“He that drinks his cyder alone, let him catch his horse alone.” — Benjamin Franklin. Thank you Mr. Franklin. Several apple growers in New England have expanded their interest to producing apple ciders, both hard and sweet. Some have tap rooms and tasting rooms — similar to wineries and breweries — where the public can stop in for tasting cider and enjoying some good cheer together. It’s a wonderful autumn tradition and one you can incorporate into a fall foliage drive. See some cideries below:
Massachusetts — Bear Swamp Orchard, 1209 B Hawley Road, Ashfield, MA
Hours: October, Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5 p.m.
This land has been under cultivation for a century, and the current farmers are producing apple cider and an interesting brandy, too. Take home some maple syrup, and house-made jams and jellies. Map.
Massachusetts — West County Cider, 208 Peckville Road, Shelburne, MA. 413-768-9318
Hours: Friday, 4-7 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
The Maloney family moved from California to New England’s apple country and began making hard cider commercially in 1984, at an early point in the public appreciation of apple ciders. In addition to tasting, you can enjoy the nearby hiking trails and picnic area. Map.
Massachusetts — Far From the Tree, 108 Jackson Street, Salem, MA. 978-224-2904
Hours: Friday, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, noon- 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m. Take-out is available Wednesday and Thursday, 4-7 p.m. and Friday to Sunday during regular hours.
This business is going great guns in the Salem area. The tasting room presents samples, flights, and full pours and sells growlers, bottles, and cans to go.
Connecticut — Hogan’s Cider Mill, 522 Spielman Hwy., Burlington, CT. 860-675-7320
Hours: Monday to Friday, noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Hogan’s Cider Mill offers a tasting area outdoors, so there is lots of room for people and groups of friends to keep their distance from other parties. A bit of a rarity is that the place presents live music: Murali Coryell on September 26, Tracy Walton on October 3, and Kristi Flagg on October 10. Music tickets. Map.
Rhode Island — Tapped Apple Cidery and Winery, 37 High Street, Westerly, RI. 401-637-4946
Hours: Friday, 2-8 p.m.; Saturday, noon-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
This is an in-town cidery, which is slightly unusual, since most of them are located at the orchards. Happily, the downtown in which Tapped Apple makes its home is Westerly, a neat little old-fashioned town center with lots of interesting shops and restaurants. Outdoor seating is available as weather allows. Map.
New Hampshire — North Country Hard Cider, 3 Front Street #160, Rollinsford, NH. 603-834-9915
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, noon-7 p.m.
This place is in a neat little former mill village that has been re-purposed as a sort of art studio colony. And .. the patio is open. North Country makes an all-natural craft cider, not too dry or too sweet. Guests can sample ten ciders on tap. Snacks are for sale, and guests are encouraged to bring food. Map.
Vermont—Boyer’s Orchard, 1823 Monkton Rd, Monkton, VT
Hours: September-November, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
This business’s hard and ice ciders include semi-dry, Champagne style, bourbon barrel aged, and sweet ice ciders. Sounds tasty and kind of sophisticated, no? The tasting room is in the maple sugar house. Also for sale are grape wines made on the farm. Map.
Vermont — Woodchuck Cider House, 1321 Exchange Street, Middlebury, VT. 802-385-3656
Hours: Wednesday to Friday, noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Woodchuck claims to be “ The Brand That Started the American Cider Revolution.” The cider producer’s, Vermont Hard Cider Company, ferments many popular ciders year-round, along with some seasonal flavors, like sangria. On Saturday, English premier league football is on the telly all day. Map.
Maine — Ricker Hill Mainiac Hard Cider
The apple farmers at Ricker Hill have been growing apples at their Turner farm for nine generations – since 1803. Their hard cider is served in three nearby tasting rooms. Choose a flight of four, six, or eight samples. A cribbage board is always kicking around the place for guests to enjoy. Only outdoor seating is available.
Maine—Ricker Hill Tasting Room, 11 Ricker Hill Rd, Turner, ME
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
This is the original Ricker Hill Orchard. Twelve taps are ready to serve classic ciders and seasonal flavors. Map.
Maine — Vista of Maine Vineyard and Cidery, 158 North Hills Ridge, Greene, ME
Hours: Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; Monday-Thursday and Saturday, noon-6 p.m.; Friday, noon-9 p.m.
The tasting room is in the farm’s big red barn, and the business also includes a farm store and seasonal bakery. Often featuring live music on Fridays, yoga, workshops and more. Map.
Maine — Wallingford’s Orchard, 1240 Perkins Ridge Road, Auburn, ME
Hours: Daily, noon-6 p.m.
The tasting barn is open every day with all hard ciders available. Map.