Everything's apples as construction begins on The Apple Thief Cider House

After bushfires devastated the Batlow region in 2020, Dave Purcell, orchardist and founder of The Apple Thief Cider, was determined to help his community and the local orchard industry recover and grow. Four years on, construction has now commenced on The Apple Thief Cider House – an ambitious new visitor destination in the Snowy Valleys.

“We’re super excited to be underway,” Dave said. “We’ve already started cider production on site and when the new Cider House is up and running, that will mean more jobs for locals, and more good reason to visit Batlow.”

Set for completion early in 2025, The Apple Thief Cider House will provide an immersive experience that promises to be a feast for all the senses. Visitors will approach the Cider House through the orchard itself, enjoying the seasonal sights and aromas of the variety of apples and other fruits and berries grown for the award-winning Apple Thief Ciders.

Inside, visitors will enjoy cider tastings, sales and casual dining. Already, The Apple Thief has attracted a loyal local following for their café offerings and Dave says the new venue will provide the opportunity to expand their menu. “We’re still working on the menu, but new options will include picnic platters to be shared under the apple trees or in the sunny garden,” Dave said.

Planning and approvals have taken a couple of years and Dave says he is grateful for the encouragement they have received along the way. “I grew up here so it means everything to me and my family to bring The Apple Thief home to Batlow. We’re sure locals will enjoy The Cider House as much as visitors from further afield.”

Dave explained that the project is partly supported by a grant from the jointly funded Australian and NSW government Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund. “We’re very grateful for that help, and we’re also invested with matching funds of our own. The new Regional Australia Bank branch in Wagga Wagga has also been very supportive. Local and community support means everything to us.”

The Apple Thief team is looking forward to providing updates on the build and what visitors can expect when they visit. Follow ‘The Apple Thief Ciders’ on socials for more.

While construction is underway, visitors can still drop by for coffee, light meals and cider tastings in the old shed. While the stars of the show are the range of ciders from The Apple Thief, the popular farm shop also stocks a selection of locally grown farm produce, vinegars, and preserves.

Visit the shed to choose your favourite cider from classics like Pink Lady, William Pear and Braeburn Gala, or try the seasonal limited editions such as Apple and Cherry Non-alcoholic Cider and Apple & Lemon Myrtle. The winter opening hours for the temporary café and shop are Thursday to Monday from 9am until 2pm but will be closed for a break throughout July.

Funding Acknowledgement Funding for The Apple Thief Batlow Cider House development was achieved from a successful Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) Fund application by The Apple Thief. The BLER Fund is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments.

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