November 3rd - 5th, 2017
We had so much fun at last year's CiderDays that we're doing it again on (as tradition would have it) the first full weekend of November 2017. Tickets are on sale now.
Though we're still tweaking a few things, you'll find the highlights for this year's festival below. For more details, download the 2017 schedule. And check out our video (thanks, TOLD Video!) to see what makes CiderDays a can't miss event.
What is CiderDays?
CiderDays is an annual community celebration of all things apple in beautiful Franklin County, Massachusetts. 2017 marks our 23rd 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), make your own cider, are an orchardist, like hanging out in bucolic orchards, or just enjoy soaking up all the goodness of autumn in New England, CiderDays is your event!
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.
Our Salon curator is currently lining up the producers for 2017 and that list will be available soon. In the meantime, check out the 2016 list of participating hard cider producers.
- Sixth 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 the competition website on Saturday October 21, 2017, and will close on November 18, 2017. Judging takes place December 2nd.
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)
- Friday night event — How to Taste Hard Cider with Eric West and Nicole Leibon at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center (formerly the Arts Block) in Greenfield, MA. Cider educator Eric West and Nichole 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 served. $30/ticket 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, the Salons will be held in a large tent in Unity Park, on the Connecticut River in Turners Falls, featuring easy access from Route 2 and I-91. Convenient parking in lots across and next to the venue and on the side streets in Turners Falls. Two sessions — 3:30 - 5:00 and 5:45 - 7:15 (Saturday) $30/ticket
Perry Tasting with Tom Oliver, Oliver's CIder & Perry, Herefordshire, UK, on Sunday at the Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield $30/ticket BUY TICKETS
- Specialty Cider Tasting with author/cider expert Ben Watson on Sunday at the Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield $30/ticket BUY TICKETS
- Making Spanish Style Cider (Sidra) in America — Panel discussion and tasting 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 $30/ticket BUY TICKETS
- Beginner's Cider Making Workshop with Bob Delisle and Charlie Olchowski on Saturday morning (8:30 - 10:30am) 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 — Learn to Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar, Health Tonics and Herbal Oxymels with Laura Ketteringham and Curt Sherrer
Sunday 12:00 - 1:00 — Culinary Uses of Cider Syrup: A natural, versatile sweetener, with Terry McCue
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.
Sunday 3:00 - 4:00 — Lost Apples of the Quabbin - Matt Kaminsky (as co-explorer with Al Sax) presents a slide show and talk about his ongoing living heritage orchard exploration and its unearthed apple mysteries of the Quabbin Region.
- Friday night Cider Pub Sing, 7:30 - 9:00 (BYOC), and Dance Cafe with live French acoustic dance music and instruction, 9:00 - 11:00, at the Parish Hall of the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew, Greenfield
Artifact Hard Cider Tasting 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. Sample Artifact ciders. FREE Note: This is the only time during CiderDays weekend that Tip Top Orchard will be open.
- 8 Blends, 3 Yeasts, 2 Scientists: Experimental Cider Making from the Finger Lakes, NY — Two Cornell Ph.D students share their methods, musings and exploits as they apply aspects of the scientific method to amateur cider making. The pair of burgeoning scientists will report on a home experiment that utilized eight different juice blends that were fermented using three different yeasts, resulting in twenty-four unique ciders! The talk will also discuss the growing cider industry in the Finger Lakes and cider production research at Cornell University. A tasting will be included. Saturday at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center FREE (taste hard cider with the purchase of a $5 glass)
Perry, The Finest of Drinks, talk with Tom Oliver, Oliver's Cider & Perry, Herefordshire, UK, on Saturday at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center FREE
- Modern vs. Traditional Cider Making Methods with Quebecois author Claude Jolicoeur on Saturday at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center FREE
Back to The Future — Insights into how to make the highest quality ciders with fermentation expert Curt Sherrer of Millstone Cellars. Learn the parallels between age old cider and wine production in both the orchard that relies first and foremost on quality apples and the cellar by heeding the nuances of barreled and blended ciders. FREE
- The State of Cider in the United States — Panel discussion with the US Association of Cider Makers, Saturday at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center 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
Top Working Old Orchards with Eliza Greenman on Saturday at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center FREE
- A History of Apples in America with John Bunker, Sunday at Bear Swamp Orchard & Cider, Ashfield
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 so much more!