The cider business is a big deal in NYS. It’s also getting to be a big deal in Buffalo. That’s why, for the first time ever, the New York Cider Association is hosting a nine day festival, which will highlight all of the businesses, the cideries, and the people, that contribute to the growing WNY cider industry. The Cider Week WNY festival takes place in the orchards that stretch from Buffalo to Rochester. The festival is a series of events and happenings celebrating hard cider.
Cider Week began in 2010 and has been held over the past several years in Hudson Valley, New York City and the Finger Lakes; this is the first year Western New York will be celebrating!
Over the course of the next nine days, people are encouraged to pay a visit to cider-centric tasting rooms, orchard tours… – a full list of events can be found here. My personal favorite being the Axes and Apples event,” said Stephanie Rabideau, a cider enthusiast. “You get to drink cider and throw hatchets, what more could you want?”
The celebration aims to deepen awareness of WNY as an apple and cider producing region, increase visitation to the area, and boost the local economy based on both tourism and a rise in craft beverage sales.
Cider spots in Buffalo include:
Lait Cru, who will host NYC’s The Cheese Course for a multi-course cider and cheese dinner
Hatchets and Hops, who will offer a cider-fueled night of hatchet throwing
Gates Circle Wine, who will stage in-store tastings of New York cider makers’ latest creations.
Participating WNY cider makers include:
- BlackBird Cider Works (Lockport – Buffalo)
- Blackman Cider Co. (Lockport)
- Blue Barn Cidery (Hilton)
- Blue Toad Hard Cider (Rochester)
- Embark Craft Ciderworks (Williamson)
- Rootstock Ciderworks (Williamson)
- Seed + Stone Cidery (Rochester)
- Steampunk Cider (Medina)
Cider has become an important mainstay in the regional economy, contributing to the important agri-tourism sector.
NYCA Executive Director Jenn Smith said, “Cider is an important part of New York’s farm-based food culture. Drinkers are still learning that premium cider, made from New York apples, is being grown and fermented right in their backyards. Cider Week has been very effective at educating people about cider, upending misconceptions about cider always being sweet, and underlining the connection that cider has to the orchards where families enjoy U-pick apples in the fall.”
Cider Week WNY
August 17 – 26, 2018
A full overview of the festival can be found on the Cider Week WNY website, CiderWeekWNY.com.
For the most updated list of events visit the calendar on the Cider Week WNY website.
Over the past decade, hard cider has been one of the fastest growing segments of craft beverage, due to factors including interest in farm-to-bottle beverages, drinkers’ general wish for lower alcohol options, and orientation by millennials to drink by occasion rather than category. According to Nielsen Research, small, regional producers such as those located in WNY have been the strongest performers of recent years, with an off-premise sales growth rate of 30% in 2017.