Summer Cider Weekend

beachy TCCAs well as seriously cidery North Hop things, Thistly Cross will also be slaking cider thirsts this weekend at:

Foodies Festival Harrogate at Ripley Castle on 21st, 22nd & 23rd August. Following on from the Great Yorkshire Beer Festival last weekend, Thistly is hitting Yorkshire again at Harrogate Foodies (with the added draw of a quickie pint at the Harrogate Tap if we’re lucky!). Look out for Suze and Jen on the stand, dispensing Thistly a-plenty as you peruse the foodie and drink delights on offer – we’re fancying the chilli eating contest, oyster shucking and a bit of a vintage tea tent experience (come on, who doesn’t like a good scone?).

Cider suggestion: Thistly Cross Real Elderflower – with a zesty, floral hit of real elderflowers combined with refreshing apples.

Doune The Rabbit Hole,  an intimate, independent music & arts festival located amidst the glorious ancient oak trees of the Cardoss Estate near (Scotland’s only) Lake Monteith in Stirlingshire – great house, great trees, all round fantastic location! Running from 21st-23rd August, we’ll have a wide selection of ciders on tap including a couple of fruit and traditional varieties, our new Barrel-aged variety (not even available in bottles!), and the ever-popular festival fave Jaggy Thistle. We’re hoping to catch a bit of Fatherson and some other great bands!

Cider suggestion: Thistly Cross Traditional – fruity and aromatic with a clean, apple finish.

sandy tcc circleAnd last but not least, Galloway Country Fair at Drumlanrig Castle, 22nd & 23rd Aug, 9am- 6pm. Offering up a celebration of rural life, there’s a whopping £1200 worth of prize money up for grabs if you fancy entering their clay pigeon shooting competition, although it’s the fact they have duck-herding that’s really exciting us! On the bar will be an exciting array of our farmhouse ciders alongside award-winning beers from Glasgow’s Jaw Brewery, and delicious Edinburgh Gin Cocktails. Make sure you say hello to Dave and Andy on the bar if you head along!

Cider suggestion: Thistly Cross Whisky Cask – dry, subtle notes with mellow hints of cask to the apple.

Have a good one, and may the sun shine!

Tasty North Hop Goodness

North Hop 1Inverness here we come – the Thistly cider wagon is on the way to North Hop with Thistly Sinea and Colin! Peter is choosing to lie low this year after remembering those memorable ‘few’ drinks he had last year with Craig at Cromarty…

It’s one of our favourite festivals so we’re heading up to Inverness with the full effect of cider varieties and a few specials – you’ll have to come along if you want to see everything but our barrel-aged range including the rather elusive Slyrs Cask, will be there alongwith our CAMRA-approved Jaggy Thistle 7.4%. So there are likely to be a few Jaggy Tops making an appearance (don’t blame us as they’re very moreish!). We’re doing it in style now thanks to The Scotsman food + drink we’ve been voted 1 of the 10 Tastiest Things You Must Try At North Hop!

10tasttyNorth Hop runs until 22nd August:

Friday Evening Session: 21st August 2015 – 6pm till 12am.sinea headshot
Saturday Daytime Session: 22nd August 2015 – 12pm till 6pm.
Saturday Evening Session: 22nd August 2015 – 7pm till 1am.

With ‘Hop Sessions’ throughout – these are short chat/tasting sessions which are free to attend for festival go’ers but are limited to 40 folk per session – make sure you book a place on the Thistly one at 1.15pm on Sat with Thistly Sinea. She’ll be introducing you to our Barrel-Aged range including some specials you can’t currently get in bottles – all matured in bourbon, rum and selected single malt casks. Blindfolds and prizes may be involved….

We’ve also decided that North Hop is the perfect launch-pad for our much-anticipated rebrand Thistly t-shirts. But be warned we’ve only got a limited first print run of these so they’ll be available to the first lucky few – expect these to go quick!

boy bandDelightfully modelled here by Scott, Cammy, Colin & Mikey – Thistly’s boy (that should probably be ‘man’) band.

We’re looking forward to celebrating the Highland way with the best of craft beer and cider, artisan gins, creative cocktails, Scottish food, homegrown music, and you. See you there, and hope you’ll share your Thistly North Hop pics with us on @ThistlyCross on Twitter, @thistlycrosscider on Facebook and we’re thistlycrosscider on Instagram.


Thistly in Texas & Chicago

luke photoSo we’re back for another trip to the Lone Star state, and as Thistly Luke is our International Cider Go-To-Guy, he’s just the man for the job, so it’s over to him currently stateside:

“Thistly Cross has been visiting the USA a lot in the past 12 months and we are winning the hearts and minds of Americans across 45 states (so far!), so we thought we’d better start spreading the word of the Scots-led cider revolution that’s happening over here. We have friends, no….Thistly family over here now and they are loving our ciders (though of course I’m fairly sure it’s just my handsome charm and International Scots accent that’s winning over all those cider and beer drinkers…).packing tshirts

I’m going to say that we have no favourites in terms of which state we love most, but if there was a scale Texas would be waaaaaay up there. The less-informed amongst you may be thinking, “surely all they drink there is Lone Star and Bud?” but no, this is one of the craft beer and cider engines of the United States.

The term, “everything is bigger in Texas” is certainly something that comes to mind. Big beer, big cider and big Thistly love for them all.

We’ve been working with Flood Distribution out here for just over 6 months now, these guys are new to the distribution game in terms of their own operation, but it’s built and nobi_pub_008sowned by people who have been in the industry for a number of years using their passion and love of everything craft. All their experience combined and their contacts in this incredible industry make up an awesome portfolio of beer, cider and spirits. Thanks to their efforts here in the Texas you can now find Thistly in Wholefoods, HEB and other leading supermarkets. We’re also on draught in some of the best and innovative craft beer bars in the state (my personal favourite is Nobi Bar and Grill in Houston! (see pic). If you’re visiting, make sure you say hi to Channing the owner who is a huge Thistly fan!”.Texas

Thanks Luke. So if you’re looking for an awesome place to drink in Texas (or anywhere else for that matter), check out our Where To Buy section on the website, or just give @ThistlyCross and @Thistly_Luke a shout on Twitter and we’ll point you in the right direction! And you could of course check out some of our Thistly US tastings starting tomorrow with our friends at Orchard Gate:

Thur 20th Aug, 7-9pm: The Globe, Irving Park, Chicago – Thistly Whisky Cask, Elderflower & Ginger in bottles

Fri 21st Aug, 3.30-5.30pm: Vas Foremost Liquors, Logan Sq, Chicago – Thistly tasting with JK Scrumpy

6-8pm: Monk’s Pub, W. Lake St, The Loop, Chicago – Thistly Whisky Cask & Ginger Ciders on a draught ‘Happy Hour’ promo

5-8pm: Sportman’s Club, Ukranian Village, Chicago – JK’s Farmhouse & Thistly Cross feature night

Sat 22nd Aug, 1-3pm: Binny’s Marcey St store, Goose Island – Thistly tasting

5-8pm: Fountainhead, Ravenswood/Lincoln Sq – Orchard Gate roll-out and food pairing

Festival Frenzy

It’s definitely going to be Festival Friday at Thistly Cross Cider with 2 great events coming up this long weekend that will be featuring our cider on the bar. First up is Bute Fest on the magnificent Isle of Bute for 3 days of music, food, family fun and entertainment, loads of craft cider and beer, and perhaps even more importantly considering the location…. FREE CAMPING!
bute fest 15

And then on the other side of the country we have Audio Soup, nestled in the beautiful Lammermuir hills, next to the village of Cranshaws in the Scottish Borders. 3 days of musical marvels, kid-friendly festivities and lots of cider of course on the Audio Soup bar. And when we say lots, we really mean just about everything Thistly has to offer.

audi poster

Happy and safe festival-ling!

wide rainbow group cask m15


Imbibe Live!

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Imbibe is upon us from 29th-30th June, and Thistly will be deep in its midst at Stand A107 amongst cutting edge exhibitors, key industry networkers and an unrivalled programme of masterclasses, tastings and theatre sessions.

We could give you a lot of professional facts and tempting shpiel about award-winning, small-batch, long-matured, hand-pressed, real fruit cider, passion, artisan….. except you know all this already, because that’s exactly what Thistly Cross Cider is about. BUT what you don’t know is that for Imbibe Live! we’re bringing our stylishly rebranded range down to Olympia on the now-infamous Thistly rainbow bar. garland imbibe
And of course we have lots and lots of the best real-fruit, hand-made cider from Scotland including our dry scrumpy Jaggy Thistle, and core range: Original 6.2%, Traditional 4.4%, Ginger 4%, Strawberry 4%, Whisky Cask 6.9% and Elderflower 4%. Come along and see what the growing fuss is about Scotland’s Original cidermaker; taste and generally witness the Thistly experience. See you there!

PS – look out for the Viking…


Thistly Cross Cider announced as official supporter of Edinburgh Int. Film Festival 2015

Thistly Cross reveresed circle**Press Release 17/06/15**

Thistly Cross Cider has been announced as an official supporter of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2015

Thistly Cross Cider is delighted to be sponsoring the Edinburgh International Film Festival when it takes over Scotland’s capital with all things filmic until 28th June. The festival launches with the feature directorial debut from Robert Carlyle starring Emma Thompson, and continues with a great range of programming including star-studded In-Person events with Ewan McGregor, Malcom McDowell and Jane Seymour.

Thistly Cross is particularly pleased to be involved in supporting the Industry Ceilidh and Scottish Documentary Institute events, with lucky guests and VIPs also receiving a little taste of Scotland’s original cider made from real fruit!

Based in East Lothian farm and established as a collaboration between farmer Ian Rennie and artist-turned-cidermaker Peter Stuart in 2008, Thistly Cross has gained a reputation for making ciders that people rave about. From pressing apples to maturing for 6 months, they’re involved in every aspect of their award-winning Scottish farmhouse cider.


wide rainbow group cask jun15 for twitterThistly Cross content & media wrangler Mandy Lee (who is also an award winning scriptwriter) is particularly thrilled with the collaboration, “We’re delighted to be introducing our cider to the film industry & film-lovers at the EIFF. Thistly is a perfect fit with the EIFF – both are slightly eccentric, creative and Scotland-based but world-focused with lots of variety! The opportunity to welcome guests from around the world to our capital city with a taste of Scotland, Thistly-style could not be missed. Anticipating lots of exciting cider dispatches from the EIFF frontline, and perhaps even exploring whether the world is ready for ‘Thistly Cross:The Movie’!”

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T: 01368 863246


Summer Brew Fest 2015

SBF & TCC logo bannerJune is upon us and that can mean only one thing… ok, actually it means two things:

1) Cider demand is growing rapidly and we’re hard at work keeping the Thistly flowing.

2) It’s festival/event season!

Of course there are events all year round where cider is welcome, but when the sun starts showing up a little more often, it’s definitely peak season. And THAT means one of our favourites is just around the corner – the rather stupendous Summer Brew Fest.

This year, from 19th-21st June, it’s in exciting association with Barworks bars and Ubrew’s radically open brewery to bring together all aspects of the beer scene in London. We’re big supporters of SBF here at Thistly and this year, we’re pretty stoked to be sharing space with Dalston Cola. You can bet there will be some experimental mixings afoot with the whole range of Thistly’s core varieties on offer!

slight curve rainbow group m15

There are loads of beery events and tastings to get involved with so head over here for tickets. Each session costs just £25 including entry, souvenir glass and 12 beer tokens, which equates to 4 pints of awesome beer/cider (don’t forget the cider!) (plus ALLTHETASTERS!). It’s a no-brainer if you ask us – if weren’t in it, we’d be at it!

sbf thistly header


Thistly Peter Does USA 2015

US Tap handles arrived! edPhew, it’s been a whirlwind couple of months at Thistly, so perfect time to catch up with Peter who is currently on his travels spreading the word about our cider in the good ole US of A! These are exciting times across the pond for us, with two huge containers crossing the Atlantic right now, filled to capacity with Whisky Cask, Real Ginger and 6.2% Traditional ciders. And to accompany them we’ve been crafting some truly bespoke wooden tap handles. Lovingly made by hand for an authentic ‘cask’ feel and look, Whisky Cask badges are now proudly attached.

Bushwacker 2 ed txtTime for the obligatory thumbs-up at America’s original cider pub, Bushwhacker in Portland, Brooklyn. Bushwhacker produce their own traditional ciders and sell a huge variety of local, national and international hard ciders. We were lucky enough to be involved with a ‘Meet The Maker’ event with our good friend and associate Bruce Wright of JK Scrumpy, and it was great to meet so many fantastic US cider fans – thanks Jeff!

Highland Stillhouse edt txt

The Highland Stillhouse also gave us a terrific welcome, thanks Mick and Tammy. And we’re looking forward to welcoming you to Scotland when you visit. The pub has a soft spot for all things Scottish, so we were certainly made to feel at home.

Peter also spent some quality time with Brewsters Fine Foods where they planned an amazing cider-matched dinner, and Cannon Beach Hardware (which is rather affectionately called Screw & Brew); well why wouldn’t you want a hardware store that combines with a PUB?!

Canon beach time capsule edWhy didn’t we think of that? They have a fab time capsule built into the wall featuring a historic Thistly bottle label which is fading beautifully with time.

And fun movie fan fact – Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach is where the Goonies emerged on to the beach from the pirate cave!

Canon Beach 2 (goonies!) ed


Great place, and a great visit – thanks to Ryan, Kimi and both Daves.

A visit to the famous Voodoo Doughnuts was also on the cards, in fact it was deemed a necessity… Its extraordinary menu really deserves a second look. Oh be still our doughnut-loving hearts.

Voodoo Donuts combined

Thanks to everyone for the amazing goodwill Peter (and Thistly!) has found in the USA – we #ciderlove you too.

Thistly’s official export crew will be continuing to tag-team their way across the States during 2015, so we want to hear from you if you’re over there. In April, we’ll be heading to Oregon, Washington, San Francisco/California along with a much-anticipated Thistly Cross Cider launch in Texas, so get in touch and let us know what YOU want to see in America from Thistly Cross Cider!


There’s A Craft Beer Rising

CBR Peter low 15 blogCraft Beer Rising (19th-22nd Feb). 3 words to strike joy into the heart of any beer (or cider) lover. And Thistly Cross Cider is now fully set-up and raring to go at The Old Truman Brewery! Here’s what we had to say about last year’s event, and you know what? It’s still true. With bells on!

2014 TCC on CBR webpage(Pic borrowed from Craft Beer Rising)

CBR is even better this year as not only does it feature 350 varieties to try, it boasts a partnership with London Beer Week (16th-22nd Feb) so you can widen your taste-bud horizons with even more venues to visit and tipples to try. CBR might be mainly about the beverages but it also has a packed programme of events, heavyweight music and fantastic street food, so we’re on a mission to track down some beer sticks and attempt a chorizo bomb whilst checking out some of the epic sets; stand up Jazzie B because we’re mainly thinking of you.

And Thistly doesn’t just have a rainbow bar-full of tasty ciders! We’ve also got a spanking new exclusive for CBR goers (wait for it)….. our Rum Barrel Cider.

CBR rum barrel 15 (def)

The brainchild of our cider maestro Peter Stuart, it’s an inspired combination, and yes, it’s as magnificent tasting as it sounds. And not just that, our mates Harviestoun will be offering a legendary Thistly Cross mash-up in three varieties including an Original Thistly Cross, one matured with raspberry, and another conditioned with plums. Yup plums. Cannot wait!

But if you want to taste the result of Thistly’s Rum Barrel or any of the other exclusive dabblings, you better get yourself over here before they almost certainly sell out.

In fact get yourself over to say hello and meet Thistly anyway as we’d love to meet you! Stay in touch with us and keep up with all the latest #craftbeerrising updates and chat from Thistly on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.


Merry Christmas Thistly lovers!

TCC lit glass dec14 xmas_edited-1 (blog)Christmas is nearly here so that means it’s mulling time! As well as introducing our own Thistly Mulled Cider in boxes for the first time, we’ve been overwhelmed by the inventiveness of some of our customers creating their own blends using lots of combinations of our cider and amazing ingredients. So we’re going with a simple recipe for the end of 2014 that allows you to create your very own bespoke mull – anything goes as long as it’s tasty!

USA mulling (Luke)Start with your choice of Thistly Cross Cider (we like around a litre for a small group of people) – if in doubt, our Real Ginger or Whisky Cask ciders make a spectacular base. Gently heat in a cider kettle or pan, and add your other ingredients. We’re loving a good dash of whisky… but rum or brandy are great additions too. Then introduce some other flavours with an orange and/or lemon studded with cloves, some spices like cardamom, ginger or warming cinnamon, and finally a good dollop of honey for added sweetness. You can also add a fruity element with cranberry or grape juice. And don’t feel left out if you’re seeking a non-alcoholic brew. Because apple juice or even our 0.5% Real Elderflower Cider make a lighter but just as good base for all your other flavours.

TCC lit glass (crop) dec14 xmas_edited-1Make sure your creation is heated through (without boiling) then strain and pour the mulled cider into a glass, cup or mug. Finish with some freshly grated nutmeg as a garnish, and if you’re feeling fancy, a fresh slice of lemon or orange. Then all you have to do is serve and enjoy!

We’re signing off for the festivities now, so Merry Thistlymas to all our fantastic customers, supporters and enthusiasts! We hope you’ll be settling down to some good food and drink on the 25th, and we’ll see you in 2015 for an exciting year ahead!