Locally Made Hard Cider Hits Store Shelves
Clarksburg Cider, a locally made hard cider debuted on shelves at Tops Markets in Western New York in late March, and the product will continue to branch out to stores and restaurants in the near future.
The cidermaking operation, based in a former warehouse on Walden Avenue in Lancaster, started when owner and CEO Michael Robb’s father, Larry returned to his passion of horticulture according to a story aired on NEWS 4 WIVB-TV.
“He has an old subsistence farm in the hamlet of Clarksburg in Eden,” Robb explained. “The soil was best for planting apple trees, so he came to [my partner] and I and asked if we wanted to start a hard cider company.”
Robb and partner Bryan LeFauve agreed to the challenge.
Four years and some hard work later, two varieties of Clarksburg Hard Cider- semi-sweet and dry- are on the market.
The pandemic and resulting shutdown did slow the operation’s timeline.
“It set us back a full year, if not a little more than that,” Robb said. “It gave us a chance to pause and reset, and I think we’re in a better place now than we would have been a year ago.”
The space on Walden Avenue includes a taproom which they anticipate being open this summer. The taproom will feature an expanded list of ciders as well as craft beers and cocktails.
It will also have a “full farm-to-table menu, sourcing as much as we can of locally grown and harvested products,” Robb added.
The cidery sits on a 17-acre parcel that has been planted with more apple trees.
“Everything we’ve done, we’ve tried to do locally,” Robb said. “The tanks were made in Geneva, NY, our apples and juice come from local orchards and farms, and we’ve had all local craftsmen in the buildout.”
According to the New York Cider Association, New York State has seen its cider industry expand by 450 percent over the past ten years.
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