Hayes Meadow wins a double shot of honours in the Taste of the West Awards

AN Ashreigney natural drinks maker is fizzing with success after winning two honours in the annual Taste of the West Awards.

Hayes Meadow Drinks Ltd has just won silver for its Hayes Meadow Beetroot Juice and Apple plus bronze for its popular Lightly Sparkling Elderflower Fizz, all made at the family based business near Chulmleigh.

The company range of hand made drinks are made in small batches and include apple juices, Blueberry and Apple Pressé, Elderflower and Apple Pressé, Raspberry and Apple Pressé.

People can taste for themselves at the annual FoodFest on Sunday, October 16 at Barnstaple Pannier Market. The festival and the Taste of the West are organised by North Devon Plus to promote the great produce the region has to offer, including celebrity chefs Chris Tanner and Michael Caines.

Haye’s Meadow will be alongside 75 of North Devon’s finest food and drink suppliers, plus five of the South West’s leading chefs on the demonstration stage.

Now in its fourth year, the FoodFest is sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers and runs from 10am-3.30pm.

Haye’s Meadow founder Neil Spencer is thrilled its drinks have been recognised for its taste and quality:

“We first began making drinks from our kitchen table back in 2008 but now we have progressed to produce around 30,000 bottles a year,” he said.

“We strive to produce the very best in terms of taste using apples from our own and other South West orchards as well as other locally sourced high quality ingredients. We are delighted to receive the awards which are a fantastic endorsement of the quality and flavour of our drinks.”

Neil was inspired to set up the company after seeing many neglected old apple orchards and kilos of apples being left to waste - he uses apples from his own orchards as well as those at Wembworthy, Black Torrington and Cheriton Fitzpaine. Neil is committed to saving old varieties of Devon apples grafting old varieties onto root-stock in his own orchard.

Hayes Meadow drinks are made using old West Country varieties of apple such as Tom Putt, Cornish Gilliflower, Gascoyne’s Scarlet and the Devonshire Quarrenden, a very old variety first recorded as a West Country apple in 1450.