You'll forgive me for not posting in a while. I don't think life could throw any more stresses and pains juxtaposed next to the most amazing things all at once.
You see in the last two weeks we've not only moved the cider house, but my wife and I also welcomed a new little apple into the Hasler orchard in the shape of Rufus Pippin Hasler. He was born ten days early and for various reasons our cider house move was much delayed. So the timing of the two has caused a fair amount of stress and sleep deprivation. I'll let you guess which caused which. My paternity leave from my day job (yes if you didn't know, both Joe & I still have day jobs) has been slightly hi-jacked by organising the cider house move but we we can say with much relief it's done and we're in our new home, in Moss Side.
So we leave behind the shipping container at Firmstart in Hulme, that iconic church designed by one of the lesser Pugins I believe. They have been amazing hosts for our little project and pretty much left us alone without any interference. They've been our samplers on pressing days and did so much for us in the early days that meant we could build up to where we are now.
I'll be honest with you though, I (we) won't miss it. It was never the ideal setup for us and was only meant to be temporary while we looked for a suitable home in Moss Side. Let's face it, we're called Moss Cider yet our product, so far, is technically made in Hulme. The PDO people would have a field day with that one. It lacked space and meant we couldn't dream big or grow big. I mean if we're serious about getting to the 7000 litre mark (the point before the tax man comes-a-knocking) then where would all that cider go? And what would we ferment in? And where would all the bottles and apples go? We can't tell you how many times Joe and I have said "We're going to need a bigger boat". Any of our apples donors or volunteers who have visited us there must have appreciated this.
So, Firmstart, we salute you. To John Nancollis, we say thank you for inviting us back even after we all realised that because of the covenant on the church we couldn't make alcohol inside your building so you offered us the strip of land at the side. To Sheridan, our chief cider taster and all round Mr Fixit, without you we'd have no water or electric. To Michelle, who has always stated that she's not really a cider drinker but always happy to put a glass or two away despite this fact. Plus the rest of the team who work hard to give enterprises like ours the Firmstart that we need.
We thank you from the bottom of our cider barrels.