Meet apple grower and brewer David Purchell (Apple Thief Cider)

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CURATED ARTICLE VIA TIMEOUT SYDNEY: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for apple grower and brewer David Purcell
It might have been predestined that David Purcell would have a career around apples, in whatever form – after all, the co-founder of Apple Thief Cider grew up on the Batlow farm that’s been in his family for three generations. As a schoolboy, he would help out on the family farm on weekends and later he would go on to run one of the largest orchards in the Snowy Mountains. A veteran NSW farmer, Purcell grew frustrated at the number of good apples refused a place in the supermarkets because of how they looked and started pressing the disregarded Batlow apples into juice. Soon, he started making cider. Not long after that, his Apple Thief became a premium cider brand. While the Apple Thief ciders are Australian-grown and made, the story of the company’s formation begins overseas: Purcell and British business partner Charlie Ostaszewski were brought together by a chance encounter in Thailand. “I worked at a vineyard with a girl who then went backpacking through Thailand for a few weeks,” Purcell tells Time Out. “She met Charlie over there, and introduced us when I travelled across to meet her. He was interested in what I was doing and stopped by the farm [back in Australia].” It just so happened that the day Ostaszewski, then an auditor, chose to drop by was the day that Purcell had just bottled a trial batch of cider, which he was brewing as a hobby. “We started having cider for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the idea to start the Apple Thief evolved from there.” Today, the Apple Thief is sold in three flavours (Granny Smith, William Pear and Pink Lady) and is one of Australia’s hottest high-end cider brands. And while its creator – who grew up with apples and can’t seem to get away from them – says his favourite drink is cider, he’s also a fan of craft beers like Endeavour and Mountain Goat. For Purcell, it’s about keeping the quality up, no matter the beverage, and keeping it local. “It’s great to see more and more Sydney venues stocking independent, local growers and brewers. We’re proud to be part of the boutique brewing movement.” Visit the Apple Thief website. Image via theappletheif.com

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