Eve's Cidery

Dan Berger International Wine and Cider Competition: Eve's and Good Life win!

Eve's Cidery's 2015 'Darling Creek' takes Best in Class

Good Life's 2015 'Cazenovia' takes silver

View all the results here

We're not surprised! Eve's Cidery has been racking up accolades over the past few years- notably many in Cider Journal which participated in judging the Dan Berger Cider categories.  'Darling Creek' is one of our favorites too, and we're pleased to be serving it this weekend as part of the Eve's Cidery Cider-Maker Afternoon on Saturday, June 10 from 2-5pm.  Drop on in and ask Autumn more about Darling Creek!

Spring Training Cider House style with Eve's Cidery

This past Wednesday (April 5) marked the beginning of Spring Training, Cider House style.  Autumn hoofed us at double time up the famed Albee Hill where we gained 700' elevation and peered out over the Cayuta Creek valley.

Autumn has been an essential and generous mentor to Melissa on and off since 2001, when she introduced "farming is cool" as a concept.  Over the past 16 years, we at the Cider House and Good Life Cider have relied on Autumn's sharp insight, pure honest and incredible craftspersonship to help guide us on our own journey into grower cider. 

Atop Albee Hill, our whole crew joined Autumn in pondering the mysteries of the organic orchard and associated soapboxes and the oh-so-challenging economics or small-scale, low volume, high quality grower cider.  And at the end of it, we got to taste 4 years of the results in an Eve's Cidery 'Northern Spy' vertical tasting spanning 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.  The 2015 is on our Tasting Menu right now!

In this year's round of training, we meet and greet with each of our four farm-based cideries to make sure that we- Cider House team- can do our best behind the bar to tell these small farm-based cidery stories when we serve you.  We'll continue to offer educational programming through the year to highlight why we think what we do is... delicious.  Special. Worth every effort. Stay with us- more to come.


Cider House's 2016 Thanksgiving Cider Guide

2016 Thanksgiving Cider House Guide: Options For Everyone At Your Table

Take 3 Home for 10% Off

Thanksgiving, who’s ready for it?  In the spirit of helping you enjoy this holiday in the best possible form, we’ve got 5 ciders from the Cider House pantheon for your table!  Some to start the day, some to front end the meal, some to pair and to finish…


FIRST UP: Greetings and Nibbles

Perry Pear (traditional method) from Eve’s Cidery.  750 mL bottles $19, MAGNUMS $32


MEALTIME: Options for all comers

Still (no bubbles)

Solstice Still from Black Diamond Farm, 750 mL bottles $16

Stone Fence Farm from South Hill Cider, 750 mL bottles $24


Natural Bubbles

Barrel Rye (traditional method) from Good Life Cider, 750 mL bottles $18

Porter’s Perfection/Golden Russet (bottle conditioned) from Redbyrd Orchard Cider, 750 mL bottles $25


DIGESTIF: Relax and Sip

Good Life Pommeau features Myer Farm Distillery custom-distilled apple brandy and 60% fresh juice from Golden Russet and Brown Snout. 375 mL, $25


Black Diamond's Porter’s Pommeau is a single-varietal pommeau focused on the bittersharp Porter’s Perfection.  It packs a more spirit-heavy punch with ripe apple notes.  500 mL, $30


Deep Context for Your Cider Story-Telling


Perry Pear ‘15

Eve’s Cidery

Some of the best ciders we have made are from pears. Unfortunately, our Perry Pear trees are young, few and fickle. But 2015 was not only a wild apple year, it was an on-year for wild seedling pears. They stood out in the fields and hedgerows in and around Van Etten. Ben Kahn, who also picked wild apples for us in 2015, made his fortune in pears. His luck is that we found that virtually all wild pears make great cider fruit, so there wasn’t the picking, mulling over and going back process that layered the wild apple project. The wild pears were, to a tree, shockingly tannic; those tannins emerging much softened in the cider. Fermentation also seemed to transform the fruit from cool, closed-up packages to brilliant aroma wheels. Another boon for Ben was that some of the wild pear trees were huge. From one unusual tree alone he picked 40 bushels. I wouldn’t have climbed up there, but Beni Kahn looked happy enough swaying around high above the ground. All told, almost all of the pear fruit was wild harvested – around 150 bushels. We took scion wood from four of the standout seedlings and budded them onto rootstocks planted in the spring of 2016 in our new Valley Orchard. This may be the long term legacy of the 2015 fruit year. But for now there is the cider, disgorged in July of 2016.

To purchase for Thanksgiving, we’ve got 2 options…750 mL bottles and magnums. Magnums are fun and celebratory. Bring a magnum of wild harvested perry, and you'll be the life of the party. 1 magnum serves 4 and no one has to get up and open another bottle. The pear is insanely aromatic, but light and delicate. I would definitely choose this as a starter for Thanksgiving. Serve it with appetizers or snacks. Fresh fruit and brie, or some other creamy bloomy rind cheese would be just about perfect. For a light snack pairing, Autumn recommends popcorn.



Solstice Still ‘15

Black Diamond Farm and Cider

Ian and Jackie have been growing apples and making cider at Black Diamond Farm for 25 years now, and Solstice Still Cider is a fond return to their Yankee heritage.  Like all BD ciders, Solstice is a complex blend. Two old time New England apples—Golden Russet and Roxbury Russet—dominate this cider with characteristic russet qualities of soft tannins, rich aromatics, and bright acidity.  Some traditional English bittersweets—Chisel Jersey, Brown Snout, Porter’s Perfection, and Dabinett—round out the palate providing depth and structure.  Every apple and the wild yeasts that helped create this cider live alongside us here on the farm.  Ian and Jackie are grateful to have lived long enough to see millions of people rediscover cider and share their passion for this gift from nature!  The whole BD crew gives thanks for the abundant harvest and warm autumn weather of 2015 that made this cider possible. As the year winds down and winter approaches, let’s celebrate the amazing diversity of apples that enables cidermakers to create blends that embody two continents and three thousand years of the history shared by apple trees and humanity.



Stone Fence Farm ‘15

South Hill Cider

Stone Fence Farm is a single orchard cider celebrating just the kind of apples and relationships you find in the Finger Lakes. The Stone Fence Farm orchard was planted by Peter Hoover in Trumansburg from 1995-2000. All of the fruit from this orchard (except for a few of the trees that Peter used for other products) was harvested ripe, sweated in a cider shed, and pressed as an orchard blend at South Hill Cider, less than a mile away. Peter chose all of the apple varieties in his orchard with an eye towards hard cider production. Because of extreme weather events all of the trees have synced so that the orchard bears a crop about every other year. Color of a vintage golden gown. Very balanced and expressive. Aromas of wet slate, rich soil, breadcrust, starfruit, lychee, with a mouth-watering finish. Stone Fence Farm pair well with your main dishes, and can help folks pick cider over a still, white wine.



Barrel Rye ‘15

Good Life Cider

Barrel Rye features Golden Russet, Margil, Tremlitt’s Bitter, Yarlington Mill and Dabinett. Golden Russet is a major highlight in this year’s cider pairings, building on the bounty of 2015.  Barrel Rye highlights this dual-purpose apple (used for both eating and cider) and makes great use of its fruit-forwardness.  We built this cider to stand up to the mixed, savory flavors on the Thanksgiving dinner table using heirloom and bittersweet apples and the smokiness barrel aging and creamy bubbles of traditional method, disgorged on-farm by our family-based crew.



Porter’s Perfection/Golden Russet ‘15

Redbyrd Orchard Cidery

We were very fortunate to have such a plentiful harvest last year in 2015 and to harvest enough fruit from these two exceptional cider apples to make this dual-varietal cider.  It highlights Eric Shatt’s all-time favorite apple- Porter’s Perfection. Porter’s Perfection is a late season English bittersharp loaded with tannins and bright acidity, while holding all the classic bittersweet apple characteristics including earthy, herbaceous aromas, dense fruit and incredible texture and mouthfeel.  This combines with the opposite side of the cider spectrum when blended with Golden Russet. Golden Russet’s tropical fruitiness, honey comb, viscosity and weight creates a cider of our dreams!  All this fruit was organically grown and grown by the Redbyrd family at their farm and from a few trees on a friend’s farm in Hector.  Bone dry and bottled conditioned, it is the perfect cider for this celebratory season that we are entering. Enjoy!

Quality of Apples... Fundamental

How Do We Define What We Do? Does Anyone Care?

This week both Autumn of Eve's Cidery and I (Melissa) of Good Life and the Cider House appeared in a Slate.com article on cider.  We had hoped for a discussion on what makes orchard craft cider like fine wine- starting with the intention behind growing the fruit to the fresh, seasonal nature of pressing to fermentation in steel and barrel.  National attention is gratefully received, as getting the word out about our tiny segment of the craft cider market is difficult.  We also had concerns about the tone of this particular article where we were pitted against other cider producers who opt for different packaging and an approach more like beer.  Here and now, let me say: We are not here to pick fights.  What we are here to do is practice an agriculture we believe in, produce high quality fruit and make a distinctive alcoholic beverage that expresses all the complexity a well crafted cider can offer.  There are lots of comments on Slate.com's page indicating people felt that the article judged their choices, with some great internet lashing out towards "snotty" cider producers.

Blind Tasting one another's ciders at the Cider Maker convo

Blind Tasting one another's ciders at the Cider Maker convo

What We Are, What We Want You To Know

Back to roots in the ground, as it were.  The top pic happened in the midst of all this internet commenting... as a number of us small NY, VT and MA small cideries gathered in person, in real time to take 24 hours to discuss our side of the cider industry.  Things we share: We all grow apples.  Some of us run highly diversified farms in addition to growing apples and making hard cider.  Some of us also run tasting rooms (think Good Life Farm and Finger Lakes Cider House, for one).  What we want our customers- current and potential- to know: We believe that a well-managed orchard is a beautiful, historic and ecological essential to the agrarian landscape of the Northeast.  The Northeast is an AMAZING place to grow apples!  The Finger Lakes doubly so!  We want the chance to share the taste of our place and our efforts uniquely with you.  We want you to value the type of agriculture practiced on behalf of complex, interesting, diverse cider.   Let us instead refer to Wine Advocate's recent blog featuring both Good Life Cider and Eve's Cidery... featuring an in-depth take on Good Life's 2015 Cazenovia and Eve's 2014 Northern Spy, 2013 Perry Pear and unreleased 2015 Kingston Black.

We Are On A Long Term Trip

The Cider Maker gathering was a spin off from a group of organic apple growers who meet each March for 24 hours, every year for 20 years.  We sit in a circle and have an informal conference about the issues we are facing from production to marketing and sales to labor and always, to economics.  Only some of this group makes cider, so the sub group meets similarly now in August, but so many of the conversations are still based on fruit production.  Dwarf, semi-dwarf?  The cost of high density orchards requiring irrigation in a drought year vs the long term slog towards a productive semi-dwarf orchard over 15 years?  How much stress on the trees is beneficial to the high intensity fruit we need for good cider?  When does the conscious orchardist intervene for the long term health of the tree?  Are we constantly making enormous mistakes with our orchards?  Will we know in 10 years, or will it take 20 to see?

So, do folks care enough about this to buy our products?

We think so, we hope so.  We see it in the Cider House every day as we go through a tasting- people are curious about cider.  Wherever one is at on their path in cider, in food, in agriculture, we all have something to learn.  We hope that through visiting us and tasting with us, our customers and friends will understand and appreciate our approach to cider and agriculture.  Yes, we personally enjoy drinking our own stuff!  And we like to see (or blindly taste) the long process of building a family farm, presented to our nose and palette in the glass.  What we hope you'll take home with you: Cider pairs well with foods, and dry cider most especially.  You may find your own cider "home" in an off-dry this week and a semi-dry next.  We will try to make a cider that expresses our orchard and satisfies you.


Autumn's Orchard Cider Manifesto

Post View of 'Taste the Orchard in Your Glass' Workshop here on 8/16/16...

Autumn's Orchard Cider Manifesto

by Autumn Stoscheck, 2016

Contained within the apple is the potential to express both the characteristics of the varieties used, and the characteristics of the land they were grown on.  In this way, cider can be to apples what wine is to grapes, which is to say infinitely complex and varied within the frame work of a defined set of variables, such as variety, soil, and climate.

In order for a cider to be reflective of the fruit, it should use apples intentionally; both in the varieties used and the way the fruit is grown.  The cider making process should gently guide the fruit to cider, without leaving such a big hand print that the makers mark obscures the fruit characteristics.  It should also be a process of working with the fruit of the season rather than sourcing ingredients to meet the requirements of a formula.  The cider maker should be flexible and evolving. 

The discipline is about discovery and expressing what's available in the fruit, therefore flavors that obscure the fruit should be avoided.  These include: microbiological flavors that overwhelm of detract from the fruit, adjuncts that flavor the beverage like a tea or beer, and additives or processes used to stabilize the cider that diminish, detract or obscure the fruit.

The intention is to keep working with the fruit and discovering it's potential, including understanding the characteristics of different cider varieties and how they like to be grown and fermented.  As well, we are committed to building up our own, and a local, supply of true cider fruit so as to create a world in which it becomes apparent to cider-makers and drinkers the characteristics the place brings to cider.


Excited for the 2016 Season to Break Open!

Reporting on the state of constant change here at FLCH

Likely if you were here for dinner last Friday (April 22nd), you noticed one of the many changes on tap in the Cider House.  We introduced table service, as opposed to our former "pub style" service where one wrestled to the bar to order.  Over the past year, we've come to terms with the melding of Tasting Room-Bar and Restaurant, and are more ready to live up to it... largely by dealing with seemingly mundane details like how to submit orders to the chef.

As said by one of our new staff members when interviewing for the Cider House "...it seemed like farmers trying to figure out how to do hospitality."

Yup.  Let's not pretend it wasn't.  But hear ye, hear ye, we are up to the Challenge!  After being blessedly overrun all last season, we took the winter to reconsider and revamp.  And now, we're introducing Table Service, a new menu pending, a fantastic executive chef, and an expanded, super talented staff.

Meet our staff- tireless veterans and earnest new hires

Gratitude floweth from Garrett and myself (Melissa) to those who've now put in a full year with us and are signed up for another!  They know... it all.  And we welcome with such open arms... 6 new staff to bring us to a total of 15 Finger Lakes Cider House/Good Life Farmers.  Whew!  Introducing in order of time spent working here, and with titles as requested by the staff (spice added by us):

  • Jimmy (co-Cider Maker, Good Life Cider)
  • Teddy (distro/housemade pickles et al/assistant bookkeeper)
  • Matt (GLF High Tunnel Manager/Farm Assistant/Music Booking/Sign Artist)
  • Brud Holland (consulting Exec. Chef/chef @ Fox Run/Finger Lakes Made owner-chef)
  • Chris (Tasting Bar staff/Black Diamond assistant Cider Maker/orchardist/nursery-man)
  • Alexis (erstwhile Tasting Bar sub/nursery-woman/Black Diamond crew)
  • Silene (Tasting Bar staff/potter for whatever Cider House asks/singer)
  • Audrey (wandering artist/Char and Cheese Board Monger/Tasting Bar staff)
  • Adriana (Tasting Bar,but sadly, graduating and cutting out/dog lover)
  • Joseph (Tasting Bar/soil scientist going to PSU/farmer)
  • Brad (conversation mapper/Tasting Bar/watercolor artist)
  • Hannah (Tasting Bar staff/forage guide/yogi)
  • Jenny (massage therapist-in-training/Tasting Bar/gets stuck on dishes)
  • Hope (frequent sub in Tasting Bar/multi tasker extraordinaire/fiddler)
  • Valerie (new FLCH cook/Tasting Bar on occasion/engaged!)
Conversation mapping about Customer and Staff Communication

Conversation mapping about Customer and Staff Communication

Our first Spring 2016 all-staff training was last night, Wednesday.  Herein follows a tiny photo diary of the conversation maps (re: touchy feely problem solving with results) and trainings by all 5 of our collaborating cideries: Good Life Cider, Black Diamond Cider, Redbyrd Orchard Cider, Eve's Cidery and South Hill Cider.

Eric Shatt of  Redbyrd Orchard Cider  tasting out Workman Dry, Starblossom and Workman Semi-Dry.

Eric Shatt of Redbyrd Orchard Cider tasting out Workman Dry, Starblossom and Workman Semi-Dry.

Garrett and Jimmy barrel-tasting  Good Life Cider's  current and to-be-released

Garrett and Jimmy barrel-tasting Good Life Cider's current and to-be-released

Steve and Ellyn of  South Hill Cider  pouring the whole catalog to date

Steve and Ellyn of South Hill Cider pouring the whole catalog to date

Jackie and Ian of  Black Diamond Cider  making it fun!

Jackie and Ian of Black Diamond Cider making it fun!

And to be comprehensive... new hires on the Good Life Farm.

Jonathan, first calf for Forest (red mama).  Calf 3 of 6 this year for  Good Life Farm

Jonathan, first calf for Forest (red mama).  Calf 3 of 6 this year for Good Life Farm