Lafayette (WSYR-TV) – What has been a popular fall attraction for Central New Yorkers for years is rapidly growing in a new direction and catching the fancy of people all over New York State.
Beak and Skiff’s “1911” brand of hard ciders and liquor has reached a whole new level.
Eddie Brennan, the Co-Owner and Director of Operations for “1911” says, “We definitely saw an opportunity for growth. We knew the hard cider business we had to get into now; if we had waited the next person would get into the business.”
They already had the apples, and now a place for huge quantities of cider. It sits in stainless steel tanks in the brand new “Cider Room”, where they can ferment it.
Just a few months ago they got the full production line up and running, to bottle it all and it hasn’t stopped as popularity for the cider grows.
Peter Fleckentstein, Director of Fresh Fruit Operations for Beak and Skiff tells NewsChannel 9, “Once we realized this product was marketable off the orchard and not just on site the growth took off.”
Fleckentstein and his cousin say they’ve picked up and expanded what the last generation started at Beak and Skiff.
They say it’s the next phase of a family owned and still family run business started when the first apple tree was planted in 1911, hence the name.
But you need more than a clever name to branch out like they have, which will soon be every county in New York State, including the hard to crack New York City market.
Brennan says they see their hard cider they see as a “craft” cider, like a craft beer. He says what makes 1911 special is that it uses real juice, not concentrate like most others making hard cider.
1911 is also the distillery just down the road from the “cider house”, which is turning out vodka and gin from the same Beak and Skiff apples.
It’s earned them a deal to be carried on several cruise lines.
Fleckenstein says, “We have people now who have been on cruises that come here and say we came to visit your facility because we saw this on the cruise line and we were so interested we wanted to see it, but we’re from New York State, we didn’t even realize that kind of stuff was being made here.”
They’ve already grown the distillery once, and are going to expand it again early next year.