for apples to grow

We were lucky enough to purchase a further 180 acres of orchard at Shiplate, a stunningly beautiful spot overlooking the Bristol Channel. The BBC filmed here in 2015 for their series of Harvest.

2011 – It’s a try!

We became the official cider partner of Bath Rugby and The North Stand at their ground. The Rec, became the Thatchers Stand. We still get goose-bumps when we see the Thatchers name on their shirts.

2012 – Howzat!

Our association with top flight sport continued when we joined with Somerset County Cricket in Taunton. The team’s nick name is the CiderMen – how very apt!

2013 – Gold across the water

We began exporting to Australia in 2013 after signing a distribution agreement with Coopers Brewery who are based in Adelaide. We now sell our ciders in over 22 countries worldwide.

2014 – A very special orchard

Our 458 limited edition cider was a first – crafted from each variety of apple grown in our very special Exhibition Orchard.

2014 – A Royal Visit

Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited Myrtle Farm to open our new Jubilee Building. It was an amazing day that we’ll remember for a long time!

2015 – Haze joins the family

Our knowledge of apple varieties once again shines through with our Haze cider launching for the first time.

2015 – Time Stops

The world got to know about our Friday tastings in our new TV commercial, “Time Stops.”

2015 – We open our very own pub!

The Railway Inn re-opens its doors to the village of Sandford.

2016 – Katy awarded Champion Cider 

Our single variety Katy Cider wins top prize in the acclaimed Herefordshire Museum Cider and Perry competition.

2016 –  Introducing our Orchard Cut Gin and Family Reserve

We’re using our knowledge of apples to create something a little different here at Myrtle Farm.

2016 –  Preparing for the next generation

Eleanor Thatcher passes her tractor test at the age of 16 following the family tradition.

2017 – The latest Thatchers Cider TV campaign takes off!

Our Hot Air Balloon TV campaign, filmed in the heart of Somerset, shows the Thatcher Family’s commitment to the quality of their cider.

2017 – The World’s Best Sparkling Cider

Thatchers Redstreak, part of the Thatchers Cider Barn range, is named the World’s Best Sparkling Cider in the World Cider Awards 2017.

2018 – Our VAT12 arrived at Myrtle Farm

We took our ciders on the road with our travelling cider truck. Our truck features a fully functioning bar and will be popping up at events throughout the year.