Cidery Q&A: On the Farm with Wyndridge

Accessible. Exciting. Fresh. But literally, by accident.

After Wyndridge Farm owner and president Steve Groff was struck by a car while cycling several years ago, he and his family saw an opportunity in the wake of chaos to create something beautiful. The Groffs looked to their own 77-acre Dallastown, Pennsylvania, farm, completely restored their 120-year-old barn and Wyndridge Farm was born in late 2014.

Now a versatile location for weddings and events, day trippers and beverage enthusiasts alike, Wyndridge is a stand-alone destination. The farm’s booming cidery is putting this sweeping York County acreage on the map in a big way. President Steve Groff, cider master Scott Topel and marketing director Beth Witsik gave Cider Culture the inside scoop on all that’s been happening at Wyndridge lately.

wyndridge with logo

Cider Culture: The first thing we need to learn more about is the gorgeous artwork on your cider labels. Tell us all about it, please!  

Wyndridge: All of our “crafty” packaging and cider labels were designed by our creative agency Holberg Design based here in York. Our branding is sophisticated and our labels are fine-art illustrated. Our iconic mark is a scarf-wearing fox that is know as being an elegant, sly and crafty animal who frequently visits the farm for a little fun. Our three flagship cider labels featuring the fox, rabbit and cedar waxwing are illustrated wearing suits to create a bit of sophistication, elegance and whimsy. We consider these labels to be pieces of art for our ciders.

wyndridge Farm 3Scott, tell us a little about your background. How does someone become a Cider Master?

I started making cider at the legal age of 16 after my uncle gave me a recipe for homemade cider. It was a lot of experimentation using “found” apples obtained from various yards and a few unfortunate explosions! I attended classes at University of Washington Agricultural Extension Center. Shortly after that time, I founded, funded and built Santa Cruz Scrumpy Cider Company in Santa Cruz, California, which I operated for two years. After leaving that venture I completed graduate studies while studying cider making with AeppelTreow Winery in Burlington, Wisconsin. After Wisconsin, I returned to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, where I had been previously, to find that cider making was in high demand at breweries across the country. I became a consultant for breweries and cider start-ups from Kansas to Florida, and then into New England.

It looks like there are some fun events happening at Wyndridge this spring, specifically the Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch. What else can visitors look forward to in the coming months?

We will continue to roll out more Wyndridge Farm special events, including a 2nd Beer & Cider Tasting Dinner, Mother’s Day Brunch, Beer & Cider Cigar nights and a Father’s Day Event. Once the weather becomes warmer and our patio is open, we will bring back our Thursday night live-music series where visitors may even get to listen to our multi-talented cider master Scott Topel play his classical guitars!

Cider fans in DC and Northern VA will be thrilled that your offerings are making their way to them soon. Where will Wyndridge Ciders head next?

We recently launched in New Hampshire and expect to launch in Alabama in early April. We are in discussions with several New York distributors, and we expect to continue distribution along the entire East Coast.

wyndridge farm tanks

What else would you love the readers of Cider Culture to know about Wyndridge?

Wyndridge Farm is thrilled to be playing a strong role in the resurgence of hard cider in the U.S. We provide an artisanal-quality, medium-dry cider with strong commercial appeal using 100% local apples for a full-juice cider. Our ciders are only lightly sweetened with pure apple juice and no added sugar.

Our portfolio includes six flagship beer and cider packaged products, two farm-crafted sodas and numerous seasonal draft-only beers and ciders.

Wyndridge is currently expanding to four additional 150-barrel tanks and another 1,000-square-feet of space, which will double our capacity to approximately 28,000 barrels a year.

Find Wyndridge Farm at 885 S. Pleasant Ave. in Dallastown, Pa.; phone: (717) 244-9900.

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