4 cider tours you have to take this fall
Central Pennsylvania is the leader in apple production for the entire state. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to learn that it is also home to many of the region’s finest cideries.
A detour through greater Gettysburg will reveal several stops that get right to the core of quenching your thirst. So, if you have a hankering to take a full-fledged regional cider tour this fall — the height of apple season — here are four must-visit venues.
Big Hill Ciderworks
Big Hill Ciderworks spans a total of around 25 acres of land for apple production. More than 40 apple varieties are grown here, cultivated exclusively for hard cider-making purposes.
These ciders are crafted using traditional cider-making techniques, like slow fermentation from apple yeasts. This helps create a one-of-a-kind signature taste, as there are no added sugars, colors, flavorings or sweeteners. Some of their most unique brew exclusives include the citrusy Little Round Hop, the Dolgo Crabapple and Marmalade — a sour cider comprised of fermented apples, peaches and orange zest. Various other craft selections are also available, like the popular Barrel Aged Reserve — a blend of both bittersweet and bittersharp apple flavors.
Big Hill currently offers onsite sales and group tours strictly by appointment. Future plans for expanding are currently under discussion, such as adding an onsite tasting room.
Visit bighillcider.com to see where you can find Big Hill Cider.
Location: Gardners, PA
Reid’s Orchard and Winery
Reid’s Orchard and Winery has two convenient locations. The main orchard and tasting room, which can be found in scenic Bachman Valley, is host to live entertainment and special event happenings regularly.
While there is no official guided tour of the grounds, visitors are welcome to venture about the extensive grounds and tasting room where knowledgeable staff will answer questions and offer sampling sessions of hard cider. The tasting room operates between May and December.
The Cider House Cafe in Gettysburg Square was established back in 2014 as a year-round in-town venue perfect for sampling wine and hard cider. Tastings here occur regularly.
Reid’s Hard Cider is made using roughly 140 apple types. Various unique flavor blends include such favorites as Grizzly Cider, Sweet Scarlet, Mountain Top Hop and Farm House, to name a few. In addition to cider, Reid’s also produces a host of diverse wine selections.
Locations: 2135 Buchanan Valley Road, Orrtanna; call 717-677-7047
400 Baltimore St., Gettysburg; call 717-334-7537
Hauser Estate Winery
Renowned for producing Jack’s Hard Cider, Hauser Estate Winery has a family history linked to apple production. Apple cultivation here spans more than 50 years. Jack Hauser, the namesake for the Jack’s Hard Cider, is even credited with leading Musselman’s into national recognition.
Visitors may choose from many diverse cider offerings, including Jack’s Conewago, Jack’s Dry, Jack’s Fireside, Jack’s Helen’s Blend, Jack’s Peach and Jack’s Original. Limited edition flavors are offered seasonally. One of Jack’s favorite autumn selections is the Harvest Cider brew.
Hauser participates in Savor Gettysburg Food Tours along with tasting events at the orchard, in downtown Gettysburg and in Dillsburg. A myriad other events also occur here regularly, including cider runs, Hauser Hop Shuttle Tours, open mic nights and more. All pressing and fermenting is done on location.
Locations: 410 Cashtown Road, Biglerville, PA 17307 (717-334-4888); 19 Lincoln Square, Gettysburg, PA 17325; 725 N. U.S. 15, Suite 3, Dillsburg
Dallastown’s Wyndridge Farm Crafty Cider is the first and only hard cider company in York County. Established in 2013, Wyndridge serves as a restaurant, scenic event venue and onsite craft brewery.
Crafted using the finest locally grown apples and omitting additional excess sweeteners, these crafty ciders rely on simple ingredients to produce refreshingly crisp hard cider.
Crafty ciders merit a crafty logo. That’s why Wyndridge’s signature bottles feature a fox — the epitome of sly, crafty creatures.
Visitors can enjoy tours and tasting room events as well as farm-to-table prepared meals, including Sunday brunch. Resident cider master and guitarist, Scott Topel, even presents onsite concert events and performances at various special dining engagements.
Location: 885 South Pleasant Ave., Dallastown