Ascension now has
Canning has always been on our agenda, in fact we originally launched with a canned version of “Pilot”, but our distribution and name was not really well known enough for it to truly fly. This time, we were in for a pleasant surprise.
As you may know, we’re based on Ringden Farm in the high weald of Sussex and earlier this year, they got a canning line. We’d been planning to can our cider, but had some hoops to jump through first.
Deciding on what ciders to put into cans first was pretty simple. Pilot has been our best selling cider for three years, so that was a certainty.
Purple Haze has been begging to be fizzed up ever since I came up with it, so into the cans it went.
Shimmy has been a personal favourite for over a year too, so I was desperate to see what it was like with carbonation (delicious).
With this trio, I was happy to go ahead, but something was missing. Something new, something different and something sour…
Enter: Into The Jetstream. After the lull of the lockdown, I was looking to shake off my creative slump and get back in the game. Taking cider from the “tart tank” that we normally use for balancing acidity in our other ciders, this was added at triple the usual volume, before being blended with fresh braeburn and cranberry juice to deliver something I’m truly proud of.
With our ciders chosen, we needed a bit of a facelift. Our design department was basically me with two hours of photoshop tutorials that I’d watched online, so we needed these cans to look their best and, with the expert help of local designer Ben Hackney (Hackney Design), we managed to create something that I think takes us to the next level. Consistent yet individual enough to stand out from one another on the shelf.
Then came the launch, this took place on the 18th of May 2020. Three years to the day since we launched Ascension in London. I had canned what I thought would see us through to the end of June, just shy of 3,000 litres. Amazingly, 50% of our stock was claimed within the first hour, with the following 50% of the fruited blends selling out completely in 72 hours.
Canning definitely seems to be the way for Ascension to continue to grow and pit our ciders into more hands, especially in the situation we find ourselves in. It also gives us the opportunity to continue to innovate, which is why Ascension began.