Gin Fans, it’s foraging time! Despite Mother Nature throwing pretty much everything except the kitchen sink at us this year, we bring good news from the hedgerows of Great Britain.
After the bitterly cold April weather gave most of our spring blossoms a great big kick in the snowballs, we were anticipating slim pickings for this year’s sloe harvest.
You see, sloe harvests are directly linked to spring and summer: too dry and sloe berries will be small and shrivelled, too cold and wet and they’ll be few and far between. It’s all about the perfect balance of sun and rain – basically, what’s good for the farmers is good for the berries.
Cue a traditional British summer in August, including substantial rainfall and just like that, the berries sprung into action. Normally, you’d wait until the first frost to harvest your sloes. No need to wait though. Simply pop them in your freezer ahead of our Sloe Swap on October 3rd and then all that is left to do is bring your foraged berries along, ready to exchange for bottles of our epic farm-grown Sloe gin with Warner's founders Tom, Tina and our insane team.
We’ve got lots of exciting plans afoot for the day which will be announced on our social channels throughout the coming weeks, but in the meantime, be sure to reserve your spot for the day and get out there and forage!
To ensure the safety of all attendees and following the pilot event results and latest government advice, everyone entering Falls Farm will be required to provide one of the following:
- Proof of full course vaccination (via COVID passport on the NHS App)
- Proof of negative COVID-19 test within the last 48 hours (lateral flow test is acceptable)
- Proof of natural immunity shown by a positive PCR test result for COVID-19
We will be a mask friendly event. Although it is no longer mandatory to wear face coverings we do encourage attendees and visitors to consider wearing masks, especially when in enclosed or in crowded spaces.
We will have enhanced cleaning throughout the event and plenty of hand sanitising stations available.
Please do not arrive onsite without a pre-purchased (free) ticket; due to COVID-19 we have to ensure the safety of all our staff, guests and the distillery, therefore it is very much ‘no ticket, no entry’
Please ensure you bring proof of your ticket with you to show our staff onsite
Warner’s Distillery are working on hourly slots throughout the day in order to manage congestion. Each main booker is capped at 8 x tickets per person
Children are of course welcome! Dogs must be kept in the car as although we sometimes prefer animals to humans, we are a working farm, therefore we cannot allow for animals to be within the vicinity. We can recommend some lovely dog walks nearby with a cup of Hot Toddy in hand ;)
Please try and arrive in 1 x car to avoid congestion as there is limited spaces onsite. If no parking is available at Falls Farm please use Tollemarche Arms Car Park 50m down the road (definitely recommend a visit after too!)
Give your berries a quick blast with a hair drier to blow the leaves & twigs before you bring them along and don’t forget to freeze your sloes until 03/10/21 – this keeps them ‘fresh’, whilst bursting the skins and saving us from hand-pricking the lot of them which is a total faff!
We are SO excited to welcome you with a few Hot Toddy's at Falls Farm, for an epic day filled with our favourite Sloe berries
Book your place now, but hurry, spaces are limited!
FAQs about Warner's Sloe Swap
A sloe is a fruit that can be found on a Blackthorn Tree. Check out what a Blackthorn Tree looks like below and find out more about them here
You will need:
- Walking stick
Put on your gloves. Hold your umbrella upside down underneath a sloe bush. Hook your walking stick around a branch and pull it down towards you. Gently pluck the individual ripe sloes with your fingers, allowing them to tumble into your umbrella, then pour them into your bucket. Avoid stripping the branch, as you will catch unripe sloes as well as leaves and twigs. Any berries that are still firmly attached to the bush are not ripe, so leave them be until your next visit.
Remove any twigs and leaves – these will be detrimental to flavour. You can use a hair drier to blow the leaves away as you pour your sloes into a bucket. This will be both fun and effective.
Freeze your sloes - Please freeze them until Sunday 6th October. This ensures that they stay ‘fresh’, whilst bursting the skins and saving us from hand-pricking them all! It will also add some weight to your haul, so well worth doing...!
- 2-5kg of frozen sloes = 1 x 5cl bottle of Warner's Sloe Gin
- 5-10kg of frozen sloes = 1 x 20cl bottle of Warner's Sloe Gin
- 10+kg of frozen sloes = 1 x 70cl bottle of Warner's Sloe Gin
No, we only use sloes in our Sloe Gin. Sloes and damsons are very similar in the way they look, but using damsons would affect the flavour of our gin. A sloe is slightly smaller and firmer than a damson. Damsons tend to be found on trees whereas sloes are more commonly found on hedgerows.
Sunday 3rd October 2021 between 10am and 6pm.
he Sloe Swap is taking place at our Distillery on Falls Farm. Please find our address below:
Warner's Distillery Ltd
34 High Street