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Cranes Ciders - Blueberries & Apples


With the product named and recipe finalised we set ourselves the task of building our micro-brewery. Our uncle kindly offered his old barn rent free. (Cheers Tony!).

However, sometimes you pay for what you get and 7 months into our Micro-brewery functioning at full capacity we got flooded. Luckily, at that point our friend Sam had a vacant unit on his farm that we moved into, allowing us to dry off and expand.

In fact, it continues to be the location of our brewery now, we just keep taking over more and more of the farm.

Ben Ritsema - Cranes Cider Co-founder
Cranes Cider Bar

Daniel has mentioned the birth of Cranes Cider, so I’ll enlighten you to how it all started.

After graduation, we started fermenting cranberry cider in 5 litre demijohns. I couldn’t say how many attempts it took, but 8 months later the recipe was finally perfected.

Now we had a product, it was time to name it.

Full credit goes to our Dad, unfortunately this means we will never hear the end of it.

He did a spot of research and discovered that Cranberries were originally called ‘Crane-berries’ as the blossom of the cranberry vine resembled a crane’s head.

Cranes Story

Most fruit ciders are full of sugar and artificial flavours and sweeteners, but we were determined to create a more natural fruit cider. We spent years perfecting the recipe, to create Cranes Ciders which contain 30% fewer calories and over 40% less sugar compared to brand leaders. We have achieved this by utilising the sweetness which comes from the super fruits, we only needed natural ingredients to create Cranes Ciders. My brother and I (Ben & Dan Ritsema), founded Cranes back in 2012 and from then we have continued expanding, launching new fruit cider flavours, apple cider, low alcohol cider and an award-winning spirits range. 

Cranes Cider - Apple

Cranes Cider Pledge

Cranes Cider - Tree Planting

We are working with Ecologi to make all Cranes employees carbon natural, as it is important for us not to have a negative impact on the earth. So far we have planted 385 trees, and have opened this opportunity up to our customers, via the Cranes Cider Club App. 

Cranes Employees Carbon Neutral 

Every inch of our packaging can be recycled from the bottles we fill our cider with to the cardboard which keeps the bottles safe on the way to you. 

100% Recyclable Packing 

Cranes Cider - Can Production

We have always been health conscious and care about what we put into our bodies, therefore it was important to us to create a 100% natural product. We utilise the super fruits creating a refreshingly natural fruit cider.

100% Natural Ingredients

Cranes Cider - Raspberries & Pomegranates

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Before I take you through the evolution of Cranes Cider, I should probably tell you who the two adorable boys are on your left, well that is me (Dan) and my twin brother Ben, who founded Cranes back in 2012. 

​It all started with cranberries, and even though our links to cranberries are not so strong anymore, they played an enormous part in how Cranes became what it is today, so let me tell you a bit about that…

Our love for Cranberries all started at a very young age. We were so undeniably sweet our mum felt it was logical to force feed us tart cranberries to balance it out. OK, that’s a lie.

The truth is cranberries came into the picture later in life, whilst we were at university. It was the first time we had spent time apart (and only time, it would appear, I just can’t seem to shake him off).

I was up in Leeds and Ben down in Exeter. As many students do, we both enjoyed a drink. Ben was in the heart of the west country and enjoying the abundance of fruit ciders they had to offer.

Cranes Cider - Co-Founders
Cranes Cide - Cranberry Harvest

Whereas I was drinking anything I could get my hands on.

Cranberries being notoriously healthy, led me to those beautifully tart berries. In a bid to try and compensate for all the unhealthy drinking.

Once Ben and I were reunited and finished discussing the copious amount of “studying” we had done, topics moved onto our new findings.

As twins do, we brought those two things together to form one and that was the birth of Cranes, creating a natural fruit cider, as we were shocked how laden with sugar the existing fruit ciders were. 

Cranes Cider - Dan Signature
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Ben Ritsema - Cranes Cider
Dan Ritsema - Cranes Cider
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