Apple juice made at Brinklow farm is top of the pips at Coombe Abbey Hotel

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A Brinklow couple are enjoying the fruits of their labour after planting 40 apple trees on their farm.

Every single batch of Mrs Main’s Brinklow Apple Juice, a concoction of 38 different varieties, is grown and harvested at Manor Farm.

The Artisan Market at Coombe Abbey Hotel now stocks the drink, offering a rare taste of rural England to its guests, after something of a chance encounter.

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“We were displaying at the Daffodil Sunday Festival,” said Jo Main, who runs BAJ with her husband Richard.

Jo and Martin with the apple juice.Jo and Martin with the apple juice.
Jo and Martin with the apple juice.

“Someone from Coombe was there and asked if we’d like to supply. And that’s how it all came about.”

The link suits both parties and also ties in nicely with a drive from No Ordinary Hospitality, operators of Coombe Abbey Hotel, to work with more local suppliers.

“We live on a farm with 20 acres so it’s just a smallholding,” said Jo, 57.

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“When my father-in-law retired in 2013 we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t want animals again so we thought ‘let’s plant some apple trees’.

“We planted about 40 to start with. Our first batch; I think we got about 40 bottles and it’s gone from there. We’ve planted 100 trees every year since so we’ve now got about 1,000.

“We’ve got 38 different varieties of apple. All the local ones as well. When Ryton Organic closed we had all of their apple trees so we’ve got lots of the Wyken Pippin variety.

“That’s why our apple juice is unique because no one else has got the same varieties of apples as us.

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“We put them in all together and press them, we don’t separate. Everything goes in and it comes out with a taste that’s individual to us.

“It’s not like supermarket apple juice. It’s totally unique. So many people try it and really like it.”

In a good year, Jo and Richard can harvest enough apples to make as much as 1,600 bottles. Once the apples are picked, usually around late August to early September, they are shipped off to a friend in Stourport-on-Severn. who has the resources and know-how to take it from there.

He presses the apples, pasteurises and bottles them before they return to Manor Farm, in the village of Brinklow.

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Any apples deemed surplus towards the end of the year are not wasted. Rather, they are turned into delicious mulled cider distributed at a local Christmas market. Jo and Richard also use their apples to make cider vinegar and scrumpy cider all year round.

Jo added: “It’s only a very small business and I like to keep it local so the product visitors to Coombe Abbey are getting truly is limited edition.

“We do everything by hand, in terms of the growing, pruning and picking, so it’s very much a small, local business.

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