By Emily Kovach
Craft cider is one of Pennsylvania’s true secret gems. Everyone knows about the amazing breweries, distilleries, and wineries across the Commonwealth, but the local craft cider community is just starting to gain the recognition and attention it deserves.
And it does deserve your attention: PA craft cider is a true agricultural product, one that epitomizes the incredible abundance of the state’s soil — Pennsylvania is, after all, the 4th largest producer of apples in the country.
Cider is the result of the transformation of the fruit grown at local orchards and farms across the state, both crunchy sweet culinary apples in varieties you know (Gala, McIntosh, Granny Smith, etc.) and tannic bittersharp and bittersweet heirloom apples whose names may be less familiar (like Wickson crabapples, Kingston Black and Dabinett). Through the skill of cidermakers and the magic of fermentation, these apples, along with other fruits, herbs, botanicals and spices, develop complex flavors, expressing characteristics from light and crisp to rich and mysterious.
Whatever your taste, there is a PA cider out there for you. For beer-lovers, there are citrusy hopped beers; bourbon fans will dig vanilla-scented, woodsy ciders aged in oak barrels; wine-lovers can pop open Champagne-like sparkling ciders, or still ciders that rival the crispest Riesling. Some ciders are meant to express the terroir, or the soil and geography, where the apples were grown, and some are packed with fun, irreverent flavors made simply for cracking and chugging.
Pennsylvania’s cider community is also thriving! The Pennsylvania Cider Guild, a trade organization founded in 2014, organizes and advocates for local makers; the PA Cider Competition at the PA Farm Show, which spotlights the best in our state. The PA Cider Fest is also organized every year to bring together cider makers and fans to celebrate the bounty that is our local cider industry.
Ready to explore all that Pennsylvania cider has to offer? Follow our trail, in-person or virtually, to find your newest favorite local cider — many cideries have cozy outdoor extensions of their tasting rooms and are offering easy ways to buy their ciders from home!
Deep Roots Hard Cider: After two years of selling hard ciders at festivals and farmers markets, Deep Roots built a tasting room in Sugar Run. While waiting for its orchard to grow, this upstart cidery sources its fruit from Miller's Orchard in Clarks Summit.
348 Back Rd, Sugar Run, PA; (570) 746-3222
- A list of current items is shared via Deep Roots’ website; products include pure apple ciders and sweet, fruit-blend ciders.
- Tasting room hours are Friday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
- Scheduled pick-ups and local deliveries offered; order by calling or Direct Messaging on Facebook.
Spacetime Mead & Cider Works: An experimentally focused producer of different fermented beverages, including cider, mead and wine.
419 S. Blakely St., Dunmore, PA; (570) 504-5758
- Shop online or head over for in-store shopping, which is available Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Scheduled curbside pickups and delivery are offered; shipping also available in PA and to most states across the country.
Hardball Cider: This cheeky hard cider brand appeals to baseball fans, with cider names like Puckerball, Hey, Blue! and Splitter.
805 Orchard Rd., Mt. Bethel, PA; (484) 341-3101
- Hardball’s taproom is open with outdoor seating Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 2 to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.
- You can shop online for 4-pack cans and growlers of cider, as well as bottles of wine, which can be picked up at the cidery. Shipping across the US is available, but requires shopping from a different website.
Manoff Market Cidery: This craft cidery, founded in 2018, was launched by a popular pick-your-own fruit farm. It produces a line of a dozen rotating ciders, including fruited blends and single varietals.
3157 Comfort Rd., New Hope, PA; (215) 297-8220
- The cidery is open for outdoor tastings and take-out on Thursdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Bottles can be purchased to go during market hours (Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m). You can also call ahead to schedule a curbside pick-up.
- Shop online for shipping to PA and a number of other states.
Frecon Farms: This family-owned and operated farm has been growing some of Pennsylvania’s finest tree fruits and berries since 1944. Its handcrafted ciders use apples from the farm, both culinary and cider-specific fruit. Also, worth noting: They make amazing pies!
501 S. Reading Ave., Boyertown, PA; (610) 367-6200
- Bottles of cider, as well as many other goods, may be purchased from Frecon’s Farm Market and Bakery, which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Shop online for Frecon’s Everyday and Estate Series ciders. Shipping is offered across PA and many other states.
Stone & Key Cellars: The extremely talented cellar staff at this world-class MontCo winery also crafts great ciders within their facility. As an urban winery/cider, Stone & Key sources apples for its hard ciders are from Solebury Orchards, also located in Bucks County.
435 Doylestown Rd. Montgomeryville, PA; (215) 855-4567
- Bottle sales are offered daily, as is the full-service tasting room, complete with outdoor seating. See the Stone & Key Cellars website for current hours.
- For local pick-up and delivery, fill in an order form on the Stone & Key Cellars website (items include cans and growlers). For orders that require shipping, shop on the Stone & Key Cellar store. Ciders available in 4-packs; wine also available. Local delivery is offered within 10 miles of the winery (and is free on orders over $75).
Hale & True Cider: This husband-and-wife team makes cider from fermented fresh Pennsylvania apple juice, straight from the orchard and into their tanks. Their urban cidery is located in Philly’s charming Bella Vista neighborhood, right between South Street and the Italian Market.
613 S. 7th St., Philadelphia, PA; (267) 639-4334
- Hale & True’s taproom is open with outdoor seating and a take-out window Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m., Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
- Order ahead to buy 4-packs of cans, and 32- and 64-ounce growler fills for scheduled pick-up.
"Part of Hale & True's founding mission was to make quality cider more accessible. When we opened, many of our customers had never had cider at all, or only drank super-sweet, mass-produced brands. Meanwhile, there is such wonderful craft cider to be found, made in PA from PA apples!"
— Risa McKenzie, Hale & True Cider Co.
Kurant Cider: Small-batch, handcrafted ciders drawing inspiration from traditional French, English and Spanish ciders. Find crowd-pleasing flavors, like blood orange and dry-hopped, experimental ciders in the brand’s Exploration Series, and Kurant’s own wine labels, at its taproom in Fishtown, called Kurant Brew & Brew.
436 E. Girard Ave., Philadelphia, PA; (267) 928-3620
- Outdoor seating and contact-less pick-up offered Thursdays from 4 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 3 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.
- Order online: 32-oz. cans of various ciders include hopped and CBD ciders; beer and wine also available.
Original XIII Ciderworks: This urban cidery in North Philadelphia serves its own line of ciders, called Sir Charles Hard Cider. A blend of culinary apples like Gala, Cortland and Golden Delicious, are sourced from farms and juice suppliers across Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Mayer Brothers), Kimes, Kauffman, and Mackey’s Orchards.
1526 N. American St., Philadelphia, PA; (215) 765-7000
- The taproom is open for outdoor seating and takeout sales seven days a week, from 4 to 10 p.m.
Commonwealth Ciders: This urban cidery makes hard cider the traditional way, fermenting the juice until dry without any additional back sweeteners, artificial flavors or colors. The core line of flavors includes dry and fruited flavors.
2440 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia; (215) 427-2739
- Enjoy at the outdoor patio at Philadelphia Brewing Company, the parent company of Commonwealth Cider. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Order online for pick-up at the brewery.
Young American Hard Cider: This small-batch craft cidery offers traditional hard cider made with apples sourced from local, PA orchards. From fall through spring, the Young America team ferments cider from fresh-pressed juice, using the same methods used by the early American settlers who inspired their name.
6350 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA.
- Their cidery is currently under construction. It’s slated to open in the autumn or winter of 2020/21.
Dressler Estate: Husband-and-wife team Brian and Olga Dressler turned their passion for DIY cider-making into a craft cider brand. They make a range of styles, including single varietals, still ciders and barrel aged ciders.
- Shop online: 500-ml bottles of still and sparkling cider.
- Weekly pick-up available at Dressler Estate’s location in Downingtown or the Downingtown Farmers Market; local delivery available on orders of $60 or more.
"Comparing cider to beer limits the opportunity you have to experience the rich variety that cider can offer. It's our mission to make quality ciders so you can explore their unique identity which can be similar to wine but more approachable, relaxed and fun."
— Olga Dressler, Dressler Estate
Old Stone Cider (Lewisville, PA): This family-run orchard is nestled in the rolling hills of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Working out of a fully restored historic barn, the Gruber family crafts British-inspired ciders in a variety of flavors.
959 Chesterville Rd., Lewisville, PA; (484) 441-3344
- The cidery is open with outdoor seating on Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m.
- Order online: 32- and 64-ounce growlers and 24-oz. cans of cider; beer also available.
Stone Mountain Wine Cellar: This is the label of Jersey Acres Farms, which grows a variety of fruits and vegetables. While primarily a winery, Stone Mountain does produce one cider, Cowboy Hard Cider, which is semi-sweet and slightly effervescent.
1615 Panther Valley Rd., Pine Grove, PA; (570) 739-4418
- The market and winery are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Complimentary wine tastings are available during those hours.
Levengood’s of Lancaster: An urban cidery serving up a variety of its own handcrafted cider in both familiar and experimental flavors, like blood orange mint and lime-ginger.
104 W. King St., Lancaster, PA; (717) 509-0938
- Open, with limited seating, Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m.
- To order online, go through Commons Food Hub for pick-ups every Saturday.
2775 Lebanon Rd. Manheim, PA; (717) 665-7021
- Visit the tasting room for samples, pours and sales, Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and weekends from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Shop online: Growlers and 12-packs of cider, as well as wine and beer, with pick-ups at the tasting room, or flat-rate shipping throughout PA.
SpringGate Vineyard and Winery: A family-owned winery located on 60 acres of farmland between the rolling hills of Lancaster County and Blue Mountain.
5790 Devonshire Rd., Harrisburg, PA; (717) 884-8048
- Open to the public with limited seating, as well as “bring your own chair, blanket and wine opener” meadows, Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.
- Shop online: Apple and fruit ciders in 750-ml bottles and 12-oz. cans; wine and beer also offered.
Grand Illusion Hard Cider: A cidery and bar serving the largest selection of Pennsylvania cider on draft in the world. It produces its own line of ciders and serves many from neighboring cider makers.
26 W. High St., Carlisle, PA; (717) 462-4716
- The bar is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 to 11 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Order online: Cider 6-packs, as well as food and non-alcoholic beverages from Grand Illusion’s restaurant.
Wyndridge Farm: A picturesque farm that functions as an event venue, and also a brewery that makes cider, as well as beer and craft soda.
885 S. Pleasant Ave., Dallas, PA; (717) 244-9900
- Restaurant is open with limited indoor and outdoor seating, Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- For shipping to PA and other states, shop online: 6-packs of 12-oz. cans of cider, including hopped and fruited flavors; beer also available.
Ploughman Cider: Fifth-generation fruit farmers bring together agricultural expertise and traditional cider making to create cider that is both classic and complex. Ciders range from funky heirloom ciders to esoteric flavors, like cucumber and quince.
14 Lincoln Square, Gettysburg, PA; (717) 420-2582
- Ploughman’s taproom in downtown Gettysburg is open with outdoor seating Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 10 p.m., Fridays from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Shop online: 750- and 500-ml. bottles and 12-oz. cans of a variety of ciders. Shipping offered across PA and to multiple other states.
"Cidermakers in PA have a very close connection to the fruit growers who supply their cideries — in many cases, those jobs are performed by the very same person! Every apple that's turned into cider in this state was harvested by hand, crushed and squeezed locally, and fermented and bottled locally. Scores of hard-working people contributed to the beverage in your glass, and they're all depending on the vitality and growth of these rural, agricultural communities. It's a connection with a place and a community of people that makes local cider unique."
— Ben Wenk, Ploughman Cider
1865 Gettysburg Village Dr., Gettysburg, PA; (717) 334-4888
- Mela Kitchen is open with indoor and outdoor seating, Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Order online for shipping or local pick-up.
Big Hill Ciderworks: Orchard and cidery utilizing traditional, time-honored cider-making methods of slow fermentation, barrel-aging and wild yeast fermentation. Big Hill’s taproom is under construction, but its products can be found in many local beer and bottle shops.
- Shop online: A variety of farmhouse ciders, including single, large-format bottles and multi-packs. Shipping is available (free ground shipping on orders of 6 bottles or more); pick-up is available at the orchard.
Reid’s Orchard and Winery: A local, family-owned and -operated orchard and winery, featuring small-batch wines and hard ciders.
400 Baltimore St., Gettysburg, PA; (717) 334-7537
- Reid’s Cider House Wine Garden is open for full-service Sunday through Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.
- Pick-ups offered via a takeout window at The Cider House in Gettysburg, Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Armstrong Valley Winery: A production facility situated on 100 acres of farmland first established in 1769 by Robert Armstrong. Though it primarily makes wine, both dry and sweet, Armstrong Valley also makes a small selection of ciders.
212 Rutter Rd., Halifax, PA; (717) 896-7700
257 Zeigler Rd., Rochester, PA; (412) 254-6346
- Shop online: 750-ml bottles of After the Fall’s first two offerings, Orchard Blend and Gold Rush Dabinett. Shipping offered across PA and to many others states.
Brother Monk Cider: This cidery specializes in orchard-driven, handcrafted, hard cider, and cider-style fruit wine and mead. The apples used in production, both heritage and culinary, are sourced from Brother Monk’s 24-acre farm on the eastern border of Indiana County.
779 Elm Rd., North Cambria, PA; (814) 626-8800
- Shop online: Variety of 4-pack, 12-ounce cans and 500-ml bottles. Shipping is available across PA; free shipping offered on orders of 6 or more items.
Bella Terra Vineyards: Bella Terra is a 17-acre winery that produces an assortment of red, white and blush wines, as well as a handful of varieties of hard cider. In addition to the winery in Hunker, Bella Terra also operates a tasting room in downtown Bedford.
121 Sunny Lane, Hunker, PA; (724) 635-3658;
107 E. Pitt St., Bedford, PA; (724) 635-3658
- The winery and bistro are open daily for service; see the Bella Terra Vineyards website for current hours.
- Ciders, as well as wine, can be ordered online for shipping or curbside pick-up.
Arsenal Cider House: A U.S. Civil War-thematic winery specializing in small-batch, handcrafted, hard apple cider, “cider-style” fruit/grape wines and mead. Arsenal operates three locations in the Pittsburgh area, including tasting rooms at Soergel Orchards and Trax Farms, and one in Cleveland, too.
300 39th St., Pittsburgh, PA; (412) 682-7699;
2573 Brandt School Rd., Wexford, PA; (724) 777-2402;
528 Trax Rd., Finleyville, PA; (412) 403-6174
- Arsenal is open at most locations with outdoor seating. See the Arsenal Cider House website for the current hours.
- Shop online: Cider, fruit wine, and mead. Packaged goods and 1-liter growlers available for pick-up (check the website for rotating offerings). Pre-order for curbside pick-up at all four locations. UPS delivery available to 39 states.
Threadbare Cider: This prolific urban cidery produces farmhouse, bottle-conditioned, hopped, wild-fermented and barrel-aged ciders.
1291 Spring Garden Ave., Pittsburgh, PA; (412) 322-5100
- Threadbare’s Cider House is open for outdoor seating, Thursdays and Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 3 to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Shop online for curbside pick-up (options include 750-ml bottles, variety packs and cases); for shipping to PA and 39 other states, see the Threadbare Cider website. You can also order online for Threadbare’s bottle shop in Ross Park Mall.
"Pennsylvania has an amazing history of apple growing and cider production. At Threadbare Cider, we are excited to retell the story of Johnny Appleseed and his role in PA cider. We produce cider here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where many of Johnny's apple seeds came from."
— Brian Bolzan, Threadbare Cider
KingView Mead, Wine & Cider: This PA Limited Winery produces award-winning mead, hard cider and wine, and also supports local farmers and provides assistance to the beekeeping community. KingView hopes to open a tasting room and restaurant in Pittsburgh in the coming year.
No address listed, Mt. Lebanon, PA; (412) 335-0070
- Shop online: 22-oz. bottles of apple and fruit cider; wine and mead also available. Shipping offered across PA.
Conneaut Cellars Winery: For over 30 years, this winery has been producing wines from grapes grown in the Lake Erie region. It also makes a sparkling hard cider, perry and dessert ciders.
12005 Conneaut Lake Rd, Conneaut Lake, PA; (814) 382-3999
- The winery and tasting room are open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Shop online: Bottles of cider, wine and vermouth shipped to PA and many other states.
8958 W. Lake Rd., Lake City PA; (814) 449-7298
- Godfrey Run’s wine shop is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
- Order online: 4-packs and single bottles of cider for pick-up at the market.
As we hope is clear, there is so much amazing cider to try, right in our own backyard! Visit your local cidery, shop online, or visit your favorite bottle shop to taste PA cider for yourself.
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This article first appeared on PAeats.com, whose mission is to showcase the stories of people, places, and products that make PA food culture exceptional, and create educational resources that support and empower food insecure Pennsylvanians. To learn more, visit PAeats.com.