Since its first apple tree planting over 100 years ago, Angry Orchard has risen to hard drink stardom (in homes and liquor stores alike), especially with its Crisp Apple, a traditional, sweet and acidic cider. Throughout the fall, reserve an orchard picnic pack, or keep it simple with a tour and three-cider flight. Go for the classics like their slightly tart Green Apple with notes of honeydew and kiwi, or go bold with Spanish-style Edu or hazy Unfiltered straight from the tap. P.S. Angry Orchard does not offer apple picking.
Walden – 2241 Albany Post Road; 845.713.5180
Sitting in the foothills of The Gunks, a converted red barn houses some wicked ciders. Find more than 50 acres of ugly apples (get up close and personal with the gnarly fruit while picking a peck) — don’t worry, “ugly apples taste better,” and Brooklyn Cider House has the awards to prove it. A majority of what’s on tap has received national prestige, with medals in the US Open Cider Championship and more. Stick with the season and go spooky with Bone Dry, a crisp, complex dry cider with light carbonation. For kombucha connoisseurs, check out the wild-fermented and sour Raw, with tons of probiotics.
Chances are you’ve seen a bright pink Gin Pig truck zipping around the Hudson Valley. Make like a wolf and follow the not-so-little pigs for a day full of fun (and cider) at Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery. After wandering and snatching up glistening apples in the impressive 120-acre orchard, find the tasting room, brimming with gin, Doc’s Hard Cider, and spirits. Tons of fruit, like black currant, peach, and raspberry are packed into bottles; until November 15, indulge in the hearty Hard Pumpkin cider, blended with allspice, cinnamon, fresh ginger, and nutmeg. Beer lovers, turn to Hard Dry Hopped, a floral cider with Centennial and Chinook hops.
Warwick — 114 Little York Road; 845.258.4858
Find cider magic at this centennial farm, with over 300 acres of apple orchards near the looming Helderberg Mountains. Adjacent to a 65-acre apple orchard — open for apple picking this fall — is Indian Ladder Farms’ (ILF) newly renovated tasting room and biergarten. Under outdoor twinkling lights or sheltered by polished wood of the Fireside Lounge, sip on the hazy, but full-bodied blend of Pete’s Best. Or, discover the Seckel Solution, a tangy pear cider with roots older than ILF itself (300 years, to be exact).
Altamont — 342 Altamont Road; 518.765.2956
With over 100 apple varieties and years on its belt, Fishkill Farms is the real deal — and their cider is, too. Its rustic Treasury Cider sits among the orchards and native wildflowers, bringing aesthetic to both your social feeds and sipping experience. Taste the same apples you picked with Treasury’s cider tastings, complete with four ciders and a charcuterie board. We recommend the funky, fermented Wiccopee for the adventurous, or the Favorite Farmer cocktail, a botanical blend of Homestead Cider and Averell Damson gin.
Hopewell Junction — 9 Fishkill Farm Road; 845.897.4377