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. “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.
Original and Apple-Raspberry are the Mill’s focused Ciders with seasonal limited productions offered throughout the year. 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 portfolio of Apple Wines include their Original Apple Wine, Apple Cranberry, Apple Black Currant, Apple Cherry and Apple Strawberry called Strawberry Kiss. A favorite among visitors is the Apple Frost, made from cryo-extraction concentrated Mill-made cider, Frost is similar to what you might find in an Ice Wine but made entirely from apples.
The Mill’s State designation as a Farm Winery will enables on-site sales and sampling of not only Fly Creek’s own selection but also products from other NY Farm Wineries creating great-tasting grape wines. “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 Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard is a charter member of the Cooperstown Beverage Trail Association. If you are visiting for multiple days please check out this sample itinerary specific to Craft Beverage Lovers!