Scarborough Farmer launches Yorkshire Apple Cider Vinegar business

A family run farm diversification who were producing cider and apple juice have switched production to apple cider vinegar in a bid to save their surplus stock.

Elaine Keith launched Yorkshire Apple Cider Vinegar in December after the Coronavirus pandemic made selling her cider and apple juice to local pubs and restaurants and at local markets impossible.

Elaine said: “When Covid struck, like so many others our outlets including our own cider festival disappeared overnight and we were left with a large stock of overwintered cider with no opportunities to market it. 

“We had to quickly make a decision on what to do with the cider we had in stock, some of which was two years old and decided to go down the route of making naturally maturing cider vinegar which has been growing in popularity over recent years.”

Elaine, who runs a mixed farm of arable, sheep and Aberdeen Angus with her father at Seamer near Scarborough originally diversified the business in 2014, creating the successful Hedge-hoggers Cider brand.  Using their own and other locally grown apples donated through a popular community press, the team initially produced a small amount of vinegar as a third income stream but with its growing popularity and benefits linked to health, wellbeing and weight loss, the move into larger production seemed like an opportunity not to be missed.

The process of changing the surplus cider into vinegar involves letting air into the fermenters on the farm and allowing the natural change of alcohol to acetic acid to take place.  The process is a slow and traditional one with no additions or supplements.  

The ‘mother’, a combination of acetic acid bacteria and cellulose which help the vinegar to mature is then allowed to form on the surface and is thought to be full of health benefits as well as being

 a sign that the vinegar is unadulterated.  The longer the vinegar is left to mature at this stage, the deeper the colour and flavour.  

Elaine continues: “Apple cider vinegar is often celebrity endorsed, but there is genuine scientific evidence to suggest that it helps general wellbeing and more specifically, as part of a weight loss programme, as an appetite suppressant as well as helping to lower blood sugar levels.

“The interest in our product so far has been amazing.  We’re proud to say that we are 100% natural and 100% Yorkshire and we’re delighted to have just been stocked at Fodder in Harrogate as well as seeing very busy online sales since the launch of our website.

“Our vinegar has a crisp, appley bite and can be used in a variety of ways day to day including 
a splash into stews or on salads for an extra taste kick, or as a long term approach of daily diluted intake through hot or cold drinks.”

For more information and to buy Yorkshire Apple Cider Vinegar online visit