Fly Creek, NY - Bottling the past is now a staple of the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard. A licensed New York State Farm Winery, the Mill has developed Hard Ciders and Apple Wines as a key part of their diverse marketing mix for this year’s 147th season. "We are offering these winery beverages as a return to the cider making traditions of the past here at the Mill," says Bill Michaels, co-owner. The Mill, built in 1856, has a long history of creating a flavorful base beverage for home fermenters and brewers alike. Before the days of refrigeration the Mill produced thousands of gallons of sweet cider which were then turned into the beverage of choice for early New York pioneers. Hard Cider and Apple Wines were safe, shelf stable beverages that took the place of water, much of which was not potable, and were much simpler to make than beer.
The Fly Creek Cider Mill will offer Hard Cider in two flavors, Original and Apple-Raspberry. Both flavors are sparkling and packaged in a 22-oz. glass bottle with a foil topper. The Original is semi-sweet with a flavorful apple essence while the Apple-Raspberry is semi-dry with a more fruity finish. Hard Cider is best served chilled and can accompany snack fare such as tangy cheeses, spicy salsas, grilled meats and seafood.
The Mill’s State designation as a Farm Winery will enable on-site sales and sampling of not only Fly Creek’s own selection but also products from other NY Farm Wineries. "New York Wineries have very good products, some of which are not available to many New Yorkers due to distribution issues. Our license will enable us to sell not only our own products but also purchase directly from the smaller producers who are making great beverages. We are working closely with the New York Wine and Grape Foundation tapping their expertise in implementing our Winery plan and developing relationships with their members to help achieve our goals of bringing the traditions and history of Hard Cider and Apple Wine making back to Fly Creek," says Brenda Michaels, the Mill’s President & CEO.
The Michaels have created a new sampling and sales area specifically designed for the Hard Cider inside the historic 1856 Mill. Bill says, "We are known for sampling many of the "Pride of New York" products -- cheddar, maple syrup, flavored honeys and, of course, our famous sweet cider. The Hard Cider and Apple Wine fall perfectly into the mix. Samples of the Hard Cider will be dispensed out of a new draught system, and customers will be able to enjoy it by the glass in the Snack Barn and Bakery. We have already had many inquiries from tour operators wanting to add the Mill as a stop on their Cooperstown itinerary because we offer many value- added New York products."
To inaugurate the addition of Hard Cider and Apple Wine, the Mill will host a Debut Celebration entitled "Uncork Fly Creek" on Saturday, June 7th , from 4:00 to 6:00. New York State Assemblyman and Chairman of the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee, Bill Magee, will keynote the event followed by an official toast to Fly Creek and the Mill’s new products. The event is free and open to the public.
Opening day for the Mill’s 147th season is May 23rd with hours daily 9:00 to 6:00. In addition to its winery products, the Mill will feature other new product lines including tasty barbeque seasonings, refreshingly spicy summer dips and salsas and new flavored NY cheddars.