The Hudson Valley has long been fertile ground for new and exciting food trends because of its diverse dining and agricultural history. Over the last decade, the same can now be readily said for independent alcohol artisans of nearly every kind. From small town breweries that produce some of the best IPAs in the country, to local distilleries that create a variety of libations and even some communal products recently like hand sanitizer, the local alcohol economy is as booming as ever. It comes as no surprise then, that one of the state’s most famous commodities has merged with what is perhaps its fastest growing industry. Long ago in the Northeast, hard cider was more popular than beer—now, it’s making a comeback. New York is the second-largest producer of apples in the nation. With nationally renowned family cideries dotting our entire region, there’s no better place to taste cider than right here in the Hudson Valley. Now in its 10th year, New York Cider Weeks have become known for bringing people together and creating connections all to celebrate and promote New York cider. This year, Hudson Valley’s Cider Week is continuing the tradition in a very unique way by going completely virtual starting on Saturday, June 20 and lasting through Sunday, June 28, 2020.
To celebrate the occasion, and to reestablish the community’s connection with the historic production of hard cider, Hillsdale, NY’s Little Apple Cidery will celebrate Cider Week with the opening of its brand new orchard bar. “Our new open air bar in our orchard will be something that we think everyone can enjoy,” says Ron Bixby owner of the family-run, family friendly orchard. The Orchard Bar will be open on Saturday and Sunday afternoon starting June 20th, from 1pm to 5pm at Little Apple Cidery on Orchard Lane in Hillsdale, NY. Little Apple Farm is a NOFA-NY Certified Organic orchard located near the Massachusetts border and at the foothills of the Taconic Mountain Range. The Farm Cidery began operations in 2015 producing custom crafted fresh and hard ciders for the local market from heirloom, cider and wild apple varieties.
Now more than ever, New York’s Cider Week seeks to bring people together and make connections over cider.The week of online programming will include tastings, happy hour cocktail recipes, orchard & cidery tours, panel conversations, chef and cider pairings all via a virtual platform. “With everyone hunkering down and staying safe at home, we have shifted our cider sales online,” says Bixby via the cidery’s newsletter. “All winter we have been working on our new tasting room and we are excited to say the space is looking great.” Plans for the Orchard Bar include cider flights, draft cider, beer from Roe Jan Brewing, cheese and charcuterie plates, tours and tastings, special events, sunshine, orchard views, games, and a welcoming, family friendly atmosphere that will adhere to social distancing guidelines. Bixby says, “We look forward to having everyone visit and sit among the trees sipping cider.” In the meantime, Bixby and his crew, including cider maker Hayley Shine, have been busy in the cidery developing new blends while keeping the classics flowing.
20% of proceeds donated to Cider Week Hudson Valley will be given to the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation focused on Covid-19 relief and issues of Social Justice. To donate, visit their website
To visit Little Apple Cidery’s online store for pickup or delivery click here