If you go
What: Hard Pressed: A Celebration of Cider and Wine
When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22
Where: Lisburn Community Fire Company, 1800 Main St., Mechanicsburg
Cost: A pay-what-you-want donation to the Lisburn Community Fire Company. Tickets are limited to 1,500.
For tickets and more info: Visit ciderandwine.com .
How do you set a price tag on a day filled with cider, wine, music and food?
This weekend, the CrocodileDog Marketing team lets you decide.
You might remember them as the brains behind local beer and wine festivals, including Hibrewnation, Yorktoberfest, Brew Kids on the Block and Taste of Pennsylvania Wine and Music Festival.
Now, the team is adding a cider festival to that list by hosting the first-ever "pay-what-you-want" Hard Pressed cider and wine event at the Lisburn Community Fire Company in Mechanicsburg Aug. 22.
"Pay what you want" means you could pay $5 or $105 or even more — you choose the amount based on how much you think the festival is worth, event coordinator Brian Dudley said.
In theory, you could even purchase a ticket for free because there is no minimum ticket price. But the idea is to raise money for the Lisburn Community Fire Company for equipment upgrades and other necessities.
Dudley said CrocodileDog Marketing chose the pay-what-you-can model because this festival required less expenses than some of their other fixed-price events. Lisburn Community Fire Company provided 37 acres of land, tents, cables and portable toilets free of charge.
"When you cut out all those costs, it didn't seem right to set a big ticket price," Dudley said. "We thought about doing it for free, but we didn't know how many people would show up, and we still wanted to make sure the fire department raised money. We want ... the fire department to benefit as much as possible."
Rather than doing another beer or wine festival, Dudley said CrocodileDog Marketing chose a cider festival because local cider is often forgotten about.
"There just aren't many cider events," Dudley said. "We saw it as an up-and-coming craft industry in Pennsylvania. A lot of people are drinking ciders, and they're taking over more taps in tasting rooms."
Instead of bringing in well-known ciders like Angry Orchard and Woodchuck, Dudley said he wanted the festival to focus on what Pennsylvania has to offer.
"You can go to every distributor in Pennsylvania and buy an Angry Orchard," he said. "For me, it's just the ability to pull in ciders that a lot of people from our area haven't gotten to try (We're bringing in cider) from areas of PA I've never even heard of."
Since many of the cider houses in Pennsylvania also make wine, Dudley and his team expanded the festival to also include wine samples.
Of the 11 participating cider and wine vendors, some of the local ones include Wyndridge Farm in Dallastown, Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery in Wrightsville, The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey and Gift Horse Brewing Company, soon to be located on George Street in York.
One of the most unique ciders coming to the festival is The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey's DeCider, a peanut butter caramel hard apple cider made with Pennsylvania apples.
"It's almost a contradiction of senses," said Michael Wilson, Vice President of Marketing and Outreach at The Vineyard at Hershey. "It's very layered in the way it tastes. First, it's apple cider, then caramel, then strong peanut butter on the finish."
It pairs well with salted caramel ice cream and pretzels, Wilson said.
Gift Horse Brewing Company will also bring some unique concoctions. In addition to its small-batch farmhouse and cherry honey ciders, Gift Horse has collaborated with CrocodileDog Marketing event coordinator Matt Davis to create two ciders made specifically for the festival. Both ciders contain oak chips and have a sour whiskey and sweet and sour taste.
"Matt and I both like the wild yeast sour beers and we were kind of curious as to why we don't see a lot of sour ciders, so we decided to give it a shot," Gift Horse head brewer Jason Snyder said.
The festival will also offer live music and food provided by the Lisburn Community Fire Company and food trucks, such as Baron Von Schwein, York City Pretzel Company and Mad Dash Grilled Cheese, Dudley said.
Participating Wineries and Cider Houses
Big Hill Ciderworks
6 Mile Cellars
Sir Charles Hard Cider
Bee Kind Winery
Broad Mountain Vineyard
The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey
Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery
Civil War Cider Co.
Gift Horse Brewing Co.