With the growth of craft cideries in North America, there also come some amazing opportunities to give back to community organizations—from fresh fruit at food banks to environmental protection support. Some producers have even created innovative ways to decrease the waste of fruit that is championed by the production of a fantastic end product. Here are six that are going above and beyond their duties as cider producers and giving back to their surrounding communities and philanthropic groups.
Appalachian Mountain Brewery || Boone, North Carolina
What started out as Appalachian Mountain Brewery now includes the addition of the cidery and the inaugural Hard Mountain cider. Philanthropy has long been upheld as a key component to the company’s mission statement through its Pints for Non-Profits program that donates a portion of every pint sold at the brewery to a select local charity. They also support the head brewer’s alma mater, Arizona State University, in the fermentation sciences program with internships, collaborations and more.
Finnriver Farm and Cidery || Chimacum, Washington
The sustainable farmers behind the farm and cidery produce a cider called the Farmstead Sparkling that invites residents across the north Olympic Peninsula to bring in their wild apples for a community harvest in a bottle. Once on the market, 10 cents per bottle of the Farmstead goes to the Jefferson County Food Bank Association.
Seattle Cider Co. || Seattle
Seattle’s first cidery since Prohibition started a partnership with City Fruit, the urban fruit cultivation organization, where the two collect the uglier yet edible fruit donated at food banks but still edible, to turn into a cider that will be ready spring 2016. Proceeds from these sales will go back to City Fruit, which is an organization that conserves urban fruit trees and harvests the fruit for local food banks.
Spirit Tree Cidery || Caledon, Ontario
Long time supporters of the local chapter of the Knights Table in nearby Brampton, Spirit Tree donates daily to its Breakfast for Learning program. At the end of each day, the cidery sends all leftover bread and baked goods from the bistro to the multi-service community provider and soup kitchen for those in need to enjoy at their morning educational program.
WildCraft Cider Works || Eugene, Oregon
During the months of August through November, WildCraft invites its community to collect and bring excess pears and apples grown in backyards and neighborhoods in Oregon to the cidery for the Urban Orchard cider. The program donates 10 percent of the sales from this community effort to The Long Tom Watershed Council that works to protect and restore watersheds in the upper Willamette Valley.
Woodchuck Cider || Middlebury, Vermont
For the past six years, the cidery in Vermont has been a sponsor for the program Pick for Your Neighbor. Ran by the Vermont Foodbank, the program encourages those who come out and pick apples at the farm to also fill another bag to donate. Those donated apples are available at food banks throughout the state.