Cultivating a vibrant cider culture in New York.
As a historic apple region, the Hudson Valley now has an opportunity to become a leading cider region. We believe that distinctive products like hard cider evoke a local food culture and sense of place that is closely tied to agriculture, and their higher value supports the viability of farming by garnering more profit.
Glynwood’s Cider Project began in 2010 with a travel exchange between producers of hard cider and apple spirits from France and the Hudson Valley. The vanguard of local cider makers who joined that trip returned with a shared vision to establish cider as the signature beverage of our region.
We have since launched a series of initiatives and collaborations through our Cider Project that have broadened opportunities for New York’s apple growers and have increased the production of cider throughout the region and the state.
We created Cider Week in 2010 as a way to connect trade professionals to farm-based cider producers, while also increasing public awareness and appreciation. That collaboration led us to co-found the New York Cider Association, the first statewide trade association for cider. Cider Weeks now occur in four areas of New York State, led by the NYCA, including Cider Week Hudson Valley. To support awareness of ciders in our own region, we created Ciders of the Hudson Valley.
Currently, we are addressing the need for more cider apple production in the Hudson Valley and throughout New York. Growing cider-specific apples that are increasingly in demand presents a profitable opportunity for growers and will further distinguish orchard-based ciders. In 2017, we organized the planting of 5,000 cider trees on 15 orchards in New York. We also led a tour of England’s cider country for a group of apple growers and cider makers, focused on observing orchard systems and learning about the economics of their mature cider industry. As an outcome, we have conducted informational meetings on the economic potential in growing cider varieties in New York, and offered a sensory education about cider for growers across the state.
Since our Cider Project began, cider production and popularity have seen incredible growth, and cider has emerged as a commercial industry for the first time in the U.S. Amidst that, there are challenges and opportunities for our cider culture. We are exploring this by recruiting culinary and beverage professionals as allies to the cider community. In 2018, a learning journey to Spain brought together chefs, culinary educators, restaurateurs, and cider makers to ask: How can we cultivate a vibrant cider culture in New York?