A short and sweet history

Hedge Hoggers Dan Hargreaves ,ready to make cider in Seamer..Picture Richard Ponter 133905a
Hedge Hoggers Dan Hargreaves ,ready to make cider in Seamer..Picture Richard Ponter 133905a

A Seamer chef wants to unite his community through the traditional craft of cider-brewing.

Dan Hargreaves, 26, has brewed his own cider from home for several years but has recently expanded his hobby into a fledgling business.

Equipped with an arsenal of electronic mills and hydro-presses, Dan is desperate to get others involved and is looking to secure his fruit in a unique way.

“Our target audience is people with apple trees who hate to see their fruit go to waste,” he said.

“Hedge-Hoggers is a community project.

“We will collect your apples and give you some of the cider and juice we make in return.”

Along with his business partner Elaine, Dan may have been spotted knocking on people’s doors – requesting their unused fruit.

Only what they ‘scrump’ goes into the final product, resulting in a very organic yield.

“We put yeast into it, but nothing else. We don’t want to add anything we don’t need to.”

Whilst the young entrepreneur is relatively new to the business side of things, he and Elaine have made huge strides over the last 12 months.

“We learnt a lot last year and we’re starting to get a good grasp of the business aspect,” he said.

“Hopefully we’ll have a license by next year, as well as our very own vintage cider.”

However, in spite of all his efforts, he admits that he is not the most important member of the company.

“Ellie, my Jack Russell terrier, comes with us everywhere,” Dan said.

“She loves the job as much as we do and is our best scrumper.”

The pair have been running pressing events in Seamer to allow people to trade in their fruit in return for cider and juice.

The fruit is brought along to a location in the village where it can be put through the all important process of being pressed to release the juicy goodness that is trapped inside.

In return for their donations people are allowed to take home some of the spoils, in the form of a cider or just some juice.

The donors can get up to 50 per cent of the juice that their fruit produces after the pressing process.

As well as the traditional apple cider Dan has also been experimenting with new flavours, whilst sticking to his foraging principles of course.

He said:

“We added some foraged wild blackberries to some of the cider to make Blyder.

“Hedgehoggers blackberry cider.”

Many more new and exciting flavours could be on the horizon as anything the pair can find has a good chance of making it into a batch of their cider.

Other flavours tried out by hedge-hoggers include elderflower and elderberry, which are two staples of most hedgerows.

If you want to trade your fruit for cider and juice the Hedge-Hoggers’ are running a pressing event at Seamer Fayre on Sunday, October 20 between 11am and 4pm.

Simply turnup with your unwanted fruit and let Dan and Elaine do the rest.

Or visit: www.facebook.com/HedgeHoggersCider.