Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hudson Valley Craft Cider Trail: Sixty Gorgeous Miles, Six Spectacular Cideries

Upstate New York is the 2nd largest and the oldest apple producing region in the US so it’s no surprise that the area is leading the nation in a craft hard cider renaissance!  The Hudson Valley is home to more than a dozen unique cideries and we’ve put together a local Craft Cider Trail for our guests to explore this apple season.

Did you know that cider was once the most commonly consumed beverage in America? From the colonial era to prohibition, cider was enjoyed by all as a safe and delicious alternative to potentially contaminated water sources.

By fermenting the juice of New York’s abundant apple crop, growers were able to preserve their produce year-round as an off-dry alcoholic beverage known as cider.  During Prohibition, however, growers were unable to produce or sell their cider because of federal regulations against alcohol.

Resourceful orchard owners began offering “sweet cider” for sale instead-  by selling their unfiltered apple juice blends before fermentation occurred, growers were able to bypass these government restrictions.  This allowed growers to remain in business and preserve their precious orchards until Prohibition was repealed.

Since then, America has developed a bit of a cider identity crisis.  The modern association of the word “cider” with the non-alcoholic unfiltered apple juice originally known as "sweet cider" is really a misnomer.  While sweet cider is still produced and enjoyed today, it bears little resemblance to the delicate drink known as cider which our forefathers imbibed.

But with new legislation in place that makes it easier for New York orchards to produce and sell “hard” cider, the venerable beverage is making a big comeback- and the Hudson Valley is leading the way. Our local Ulster County cider producers are using traditional methods and fresh local apples to craft world-class ciders for visitors to explore and enjoy.

Cider is so deeply rooted in our region that nationally recognized cider producer Angry Orchard recently chose to establish their flagship Innovation Cider House just 30 minutes away!

We’ve put together a local craft cider trail which makes it easy for our guests to explore the region’s thriving cider culture this autumn- 60 miles, 6 cideries; a loop through beautiful country scenery with gorgeous Shawangunk and Catskill views showcasing the regions finest craft ciders.


215 Lower Whitfield Rd, Accord, NY 12404 (845) 626-0659 
Westwind Orchard Ciders are produced with traditional methods using true cider apples from their own orchard in the shadow of the Shawangunk Mountains. All of their ciders are unfiltered, bottle conditioned, and contain no added sulfites or sugar. The ciders are fermented with wild yeast and are naturally effervescent.   Serving ciders Saturday 11-8 and Sunday 11-6.

3012 NY-213, Stone Ridge, NY 12484 (845) 687-2587
Combining the resources of two orchards and a lifetime of learning and advocacy, Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider produces a line of exceptional ciders which showcase a robust new-world flavor with style and character which draw on classic European techniques.   Their new tasting room has opened at Stone Ridge Orchard and welcomes visitors every day of the season from 9-6.

155 N Ohioville Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561 (845) 633-8657
Offering ciders born out of traditions from Spain, France, and America which are made as naturally as possible from apples hand picked on Twin Star Orchards.  These ciders are expressions of place, meant to be gulped not sipped.  Some are bubbly, some are dry, and some have a hint of natural sugar, but all are meant to celebrate the simple pleasures.  The tasting room is open and pouring free samples of hard cider Friday through Sunday, 11-7.

43 Baileys Gap Rd, Highland, NY 12528 (845) 236-0956
Bad Seed seeks to advance the craft cider industry by mixing old and new techniques with craft beer influences. Making ciders from 100% fresh pressed apples they grow on a 6th generation family farm- no alchemy used. After all, this is cider not science. You won't find an endless list of chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and excuses on the label because they don't use them.   The Tap Room is open Saturday - Sunday, 12-6, with tours ending at 5.

277 New York 208, New Paltz, NY 12561 (845) 255-7717
Reviving America’s first and greatest beverage- small-batch hard cider made from 100% hand-selected Hudson Valley apples.  Kettleborough Cider House was founded by the Dressel family, who have been growing apples in New Paltz for four generations- so they know that great hard cider begins with great apples.  Their ciders are on the leading edge, bringing back the unique, complex, and downright delicious beverage our ancestors knew and loved.  The tasting room is open Saturdays & Sundays in September and October from 10-5.

69 Yankee Foley Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561 (845) 255-0999
Two hundred and fifteen acres of orchard with 40 varieties of apples and eighty years of orchard experience.  That's what they started with.  Now they have some of the best hard cider out there; off-dry with a crisp apple taste- not that sweet cloying stuff.  At Jenkins -Luekins Orchard, first they grow the apples and then they make the cider.  Heirloom, hand-selected apples hand pressed to create a unique blend.  Real cider, at its best.  Bottles available at the farm market, Monday-Friday 9-6, Saturday and Sunday 9-7.

The Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is your first and last stop along our Craft Cider Trail, where you'll enjoy clean, comfortable and affordable accommodations in a peaceful setting with gorgeous Catskill views, a full-service European health spa with Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms, tennis and basketball on site and more!  Give us a call at 845-626-8888, and we'll help you make the most of your stay.    

Please note: these producers are not affiliated with the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa.  Guests are encouraged to call ahead to confirm availability and hours of operation.  Please enjoy responsibly.  Do not drink and drive. 

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