So close you can almost taste it...
The 23rd Annual CiderDays is one month away!
It's autumn in New England -- the air is crisper, the leaves are turning a kaleidoscope of colors, and apple trees in orchards throughout bucolic Franklin County, Massachusetts, are laden with ripening fruit. It's been a good apple year and we honor the seasonal bounty by showcasing hard and sweet cider and all things apple at CiderDays - November 3 - 5!
This year marks our 23rd Annual CiderDays! Join us for hard cider tastings, workshops, orchard tours, talks, and more, and experience a county-wide celebration from Ashfield, Deerfield, and Colrain to New Salem and the towns in between. Whether you are a hard cider drinker, a cider maker, an heirloom apple aficionado, or simply enjoy soaking up all the goodness that fall in Western Massachusetts has to offer, there's something at CiderDays for you! Here are some highlights:
How to Taste Hard Cider
To get the most out of the Saturday Cider Salons, join us on Friday evening, November 3rd, at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in downtown Greenfield for some pro tips on how to taste hard cider. Cider educator Eric West and Nicole Leibon of Farnum Hill Ciders will focus on the thought process behind tasting and evaluating cider, then will guide the participants through a tasting of various cider styles. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served.
Cider SalonsThe Cider Salons on Saturday, November 4th, are your opportunity to sample almost 100 individual craft cider brands from producers throughout North America and Europe in a range of styles (from semi-sweet and sweet to dry and über dry and everything in between!).
This year, the two salon sessions will be held in a big tent in Unity Park on the banks of the Connecticut River in downtown Turners Falls. There will be plenty of room to taste the ciders and talk with producers. Parking is conveniently located within walking distance of the venue.
Session I - 3:30 - 5:00pm
Session II - 5:45 - 7:15pm
Note: If you are looking to eat before or after your Salon session, there will be two food trucks on site as well as restaurants in downtown Turners Falls offering seasonal fare. More info on participating restaurants will be included on the dining page of the CiderDays website soon.
The limited ticket tastings on Sunday, November 5th, at the Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield give you the chance to learn from the experts and taste cider in a more intimate setting.
Perry Tasting with Tom Oliver, Oliver's Cider & Perry, Herefordshire, UK
SOLD OUT (but catch Tom Oliver at his free talk on Saturday at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center)
Specialty Cider Tasting with Ben Watson (author, Cider: Hard and Sweet)
Making Spanish-Style Cider (Sidra) in America Panel and Tasting with representatives from Ciders of Spain, Black Duck Cidery (NY), and Tilted Shed (CA)
Cider and Cheese Pairing with Provisions of Northampton. Tasty cheese perfectly paired with delicious cider.
This year, we've added a fifth Sunday workshop and it's FREE (first come, first served) -- Cider & Perry Traditions in Lower Austria. Johannes Scheiblauer, head of the Mostbarons, a group of cider and perry producers in the Mostviertel region of southwest Austria, will present an overview of the Mostviertel, the cider and perry traditions of this scenic and historic orchard region, and the products made there. 10am - 11am at the Deerfield Community Center.
Beginner Cidermaker's WorkshopHands-on beginner's cidermaking workshop with Bob Delisle and Charlie Olchowski on Saturday morning, 8:30 - 10:30 am, November 4th, at Pine Hill Orchards. Your ticket includes instructions and materials for making your first batch of cider.
Materials include: plastic fermenter, 5 gallon glass carboy, bored stopper, airlock, 6' syphon hose, 30" racking tube and bottle brush, plus sweet cider.
Fifth Annual Amateur Cidermaking Competition
The 2017 CiderDays Amateur Cider Competition will be held on December 2nd, allowing cidermakers attending this year's CiderDays to drop off entries at the event rather than sending them via UPS. The competition website will be updated with more details soon. Registration for the CiderDays Amateur Cider Competition will open on Saturday, October 21st, and close on Saturday, November 18th.
But Wait, There's More!
The events listed here just scratch the surface of this multi-faceted event. Visit the CiderDays website to see all that we have planned and download a preliminary schedule.
Check out this article to learn more about some of the orchards involved in CiderDays.
Subscribe to the Franklin County tourism list to get news and information about year-round events in our corner of the world delivered to your inbox.