By SAM BUTLER
Cider lovers in Great Britain are now enjoying award-winning craft products from Long Meadow at Loughgall in County Armagh.
Based on a family apple orchard, Long Meadow, owned by farmer Pat McKeever and wife Catherine with son Peter, has won a listing on Amazon, the leading UK online retailer, for its range of successful craft ciders.
It’s a major breakthrough for the Northern Ireland business, which has been targeting Great Britain for faster growth over the past few years and especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
The important deal, according to Catherine McKeever, followed an introduction from family friend and neighbour Ryan McCracken of McCracken’s Real Ale in Portadown.
Catherine explains: “Ryan made an introduction for us to Copperstar, a Wirral-based craft distillery, which didn’t have a craft cider in their portfolio and were keen on the quality and outstanding taste of our ciders.
“Our discussions led to a listing with them, and we were delighted by their interest in our craft ciders.
“They also offered the facility of our craft cider range being listed on Amazon, an exciting opportunity we obviously jumped at, through their business with the very influential and successful online retailer.
“As a result of both listings orders with Copperstar and Amazon, orders for our ciders are coming in regularly.
“This is a great boost to our family business considering Covid has closed the hospitality sector, one of our most important sources of business, especially in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,” adds Catherine.
Faced with the closure of hospitality customers, Long Meadow stepped up its marketing activities to grow its retail business.
Catherine continues: “The Amazon and Copperstar listings offer a doorway to our customers who can now receive our products with delivery straight to their door.”
Catherine continues: “We also currently have an offer on our website for our 10 litre container of Apple Cider Vinegar with code Vinegar5.
“Customers receive £5 off their order with the added benefit of delivery to their door (www.longmeadowcider.com/product/irish-cider-vinegar/).
Long Meadow ciders, apple cider vinegar and the addition of apple juice in 2012 come on the back of a family heritage of growing applies over more than 50 years.
It grows and harvests apples from a total of 120 acres, 30 of which are on the home farm.
The company has an outstanding track record in developing original ciders, including the first vintage matured here in whiskey casks
Apple Cider Vinegar – special offer from Long Meadow.