Catch up with David Purcell from The Apple Thief
David Purcell is the owner and operator of the Apple Thief one of Australia's most popular craft ciders. Brewed in Batlow by only the finest of apples Dave's rule of 100% fruit and100% Batlow speaks wonders for the quality of his cider.
David's passion for growing apples began when he was very young. His parents planted an orchard of stone fruit in Batlow and after school, Dave and his brother would help them thin out the apple trees for the harvest. These childhood memories paved the way for Dave's love of the industry and by 1998 he was recognised as a Young Industry Leader by Horticulture, NSW.
Creating a craft brand of cider was something David always dreamt of doing. One day, after a visit home to Batlow, Dave delivered a ute load of apples to a local winemaker. They got chatting and soon the first batch of Pink Lady apple cider was made. Since then,The Apple Thief has grown astronomically and now David has started pressing apples on site.
We were lucky enough to catch Dave while he was delivering us some of his great cider, and chat about all things The Apple Thief.
Dave, firstly tell us a bit about you.
We're apple growers from Batlow, down in the Snowy Mountains and we decided to value add to our business. We were sick of seeing wasted fruit on the trees, so we evolved and came up with The Apple Thief Ciders.
How did you get the name The Apple Thief?
That's a good question! We have a big issue with the birds in Batlow when you're growing fruit especially early in the morning and late at night. The birds come in and you feel like you've got every bird in the neighbourhood visiting. When you are picking apples, the best fruit is on the top of the tree and there's nothing more rewarding than grabbing the big beauties because it fills the bags quickly, fills the bin quickly and generally brings in better money. The frustration comes when the birds peck at it, so the idea is that by the birds stealing the best fruit, they become apple thieves. It's so good, it's criminal.
Have you got any new and exciting things going on?
Yes, we certainly do, we have have started putting in a new in-house production in Batlow, so we're doing everything all on-site so it will be a real tree-to-bottle experience. We are really proud to be able to do everything in-house, from caning bottling and kegging, so that's the first sort of stage.
Have you done any pressing yet?
Yes, we've just sort of started, our first press has been very exciting, it is really good quality, pure fresh apple juice. It's a real milestone after ten years to be able to bring production back in-house.
Why did you decide to work with Country Culture?
Country Culture represents our values and beliefs. You are artisan and support quality small brands, and I think it's a really great thing being rural.