When Life Gives You Apples…
NEPA’s apple orchards conjure the magic of fall with fresh-pressed, homegrown cider.
Right about that time when the early fall breeze sheds its summer signature and the sun strikes a lower line toward the western hills, NEPA’s apple orchards start to hum with anticipation. All spring and summer, Mother Nature worked her magic. Though, not without a bit of help from NEPA’s farm families and some busy little honeybees. And now, plump Red Delicious, sweet Honeycrisp and sugary Golden D’s, to name just a few, hang heavy and ripe for the pickin’.
This is where we come in. It’s apple season, y’all! That means pies, cakes, apple butter, apple sauce and, oh… Idk… about a hundred other ways to consume these delicious autumn delights. But today, we’re talking about apple cider. Whether you warm it up, mull it, spike it, or drink it straight from the carton, if you go through the fall without a single taste of cider, you’re doing something wrong.
The simultaneously tart, tangy and sweet nectar is big business in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Most of the cider producers, however, are small, family-run operations. You can find local offerings in the supermarket, at farm stands, orchards and your favorite farmers market. And, as with most good things in NEPA, you don’t have to travel far to find it.
To help you get your autumn apple fix, we’ve put together this convenient list of local cider hot spots.
Classic NEPA Apple Cider:
You can find this nearly 200-year-old orchard’s cider all over NEPA. The popular apple stop in Dallas features gallons, half gallons and quarts of their tangy, fresh-pressed fall elixir alongside just about every other apple-related treat you can think of.
Since 1962, this autumn favorite in the Pocono Mountains has been a local cider hotspot. Be sure to stop in and grab a jug on your next foliage peeping adventure through the beautiful Poconos.
Make your way to this scenic, 100-year-old, family-run orchard in Wapwallopen for their famous, fresh apple cider. The orchard’s tranquil setting along the Susquehanna River offers an ideal backdrop for fall foliage photos.
This cash only, Laceyville orchard has been serving up fresh-squeezed apple cider for over 130 years. Grab a sample on your next apple pickin’ adventure, or take home a gallon to enjoy all season long.
Lake Ariel, PA
On your next foliage tour through the Poconos, be sure to swing by this 88-year-old, family orchard in Lake Ariel for a little fresh air and a lot of delicious apple cider. The orchard features 14 apple varieties.
Beach Lake, PA
Enjoy the spoils of the harvest at this family run orchard just 10 miles east of Honesdale. The scenic, Pocono Mountain orchard features pears, plums apples, jams, honey, maple syrup and more. And, of course, don’t dare miss their fresh-pressed, family recipe cider.
Maylath Farm & Orchard
Cider is just the beginning of the fun at this 250-acre farm in southern Luzerne County. The Sugarloaf farm also features rides, animals, picnic areas and so much more. Check out their farm store for cider to-go and all things fall.
Miller's Orchards Farm Market
Clarks Summit, PA
Get your fresh-pressed cider fix at this adorable farm stand in Clarks Summit. The orchard market features hand-picked apples and other fruit, vegetables, fresh eggs and more. And don’t miss out on their warm cider donuts.
Ritter's Cider Mill
Mt. Cobb, PA
This Mt. Cobb family farm and cider mill offers up a fall experience like no other. Start with a hay ride. Throw in a little fun with the apple slingshot and then stop by the mill to watch the cider press in action.
Ritter's Farm Market -- Hamlin
Lake Ariel, PA
Take a break from searching out that famous NEPA foliage and stop in this Lake Ariel farm market for a little fresh cider and just about anything else apple-related. From warm, fresh pies to all kinds of bakery treats, they’ve got it all on-site.
Ritter's Farm Market -- Mt. Cobb
Jefferson Twp., PA
Stop by this seasonal market and cider shop in Jefferson Twp. for hand-picked apples and other farm fresh treats. And, while you’re sampling their delicious cider, make time for a little fun with the pumpkin cannon, or pony rides.
Rohrbach's Farm Market, Bakery & Gift Loft
Find all things fall at this Columbia County favorite for fresh farm goodies. The market features everything from farm-raised beef to fresh fruits and vegetables to seasonal decor. And don’t forget a gallon of their tasty cider.
Make your way out to Susquehanna County to get your hands on this award-winning, unpasteurized cider. The fresh-pressed blend of 7-12 apple varieties creates a uniquely balanced sweet, tart and aromatic cider.
And... A Little Somethin' For The Grown-Ups
Few things pair better with a crisp fall evening than a cold, local hard cider.
Over the past several years, hard apple cider has trended its way to the top of many tap lists. The bubbly alternative to beer and cocktails offers just as much bang for your buck and an inspiring palate of flavor profiles. Today, many local stores and craft bottle shops feature dedicated space to the popular autumn elixir.
In NEPA, hard cider’s rise in popularity has led to a significant boom in establishments dedicated to the drink. And they’re definitely not shy about experimenting with the tried-and-true classic. Maybe you’re into simple, crisp and delicious with a kick. Perhaps you’d prefer it infused with Pennsylvania-grown blueberries or even some jalapeno peppers.
No matter what you’re looking for, NEPA has a cidery for you. Check out this awesome list of local hard cider taprooms.
NEPA Hard Cider:
Banter's Hard Cider
This Stroudsburg hard cidery specializes in mixing traditional cider practices with the creative spark of craft brewing. Get your fill of classic cider favorites and unique seasonal fruit blends.
Clarks Summit, PA
Keep an eye out for this cidery located in a gorgeous Gothic barn in Clarks Summit. Barnyard features truly classic hand-pressed hard cider and unique spins on old favorites.
After 200 years in the cider business, this popular, local favorite has stepped up their game to include their very own hard cider. Pick up the delicious treat in four packs at the orchard or in select locations.
Cellar Beast Winehouse
Take in the gorgeous scenery of NEPA’s Blue Mountain at this winery and craft cidery in Andreas. Sample innovative ciders that range from traditional, non-carbonated to uniquely fermented concoctions that feature a wide range of flavors.
Jersey Acres Farms and Stone Mountain Wine Cellars
Pine Grove, PA
Make your way to this Pine Grove favorite for a taste of their semi-sweet hard cider. The farm store also offers their very own wine, farm-fresh produce, dairy products and much more.
Lakeland Orchard & Cidery
Scott Twp., PA
Stop by this popular, local orchard’s very own Cider Garden in Scott Twp. Enjoy adult fun, like axe throwing, live music, yard games and delicious hard cider pressed from over 30 apple varieties.
Last Leg Cidery
Sample your way across the hard cider spectrum at this popular urban cidery in Fleetville. Stop in for small batch craft ciders in a wide range of flavors. Grab a flight, or try one of their famous cider cocktails.
RAW Urban Winery & Hard Cidery
Head to downtown Stroudsburg to try this popular cidery’s hand crafted hard ciders and unique fruit wines. Their tasting room features classic varieties and incredible seasonal creations.
This family-run cidery in Benton dishes out unique ciders pressed from local apples and aged in whiskey barrels. Stop by their one-of-a-kind tasting room located within a gorgeous, 19th century barn.
Ritter's Cider Mill
Mt. Cobb, PA
Plan a trip to this autumn Poconos staple in Mt. Cobb. Enjoy fun fall activities, like hayrides, corn mazes, an apple slingshot and, of course, sippin’ on hard apple cider.
Ritter’s Farm Market – Hamlin
Fill up on fall goodies at this farm market in Lake Ariel. Peruse fresh-baked pies and hand-picked fruits and vegetables. And don’t forget to grab some of their famous hard cider from their very own cider mill.
Ritter’s Farm Market – Mt. Cobb
Mt. Cobb, PA
Stop by this roadside market in Mt. Cobb for an assortment of farm-fresh produce, sweet bakery treats, locally-made products and delicious, hard apple cider from their nearby cider mill.
Space Time Mead & Cider Works
Head to this award-winning hard cidery in Dunmore for out-of-this-world variations on the classic fruit beverage. The cidery features a tasting room and retail shop. Ciders are available to go in bottles and cans.
Wild Elder Wine and Cider Co.
Jim Thorpe, PA
Swing by this popular winery’s tasting room in historic Jm Thorpe for delicious small-batch ciders and wines sourced from locally grown and foraged fruits and herbs.
This article was originally published on DiscoverNEPA.com on September 23, 2020.