Tuesday, May 21, 2019

the Cider Trail - Part 2 -The Two Metre Tall Farmhouse Ale and Cider Shed

Approach to the Two Metre Tall Farmhouse Brewery
The Two Meter Tall Farmhouse Ale and Cider Shed in the Derwent Valley is at home among the gumtrees in a former shearing shed on Ashley and Jane Huntington’s farm at Hayes, just past New Norfolk. While lacking some of the cultivated ambience of say, Willie Smith's, it certainly has the goods under the hood, notably the brewing equipment from St. Ives Hotel in Battery Point. Their dry cider is made from traditional English cider apples grown in the Huon and, unlike mass produced ciders, theirs is slowly fermented in bottles using pure apple juice and natural yeasts. The end product is unfiltered and has no additives, preservatives or sulphur dioxide. Occasionally they also make barrel -aged special editions which include fruit such as cherries or medlars, but this year's batch has already sold out.

Brewhouse with the equipment acquired from St.Ives in Battery Point
 
Ashley and Jane have been brewing beer here since 2004, well ahead of the growing interest in craft beer, though Ashley (the Two Metre Tall in the name) admits his first brews were not exactly what he had had in mind. Having trained and worked as a senior winemaker in France, he and Jane had planned to start a vineyard, but seeing the abundance of hops in the Derwent Valley and the bounteous supply of fruit, it was almost inevitable that he should turn to Ale and Cider instead, though the vineyard remains on the drawing board.


The business end is much more elaborate than the bar


Having pioneered craft beer in Tasmania, it seems that the Huntingtons are really onto something with cider.  In keeping with global trends which show cider sales to be up by 74% worldwide, the number of  regular cider drinkers in Australia has increased by some half a million between  2013 and 2017 according to Roy Morgan research, and now totals around 2.4 million. Kathleen Willcox,
writing in Vinepair writes that it is the happy conjunction of several trends which  which have helped things along such as the interest in artisanal produce and  the farm - to -table movement.

The other half of Two Metre Tall -  Jane Huntington dispenses some of the house cider 
 
 There’s no food on offer here, but guests are welcome to bring their own or to have a barbecue in the picnic area.  There’s  a real Aussie feel here. It could be the gumtrees, but it's also about the down -to  -earth attitude of its owners. The slowly matured cider isn’t half bad either.




View from the picnic area

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