At the start of November, on a brisk, autumn weekend in Franklin County, Massachusetts, cideries come together to celebrate the long-standing tradition of making craft cider. CiderDays brings apple lovers, cidermakers and orchardists together to soak up all the goodness fall in New England has to offer. Over 20 cideries from Ashfield to New Salem and towns in between host tours, tastings, workshops and more at their venues from November 4-6th.
The idea hatched in 1994 with the release of Paul Correnty‘s book “The Art of Cidermaking.” Along with Correnty’s intimate details into the cider world were beautifully photographed images of orchards and ciders by Charlie Olchowski. The duo didn’t want to do a boring book signing at some local bookstore, so instead they toured the orchards featured in the text. This slowly began to evolve into the booming weekend-long event they now call Franklin County CiderDays.
To kick-off this year’s CiderDays, on Friday there will be a limited-ticket cider cocktail tasting with Darlene Hayes, author of “Cider Cocktails: Another Bite of the Apple” and CIDERCRAFT contributor. As the only Friday event, it’s sure to be a hit. On Saturday, the fun begins at 8 a.m. and goes late into the night with free and ticketed events all across various venues. Highlights include The Cider Salon, world’s longest-running hard cider tasting with more than 90 individual cider brands from across North America and Europe. Other events such as Cidermaking 101, Heirloom Apple Orchard Tour and Cider Pub Sing will take place throughout Saturday.
To wrap up the weekend, Sunday starts at 10 a.m. and concludes around 6 p.m. to get everyone home early before the start of the workweek. Sunday highlights include a Cider and Cheese Pairing with Provisions of Northampton, a Make & Taste event with April Woodard and Apple-themed cooking demos with Sandy D’Amato.
With cider season in full swing, this is quite an unforgettable weekend. If you’re near the Franklin County area, you won’t want to miss CiderDays.