Hard Cider Resurgence Brewing in Central New York

America’s Craft Brew Destination boasts more than beer. Central New York’s collection of hard cideries puts it on the forefront of an exciting (and tasty) trend.

Brewers are reviving the time-honored Central New York tradition of hard cider.

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Historic Harvest

A must-try here in Brew Central is Critz Farms Brewing & Cider Co. hard cider made from all-New York apples.

Matthew and Juanita Critz use an antique apple press and name the ciders in tribute to their farm’s 200-year history. One Critz brew includes a strain of hops discovered growing wild that has roots dating back to New York’s hop-growing glory days of the 1800s.

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Hard Cider History

In addition to its beginnings brewing hard ciders, Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard fueled the growing local beer market through the second half of the 19th century. Manufacturers along the creek made everything from the rakes and buckets used to harvest the hops to the stoves needed to dry them back in the day.

The last of eight of those structures to stand, Fly Creek produces lines of hard cider and apple wines today in homage to its prestigious past as a brew producer and integral role in the Central New York hop movement.

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In the Spirit of Tradition

Peter Fleckenstein does the work his father, grandfather and great-grandfather did before him at scenic Beak & Skiff Orchards, home to 1911 Spirits. The hundred-year legacy of cultivating the apples here ensures the family ownership maintains complete control of hard cider and spirit production from “tree to bottle.”

One of only a few in the country distilling gin and vodka from apples, Beak & Skiff debuted its cider and spirits in the early 2000s, allowing a new family legacy to grow.

Sample some of Brew Central’s beer alternatives in Central New York, where you can craft your own adventure.