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Kent Cider of the Year Finalist: Dudda's Tun Cider

Dudda’s Tun Cider is based on family-run Pine Trees Farm in Doddington. Using many of the varieties grown on the farm, Dudda’s Tun makes a range of 14 different ciders across its three core ranges: Traditional, Fruit and Fusion. Launched in 2009, Dudda’s has amassed in excess of 30 awards along the way and is now available in bag-in-box, bottle and can and will soon be adding a kegged cider to its range as demand continues to increase

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Dudda’s Tun Cider is based on family-run Pine Trees Farm in Doddington. Using many of the varieties grown on the farm, Dudda’s Tun makes a range of 14 different ciders across its three core ranges: Traditional, Fruit and Fusion. Launched in 2009, Dudda’s has amassed in excess of 30 awards along the way and is now available in bag-in-box, bottle and can and will soon be adding a kegged cider to its range as demand continues to increase.

Although Dudda’s Tun has continued to grow, the way the cider is made has never changed since day one (albeit on a larger scale). Our core cider values have remained throughout - always fermented from 100% fresh pressed apples grown on our farm or local farms and always using wild yeasts.

Dudda’s Tun Cider was started by Rob Payne (fifth generation farmer) in 2009 at Pine Trees Farm. After returning from university, Rob joined his father, Kevin back on the farm that had been owned by the family since 1939, with a view to working alongside Kevin, in growing fruit on the farm as they always had done. However, with the fruit industry struggling, Rob needed to find a way to help pay his wages, so in 2007 Pine Trees Farm pressed its first batch of apple juice and started attending farmers’ markets to sell the juice alongside its seasonal fruit.

After a chance meeting, an old cider-maker, in return for some apples, agreed to teach and mentor Rob through his first year of cider production. So, in the autumn of 2009 Rob made his first 2,000-litre batch of cider. The cider started to fly out at farmers’ markets and events and was soon catching the eye of pubs and shops. So, for the first time Rob decided to invest in improving the branding and after much thought decided on the name Dudda’s Tun, which is the origin of the village Doddington. Dudda is believed to have been an 11th-century person or tribe who set up a farmstead (tun), which over hundreds of years became the village known today as Doddington. As popularity of the cider grew, Rob had to double production year[1]on-year and by 2015 was making in excess of 50,000 litres and now has many distributors up and down the country, as well as supplying local Co-ops, and has also been exporting cider for a number of years.

In 2018, Dudda’s Tun went through an extensive rebrand with the help of Sean at Sand Creative. This is the brand you see today, a modern cider brand inspired by Rob’s love of the craft beer movement but still very definitely cider-led and also led by the history and origin of Dudda’s Tun.

We are very aware of our sustainability and environmental responsibilities. In a time when everyone realises the importance of reducing food miles, carbon footprints, the use of plastic and our impact on the environment, Dudda’s Tun continues to evolve.

Since day one, the majority of the apples used to produce our cider are grown on site at the farm, and where additional fruit is needed we have always sourced from Kent farms.

Our cider shed houses our fermentation tanks, storage tanks, processing room and office, which all means our carbon footprint on our own farm has also reduced from a time before when we would have to move cider/juice between three different buildings, often with the use of forklifts. We always use local transport companies to move apples, juice and cider within the county, as well as local couriers to deliver online orders.

More recently we have strived to make all our packaging for online orders either 100% compostable/ biodegradable or 100% recyclable; the packaging void fillers supplied by Kite Packaging are made from plant starch, and the boxes and packaging tapes are made from cardboard and paper. We also use 100% compostable/biodegradable cups at festivals and events, as well as paper straws. For us it is second nature to look for the more responsible and environmentally-positive alternative and believe this is a time when all companies should be doing the same – there simply is no excuse for the use of disposable plastic cups anymore!