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Hordle My’N’Ers cider-making couple Jon Narey and Chantal Spenceopen microbrewery and bar

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A HORDLE couple have turned their passion for producing traditional cider into a booming business with the launch of a new microbrewery and bar.

Jon Narey and Chantal Spence, who have been producing My’N’Ers cider since 2017, recently expanded to a new premises at Greenacre Nursery on Silver Street, where customers can choose from a range of ciders to take away or stop to enjoy in their cosy bar area.

“Taking on this premises was a massive investment for us both in terms of time and money,” said Chantal. “But we are so happy with how it has been going – we really just wanted a place where we could invite people in and show them around. It has been our dream for a long time.

Jon Narey and Chantal Spence
Jon Narey and Chantal Spence

“Now we have a few regulars who come in every week and word is spreading. It’s been a brilliant way to meet new people and make new friends.”

The couple embarked on their cider-making journey around six years ago after Jon was offered use of an overgrown orchard in Vaggs Lane in 2016. Having previously worked for New Forest Cider at Burley and as a farming contactor, John was well versed in cider making and was happy to put in the hours to transform the orchard.

“It was totally overgrown,” said Chantal. “You couldn’t see the apple trees from the brambles, but over the years we have got in and totally cleared the orchard, and it turns out there are three-and-a-half acres of eating apples there.

“The first year of cider making was really a bit of an experiment to see whether people liked it or not, but for the last five years we have been selling it and trying to get into local shows and farm shops.”

The couple now produce up to 7,000 litres of cider a year in dry, medium and sweet varieties, as well as apple juice.

“When pubs closed, and with so few events going ahead, we didn’t make the full 7,000 litres so instead used some of the apples to produce apple juice,” said Chantal.

The couple produce up to 7,000 litres of cider a year
The couple produce up to 7,000 litres of cider a year

“It is the heritage side of cider and the education that is important to us, so at the moment we produce traditional scrumpy cider which is not fizzy and contains 100% apples.

“There are a lot of people out there adding berries and cherries and stuff, but we are more interested in the traditions behind it – the picking and pressing the apples and then making the cider.”

After outgrowing their former base, the couple applied for planning permission to turn the Greenacre Nursery site into a functioning production area and bar earlier this year.

“We did a lot of the work ourselves,” recalled Chantal. “We basically used whatever people offered us – our bar came from the Wheel Inn and we were given some seating from Brockenhurst Football Club.”

Pallet wood has been used extensively to create the bar area, which also features a wood burner and a collection of board games. It is open from 10am-10pm Wednesday to Sunday, and is developing a loyal following of regular customers.

The current range of My’N’Ers ciders include various scrumpies, a single-variety Winston and a sherry or bourbon soak cider – all are 6.5% and are on sale for £3 a pint or £2 for a half pint.

They also stock Heck Cider varieties, Six Penny Handley best ale, homemade apple juice, soft drinks and mulled cider.

The current range of My’N’Ers ciders include various scrumpies, a single-variety Winston and a sherry or bourbon soak cider
The current range of My’N’Ers ciders include various scrumpies, a single-variety Winston and a sherry or bourbon soak cider

Plans for the future include the launch of cider-making experience days that will enable customers to take part in the whole process, from picking the fruit at the nearby orchard in Hordle through to sorting and pressing the cider.

“We have been open about three months and it has been amazing really – it’s our dream,” said Chantal. “I love meeting all the customers and making new friends.

“We accept that it is never going to make us rich but are doing something we really love, and that’s the most important thing.”

Jon and Chantal, who organise the annual Burley Steam Fair, also have a 1913 Evelyn and Porter steam roller which they use at local events and summer fairs. The pair also stay busy raising sheep and poultry.

“I grew up in Southampton but I’m definitely a country girl at heart,” said Chantal. “I love our life here – it’s hard work and often long hours but I wouldn’t change a thing.”

My’N’Ers cider is also available to buy in larger containers from Greenacre Nursery and is sold in the Hourglass Micro Pub in New Milton.

To find out more, visit www.facebook.com/mynerscider or email mynerscider@gmail.com

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