We are excited to present the 22nd annual CiderDays on the first full weekend of November. We are still tweaking the schedule but you'll find highlights below. You can also download a draft schedule here.
What is CiderDays?
CiderDays is an annual community celebration of all things apple in beautiful Franklin County, Massachusetts. 2016 marks our 22nd year with tours, cidermaking and tastings, workshops and much more in orchards and venues county-wide from Ashfield, Deerfield, Charlemont and Colrain to New Salem and the towns in between. Whether you are a cider aficianado (hard or sweet), love apples, make your own cider, are an orchardist, or just enjoy soaking up all the goodness autumn in New England has to offer, CiderDays is not to be missed!
There is a charge for some of the events but many of the workshops and activities at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center and at local orchards are completely FREE.
Check out the preliminary list of participating producers!
2016 Event Highlights
- Fifth Annual CiderDays Amateur Cider Competition - an AHA/BJCP sanctioned event open to any amateur cidermaker age 21 or older — will be held December 2016, roughly one month after CiderDays. This will allow cidermakers attending this years CiderDays to drop entries at the event rather than sending them via UPS. Registration for the CiderDays Amateur Cider Competition will open on Saturday, October 22, 2016 and close on Saturday, November 12, 2016.
Workshops, Talks and Tastings from beginner through advanced for cider makers, home orchardists and cider afficionados at orchards (Saturday and Sunday) and at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center in Shelburne Falls (Saturday) FREE (taste hard cider with the purchase of a $5 glass)
- Special Friday night Cider Cocktails event with Darlene Hayes, author of Cider Cocktails: Another Bite of the Apple, at The Arts Block in Greenfield, MA. Sample cider cocktails and enjoy hors d'oeuvres at this limited-ticket event (only 60 attendees). BUY TICKETS
The Cider Salon — the world's longest-running hard cider tasting with more than 90 individual cider brands from across North America and Europe. This year's salons will have more room for sampling as they will be held on two floors of the main base lodge at Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont, featuring easy access from Route 2 and I-91 and convenient parking. Two sessions — 3 to 4:30 and 5:15 to 6:45 (Saturday) $30/ticket BUY TICKETS
Ice Cider Tasting with Eleanor Leger of Eden Specialty Ciders and Ben Watson, author of Cider: Hard & Sweet on Sunday at the Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield $30/ticket BUY TICKETS
Cider and Cheese Pairing with Provisions of Northampton on Sunday at the the Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield $30/ticket BUY TICKETS
- Cider Appreciation 101 Guided Tasting with cider educator Eric West (of ciderguide.com) Brian Rutzen (the Northman cider bar, Chicago), and Dan Pucci (manager, Wassail NYC) on Sunday at the Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield. In the popular workshop, Eric will lead a guided tour of cider styles from around the world. Participants will learn about the history, culture, production methods, and food pairings while sampling ciders from the world's major cidermaking regions. $30/ticket
Heritage Apple Variety Tasting with John Bunker and Cammy Watts on Sunday at the Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield $20/ticket BUY TICKETS
- Cidermaking 101 Workshop with Bob Delisle and Charlie Olchowski on Saturday morning (9 - 11am) at Pine Hill Orchards — this is a hands-on beginner's cider making workshop. The fee covers instructions and materials for making your first batch of cider. Materials: plastic fermenter, 5 gallon glass carboy, bored stopper, airlock, 6' syphon hose, 30" racking tube and bottle brush, plus sweet cider. You'll leave the workshop with your first batch of hard cider well under way. $85/ticket BUY TICKETS
New Salem Preserves and Orchards hosts its Cider and Apple Festival with child-friendly apple pressing. Farm products, along with exhibits from local artisans, will be displayed within the courtyard of the cider mill. You will also have the ever-present breathtaking view of the Quabbin Reservoir and beyond.FREE. Workshops offered (also free):
Saturday 1:00-2:00 — Basic Apple Tree Pruning with Steve Weisman
Saturday 2:30-3:30 — Tending Backyard Apple Trees with Steve Lanphear
Sunday 11:00 - 12:00 — Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar and Fire Cider with Laura Ketteringham
Sunday 1:00-2:30 — Home Hard Cider Makers Workshop; Make & Taste with April Woodard — Bring your own hard cider for a group tasting/discussion and also watch a demonstration of how to make your own.
- Saturday night Cider Pub Sing with Amanda Witman and Tim Van Egmond, 8:30 - 10:30 at the Ashfield Community Hall
Hard Cider Release and Heirloom Apple Orchard Tour on Saturday afternoon (12 – 2 pm). Take a tour of Tip Top Orchard, one of the most beautiful orchards in the state, to learn about their rare and unusual apple varieties. Then be the first to sample Artifact Cider's "Tip Top", as they release their single origin cider made using rare apples entirely from Tip Top's 2015 harvest. (Tip Top Orchard, Buckland) FREE Note: This is the only time during CiderDays weekend that Tip Top Orchard will be open.
Ice Cider: Culture and Practice with Eleanor Leger on Saturday at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center FREE
- New England Pie: History Under a Crust with author Dr. Rob Cox on Saturday (Clarkdale Fruit Farms, Deerfield) FREE
Apple-themed cooking demos with Sandy D'Amato, owner of Good Stock Farm and author of Good Stock: Life on a Low Simmer, on Sunday and Erika Connell Cooper, of Butter & Birch (both at Clarkdale Fruit Farms, Deerfield) FREE
Seeking Wild Cider Apples with John Bunker, Andy Brennan and Steve Gougeon on Saturday, and Growing Low Input Cider Apples with Steve Gougeon and Jennifer Williams on Sunday, both at Bear Swamp Orchard and Cidery. FREE
Renovating and Top Working Old Orchards with Eliza Greenman on Saturday at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center FREE
The ever-popular Making Barrel Cider with Steve Patt and Paul Correnty on Sunday at Apex Orchards in Shelburne FREE
Tastings of hard and sweet ciders, mead, cyzer, apples and pears at various locations in Franklin County throughout the weekend (check schedule for details) FREE
and much, much more!
Want to volunteer for Cider Days? Click here to reach the volunteer form!
Thanks to Our Sponsors!
The 2016 CiderDays event is made possible by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and our friends at the United States Association of Cider Makers, OESCO Inc., Northeast Solar, the Franklin Community Co-operative (Green Fields Market and McCusker's Market), PV Squared, Fedco Seeds, Bear Swamp Orchard, New England Apple Association, Ryan & Casey Liquors and Cold River Package, Provisions, Shelton Brothers and West County Cider
Funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. MassVacation.com