Glastonbury Festival: Solar-powered cider is now a thing

Brothers Drinks is utilising solar power at its Shepton Mallet site, where it produces popular brands such as Babycham, Compton Orchard Cider, Mallets Cider and Glastonbury's favourite, Brothers Cider.

A substantial 317kW, 772-solar panel system has been installed at the cider mill, which will directly supply the presses with clean energy. The system was provided by Bristol-based renewable energy specialist Solarsense, who also supplied solar panels at Worthy Farm. The new system, connected in early June, is projected to pay for itself in under three years.

The Showering family, who have been making cider in the area since 1658, established Brothers Drinks. They began selling their namesake cider in 1995 at the Glastonbury Festival and decided to market it to pubs and supermarkets due to festival-goer demand. Brothers Cider is now available nationwide (and online), continuing to be a favourite at the West Holts field bar.

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Matthew Showering, one of the directors, shared his enthusiasm for the project: "Our family have been making cider in this area for more than 360 years and our legacy drives us to put sustainability at the core of our business we are doing everything we possibly can to improve our environmental performance.

"Installing solar panels has always been an important element of this and we are delighted to see it becoming a reality today. As well as reducing our impact on the environment, producing our own energy will help us to stay competitive and continue to make great-tasting cider."

Stephen Barrett, Managing Director of Solarsense, expressed his enthusiasm about the project, saying: "We were delighted to have the opportunity to provide solar energy for such a well-known brand and Brothers Drinks have been a real pleasure to work with. The installation is a blueprint for how solar should be done: they have maximised their roof space and included features that will help to future-proof the system and make it easy to maintain. It's clear that they are serious about sustainability and we are proud to be part of that story."

In preparation for the solar panel installation, Brothers Drinks took the initiative to refurbish their roof, ensuring its durability would match or exceed the expected 20-plus-year lifespan of the panels. Solarsense equipped the cider company with cutting-edge SolarEdge technology, which integrates the solar array with the fire alarm system for automatic shutdown in case of an emergency.