November 1st - 3rd, 2019
We are beyond thrilled to be presenting the 25th Anniversary CiderDays event from November 1 - 3, 2019!
Our hard-working organizing committee is hard at work coming up with a very special, not-to-be-missed weekend. We'll supply more details in early summer.
For now, though, you can peruse last year's CiderDays weekend schedule in the 2018 PDF program book.
Check out our video (thanks, TOLD Video!) to see what makes CiderDays the magical event that it is. And you'll find photos and videos from this year's CiderDays on our Facebook page and Instagram account. Use #FranklinCountyCiderDays when posting photos and we will repost our favorites!
If you'd like to see the caliber of the producers at the Salons, check out the list of hard cider producers from the 2018 Cider Salons.
What is CiderDays?
CiderDays is an annual community celebration of all things apple in beautiful Franklin County, Massachusetts. 2019 marks our 25th year with tours, cidermaking and tastings, workshops and much more in orchards and venues county-wide from Ashfield, Deerfield, Turners Falls, Shelburne Falls, and Colrain to New Salem and the towns in between. Whether you are a cider aficionado (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.
Check out these highllights from last year.
- Seventh Annual CiderDays Amateur Cider Competition - an AHA/BJCP sanctioned event open to any amateur cidermaker age 21 or older — will be held December 2018, 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 opens on the competition website on Monday, October 15th, at 12:00 AM EDT. Click here for details.
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 — In Reverie with Chef Johnny Spero from 6:30 - 8:00pm at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center (formerly the Arts Block) in Greenfield, MA. Chef Spero was born and began his culinary career in Baltimore County but has since then traveled and worked all over the world and has taken inspiration from Basque Country Spain to Copenhagen. After cooking in some of the world's most renowned kitchens, he is opening his first solo restaurant, Reverie, in Washington, DC, later this summer. For this CiderDays event, Chef Spero will prepare four small plates showcasing his culinary inspirations and pair them with his favorite ciders. $40/ticket SOLD OUT
- Friday night event — Cider Schmooze and Cider Tap Takeover — After the In Reverie event, linger at Hawks & Reed to talk with cidermakers and authors in a casual setting. Cider and food will be available for sale. 8:00 - 10:00pm FREE
- Beginner's Cider Making Workshop with Bob Delisle and Charlie Olchowski on Saturday morning from 8:30 - 11:00 am 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 SOLD OUT
The Cider Salon — the world's longest-running hard cider tasting with more than 120 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) $35/ticket SOLD OUT
Award-Winning Ciders — What separates a great cider from a good one? Ben Watson and Mike Beck will explore this question and offer a taste of six superior ciders that have recently won top honors at national and international cider competitions. Sunday, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM, Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield. $30/ticket SOLD OUT
- Newtown Pippin: Varied Expressions of a Classic American Cider Apple — In this focused taste workshop, US cider experts Darlene Hayes and Dan Pucci will explore what effects “terroir” (the climate, soil, and landscape of different regions) can have on apples. They will offer tastes of the fruit grown in different locations, plus the ciders made by various producers, to gain a deeper understanding of the influence of place on cider. Sunday, 1:00-2:00 PM, Deerfield Community Center in HIstoric Deerfield. $30/ticket SOLD OUT
- A Taste of Asturias: From the Orchard to the Sea — Begona Medio and friends from northern Spain will introduce us to the history, traditions, and traditional ciders and foods of Asturias, a coastal principality on the temperate coast of the Cantabrian Sea. We will taste several Asturian sidras, plus sample some of the cheeses and other foods that define this historic region, dating back some 2,000 years. Sunday, 2:30-3:30 PM, Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield. $30/ticket SOLD OUT
Cider and Cheese Pairing — A perennial favorite at CiderDays. The cheesemongers at Provisions in Northampton will present some of the best and most interesting cheeses from the US and Europe, and we will pair them with six compatible ciders. It’s a great way to learn how to think about making your own pairings at home. Sunday, 4:00-5:00 PM, Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield. $30/ticket SOLD OUT
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 12:00 - 1:00 — Tending Backyard Apple Trees with Steve Lanphear and Steve Marglin
Saturday 1:00 - 2:00 — Basic Apple Tree Pruning with Steve Weisman
Saturday 2:30 - 3:30— Apple Alchemy: “Secrets” Of Making Award Winning Hard Ciders with William Grote
Sunday 12:00 - 1:00 — Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar 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 — Trials of an Apple Hunter with Matt Kaminsky — Exploring the triumphs and challenges of Lost Apples of the Quabbin and others through photograph, local legend, and rare-apple cider tasting
Friday night Cider Pub Sing, 7:30 - 9:00 (BYOC), and Pop Up Cider Pub, 9:00 - 11:00 (BYOC), at the Parish Hall of the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew, Greenfield FREE but donations appreciated
- Learning to Grow Apples — with Al Yelvington of Happy Dog Farm in northwest Pennsylvania. As a practical, on-poor-ground orchardist and a masters candidate in agriculture at Virginia Tech, he has experienced just about every challenge there is in growing apples, and has made most almost every mistake you can imagine. But he’s learned a lot from his experience, and in this workshop he'll share his mistakes and successes with aspiring apple growers. Saturday, 9:00-10:00 AM, Shelburne Buckland Community Center. FREE
- Central Asia: Our Travels to the Birthplace of Apples — Claude Jolicoeur traveled to Kazahkstan, where the modern apple originated, and will share photos and descriptions of this fascinating but little-known land, with a focus on the landscape, history, and traditions that created our favorite fruit. Saturday, 9:15-10:15 AM, Shelburne Buckland Community Center. FREE
- The Promise of Biodynamics: The Reality and Spirit of Nature with Mike Biltonen of Know Your Roots, LLC — Biodynamic agriculture has been practiced around the world for nearly a century, but is only now beginning to gain traction in the orcharding world. Apart from the spiritual and cosmological aspects of biodynamic farming, there are practical things that any experienced or novice farmer can do to begin down a path of revitalizing spirit, land, and food. Mike will cover the basic pragmatic aspects of biodynamics, as well as some of its more esoteric parts, as they apply to orchards. Saturday, 10:15 - 11:15am, at the West County Cider Tasting Room, 208 Peckville Road, Shelburne. FREE
- Culinary Apple Hacks with Amy Traverso, Yankee Magazine editor and author of The Apple Lover's Cookbook on Saturday afternoon from 11:00am - 12:00pm at Clarkdale Fruit Farms. FREE
- Sex(ism) in the Cidery: Trailblazing Women of the Cider World — Saturday from 10:30 - 11:30am at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center. A lively panel discussion moderated by April Woodard featuring Ellen Cavalli of Tilted Shed Ciderworks, Pat Knittel of Wrangletown Cider Company, Jana Daisy-Ensign of Finnriver Farm and Cidery/Founder Pomme Boots Society, and Emily Ritchie, Executive Director of the Northwest Cider Association. FREE
- Cidermaking and Oak with Ryan Monkman (Firebird Cider, Ontario) on Saturday from 12:00 - 1:00pm at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center FREE
Not All Lees are Gross — Insights from fermentation expert Curt Sherrer of Millstone Cellars. Saturday from 1:30 - 2:30 at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center FREE
- Cider 201: Hot Tips from Veteran Cidermakers — Panel discussion, Saturday, from 11:30am - 12:30pm 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 from 10:00 - 11:00am, and Erika Connell Cooper of Butter & Birch on Sunday from 11:00am - 12:00pm (both at Clarkdale Fruit Farms, Deerfield) FREE
Top Working Old Orchards with Eliza Greenman on Saturday from 9:00 - 10:00am at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center FREE
- Wild Apples, Wild Cider w/John Bunker, Andy Brennan and Steve Gougeon, Saturday from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm at Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery, Ashfield FREE
- A History of Apples in America with John Bunker, Sunday from 10:00 - 11:00am at Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery, Ashfield FREE
- Learning to Graft with Colin Scott, Sunday from 10:00 - 11:00 am at E+J Orchards in Buckland
- Scaling up Cidermaking from Home to Nano Commercial with Steve Gougeon, from 12:00 - 1:00pm at Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery, Ashfield FREE
Tastings of hard and sweet ciders, mead, cyzer, pommeau, switchel, cider syrup, apples and pears at various locations in Franklin County throughout the weekend (check schedule for details) FREE
and so much more!
Thanks to Our Sponsors!
The 2018 CiderDays event is made possible by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and our friends at Yankee Magazine, the United States Association of Cider Makers, OESCO Inc., Northeast Solar, Fedco Seeds, the Franklin Community Co-operative (Green Fields Market and McCusker's Market), Bear Swamp Orchard, West County Cider, New England Apple Association, Provisions, Republic Services, and Hawks & Reed.
Funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. MassVacation.com
Photos on this page are by Bill Bradshaw, Paul Franz/The Recorder, Eric Lewandowski, Robin Bossert, and Beth Reynolds.