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The Ultimate Guide to Cider in WNY & Beyond


Apple orchards have been plentiful for hundreds of years, and with apples comes apple cider. This seasonal drink has always been a fall favorite, but now cider is trending more than ever before. Why? One word. Alcohol.

The hard cider industry is growing with zero signs of slowing down, and there’s research to prove it. More and more people are becoming interested in hard cider, and locally we are seeing an increased presence. Which is why we put together this special guide for our fellow cider connoisseurs. Also, because #fall.

Are we missing a great spot to taste cider in WNY? Email us at info@stepoutbuffalo.com!

 

 

Buffalo & Western New York

Coming soon – Buffalo Cider Hall x BlackBird CiderWorks / Photo courtesy of BlackBird Cider Works

BlackBird Cider Works

Ciders to Try: Lakeside Loganberry & Estate Reserve

Type: Hard cider

8503 Lower Lake Rd, Barker, NY / 155 Chandler St, Suite 4, Buffalo, NY

blackbirdciders.com

Buffalo’s first dedicated cider bar is set to open any day now. The Buffalo Cider Hall is BlackBird’s latest venture, and a welcomed addition to the Black Rock neighborhood. Cider drinkers can drink a handful of BlackBird varieties on draft as well as New York State guest ciders.

The apples are locally grown in Barker. This is where you’ll find the original tasting room that overlooks Lake Ontario. Talk about orchard to glass! This tasting room is open year round, so stop by for a tasting or plan ahead to schedule a private orchard tour. Day trip, anyone?

 

East Aurora Brewery

Ciders to Try: Loganberry & Original

Type: Hard cider

667 Oakwood Ave, East Aurora, NY

eastaurorabrewery.com

This certified farm brewery has a hyper-local status, meaning they grow, source, and brew in the town of Aurora. When breweries have a tasty cider selection, your cider drinking friends (that’s me) will be super thankful. Drinkers can look forward to a cider of the Loganberry variety at this particular tasting room. Fun fact: East Aurora Brewery is the originator of Loganberry hard cider. The tasting room is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays to welcome craft beer and cider lovers alike.

 

Steampunk Cider @ Leonard Oakes Estate Winery

Ciders to Try: Original, Rosé, Pit of Despair, & Cyser Matters

Type: Hard cider

10609 Ridge Road (Route 104) in Medina, NY 14103

oakeswinery.com/wine-list/wines

Every Sunday through the end of October, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the history of LynOaken Farms. Get up-close and personal with the apple varieties in this orchard and learn more about the root to fruit process. When you’re done touring and picking, make your way to the tasting room for a glass of Steampunk cider. This brand is brewed by Leonard Oakes Estate Winery and comes in new and different flavors. For example, think cider crossed with a sour fruit beer. That’s the Steampunk Pit of Despair.

 

 

Blackman Cider Company

Ciders to Try: Homestead Hops, Old Orchard Select, Dry Rosé, & First Generation Revisited

Type: Hard cider

4472 Thrall Rd, Lockport, NY

blackmancider.com

This six-generation family farm is rooted in tradition. The origin story begins around the kitchen table where family and friends gathered to enjoy a small batch of hard cider at the end of each year’s harvest. Fast forward to today, and this family farm is preserving long-time tradition while introducing creative styles featuring hops, ginger, and sparkling rosé. Blackman Homestead Farm is open for the season with daily apple picking from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. You’ll also find natural fruit juices, butters, sauces, and fillings inside the Apple Shed. From the tasting room to the apple orchard, there’s fall fun for everyone!

 

Becker Farms

Ciders to try: Warm apple cider from the donut stand + Concord Hard Cider

Type: Both Non-alcoholic cider and Hard cider

3724 Quaker Rd, Gasport, NY 14067

Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards is a 5th Generation family owned 340 acre working fruit and vegetable farm that serves up quite an ultimate autumn experience including pumpkins, farm animals, activities for kids, food, fresh-made donuts and cider, apple picking, live music, and more. The cider and donut stand is a must-visit while you’re here, plus Becker Brewing has 6 different hard ciders available, all produced on the farm.

 

Mayer Brothers Cider Mill

Type: Non-alcoholic cider

A visit to the Ol’ Cider Mill store is a yearly requirement. A trip here is about more than just apples. Apple slushies anyone? How about horse-drawn wagon rides? If you are ready to get your fall on, head here.

1540 Seneca Creek Rd, West Seneca, NY

mayerbrothers.com

 

Smith’s Orchard Cider Mill

Type: Non-alcoholic cider

Love them apples at Smith’s– they are kicking the picking season off with Macintosh, and progressing to Cortland, Empire, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Crispin, and Ida Red. Spoiler alert– they now have yummy cider donuts to go with their cider slushies!

4960 Mapleton Rd, Lockport, NY

smithsorchard.com

 

Beyond Buffalo

Embark Craft Ciderworks

Start the day picking apples and reward yourself with drinks at the taproom. Embark’s cider list is well-balanced with plenty of options for drinkers who prefer dry and semi-dry as well as sweet and semi-sweet. Also, let’s take a minute to appreciate the aesthetic. Simply visit the website and you’ll see exactly what we mean. Flawless. The orchard and tasting room are open daily, except Mondays. If you’re into fresh, crisp ciders, this brand is a must-try. #worththedrive P.S. If you stay local, you can pick up a pack at a local bottle shop, like Village Beer Merchant.

6895 Lake Ave, Williamson, NY

embarkcraftciderworks.com

 

Nine Pin Ciderworks

Ciders to Try: Signature, Ginger, & Peach Tea

New York’s first farm cidery is in Downtown Albany, and all the ciders are sourced from apples found in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley. If you did the math, that’s a 4-hour drive from Buffalo. The good news is 1- it’s worth the road trip 2- Nine Pin is easy to find in Buffalo. WNY quickly fell in love with this brand, and the folks at Nine Pin in Albany took notice. Thanks to the brand’s local rep, you’ll find Nine Pin at area breweries and brewpubs, such as Thin Man Brewery, Colter Bay, 40 Thieves, Mr. Goodbar, and many more places around the city. If you’re down for a road trip, we recommend planning ahead, and here’s why. Once a month, you can tour the 17,000-square-foot production facility with a cidermaker and learn all about Nine Pin’s story. How freakin’ cool. Check Eventbrite for these deats.

929 Broadway, Albany, NY

ninepincider.com

 

Phonograph

Cider to Try: Northern Spy

The Finger Lakes is known for its wines. Afterall, it is New York’s largest wine producing region. But did you know the cider scene is rapidly growing, too? Enter Phonograph. These cidermakers harvest heirloom apples at peak ripeness and immediately ferment during the fall and winter. The second fermentation produces sparkling ciders, like the notable Northern Spy. Fun fact: these folks have been using the same rack and cloth press for the past 100 years. You’ll find this cider by the bottle and on draft in places from Buffalo to Brooklyn.

phonographcider.com

 

Blue Barn Cidery

Ciders to Try: The Westcider

Blue Barn Cidery sits on 110 acres of working farmland. You can pick your own apples and pumpkins any day of the week for the rest of harvest season. Oh, also you can get your cider donut fix here. after you fill your basket with homegrown apples, treat yourself to a craft cider inside the tasting room. Inside, you’ll find Blue Barn’s own cider on draft as well as local taps from breweries and cideries in the area.

If you follow them on social, you know a new venue is coming, and it’s about to be #weddinggoals. The wedding barn is set to open in 2019. That’s soon, friends.

928 Manitou Rd, Hilton, NY

bluebarncidery.com

 

 

Rootstock Ciderworks

Ciders to Try: Legend

Did you know? The first post-prohibition farmstead cidery in the Rochester region is Rootstock Ciderworks. You’ll find all-natural ciders straight from DeFisher Fruit Farms here. The selection ranges to include semi-sweet cider made from dessert apples to semi-dry cider made with Crispin apples and locally grown Cascade hops. There’s a cider for everyone at this local cidery. Plus, it’s rewarding to know everything is grown, pressed, fermented, and bottled right in Williamson.

They own the land where they grow the apples, and they press, ferment and bottle right on site. The tasting room is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
3274 Eddy Rd, Williamson, NY

rootstockciderworks.com

 

Blue Toad Hard Cider

Ciders to Try: Flower City Blonde & Toadally Tea

Type: Hard cider

From the minute you pick up a can, this is a brand you’ll remember. Bold and blue. And yes, there’s a toad on every can. Much like their branding, Blue Toad Hard Cider takes a unique approach to cidermaking. They blend three or four different apple varieties grown in Rochester, NY and Tyro, VA, resulting in ciders that are different and drinkable. The tasting room is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, stop by for a visit to discover your fav. 

120 Mushroom Blvd #105, Rochester, NY

bluetoadhardcider.com

 

Seed + Stone Cidery

Ciders to Try: Heritage & New England

Type: Hard cider

There’s a new(ish) cidery in town, and it’s called Seed + Stone Cidery. This place’s mantra is to “respect the apples and the process.” By using traditional winemaking techniques to produce cider, the natural flavors and goodness shine through. The tasting room has yet to open, but you can try this brand at many (30+) local establishments in the Rochester area. Follow them on Facebook to find out where they are headed next, and save the date for spring 2019. And remember a new brand is a new brand to fall in love with.

1115 E Main St, Rochester, NY

seedandstonecidery.com

 

South Hill Cider

Ciders to Try: Soundpost & Old-Time

South Hill Cider has a very special mission, and it is to reclaim wild trees and forgotten orchards. This orchard cider from the Finger Lakes is made in small batches. Many of the cider names are inspired by old-time music. You can find South Cider by the glass at a handful of spots in Ithaca. Here in Buffalo, you may discover South Hill Cider at the Lexington Co-Op or wine boutique shops like Winkler and Samuels or Paradise Wine. Ordering by mail order is an option too. Regardless of your preference, these ciders were made for pairing.

560 W King Rd #2, Ithaca, NY

southhillcider.com

 

Regardless of where you choose, the beauty of drinking local cider is you are supporting a local cidermaker’s dream. When you visit these places, be sure to #hashtagstepoutbuffalo. Spread the love!

Are we missing a great spot to taste cider in WNY? Email us at info@stepoutbuffalo.com!

 

 

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