Posts by Shawndra Russell

It Runs in the Family: Q&A with Kettleborough Cider House

With four generations of apple-growing under their belt, the Dressel Family decided it was time to venture into hard cider, utilizing distinct apple varieties, with a promise to never use apple juice concentrate or dessert apples. Today, Dressel Farms populates its 450-acre farm in New Paltz, New York’s Hudson Valley with seventeen European apple varieties.…

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It Runs in the Family: Q&A with Son-and-Mom Team Behind Old Stone Cider

November will mark Old Stone Cider’s second anniversary, and the Gruber family certainly has plenty to celebrate. Both seasons, they’ve run out of their British-inspired ciders long before the next harvest of apples could be pressed into cider goodness. This reality forced the shutdown of their Lewisville, Pennsylvania taproom again this year until November. “We…

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It Runs in the Family: Q&A with Jacob Lagoner, Co-Owner of Embark Craft Ciderworks and 5th-Generation Orchardist

Embark Craft Ciderworks launched in 2015, when Jacob Lagoner, a co-founder, found himself becoming a bit disillusioned with commercial apple farming. After he studied the craft for about three years, he eventually convinced his dad, Mark Lagoner, a 4th-generation orchardist and farmer, his mom Diana and his wife Mitzi that they should put the family…

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Cider Travels: Drinking Cider in Charlottesville, Virginia

Cider drinkers owe a great debt to Virginia. As the site of the first permanent settlement in the New World, early settlers quickly planted apple trees so they could make hard cider, since barley and hops for beer were much more difficult to cultivate. Years later, some of the most important people in Virginia’s —…

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Contract Cider Making: The Good, the Bad, and the Fruitful

Do you dream of making cider commercially, with visions of a cool taproom you design from scratch dancing in your head? That may not be feasible right away considering the high startup costs that come with opening a brick-and-mortar location. So, what’s a budding cider maker to do? Many cider startups begin with contracting the…

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Cider Travels: Drinking Cider in Charlotte, North Carolina

As the second-largest city in the Southeast, and as a long-standing banking hub and emerging technology hotspot, Charlotte is a bustling, modern metropolis that encapsulates the New South and attracts people from all over the world. This eclectic diversity has made Charlotte one of the hottest food cities in the U.S., ranking above other Southern…

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Cider Travels: Drinking Cider in Asheville, North Carolina

Can a strong cider scene grow in a Beer City? In Asheville, the answer is undoubtedly a yes. Since 2013, three cideries have opened here in part thanks to the abundance of apple orchards in neighboring Henderson County. A new cider-dedicated taproom, Treerock Social, is slated to open later this year in South Asheville. Need…

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Cider Travels: Drinking Cider in Hendersonville, North Carolina

Henderson County, home of Hendersonville, is nicknamed Apple Country because it yields 85% of North Carolina’s apples. This statistic becomes more impressive when you find out that the Tar Heel State ranks 7th in apple production among our 50 states. So, it’s no surprise that the cider movement is alive and well in this mountainous…

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