Pennsylvania’s Cider-Makers and Distilleries: Taking in the Sips and Sights
From the countryside to the big city, Pennsylvania’s selection of cider makers and distilleries offer delicious varieties that reflect the taste and flavors of the state.
Before Prohibition, Pennsylvania produced more whiskey than any other state in the USA. Today, the state’s cidery and distillery scene is booming. Fill your glass at these unique spots pouring a range of traditional and local styles.
Relax in the rustic elegance of Wyndridge Farm near the town of York. The farm is home to York County’s first and only hard cider company, made with apples grown in Central Pennsylvania. Head to the tasting room to sample their champagne-style apple cider. Their Crafty Cider is available in traditional and cranberry varieties. The picturesque farm also boasts a wood-beamed barn that’s a popular event space.
The town of Biglerville makes the perfect spot to sample Jack’s Hard Cider at Hauser Winery. The cider is made with apples grown, pressed, fermented and packaged on-site. Jack’s comes in a variety of year-round brews as well as seasonal varieties like cinnamon-spiked Fireside Cider.
The orchard at Frecon’s Cidery in Boyertown has produced apples and other tree fruits for more than 70 years. The Berks County cidery still uses classic techniques to brew cider using a blend of dessert, cider and aromatic apples. Don’t miss the Crabby Granny, a high-alcohol cider packed with tart crab apples, Granny Smiths and Winesaps.
From Boyertown, head about 85 kilometers south to Lancaster for a relaxing trip to Thistle Finch Distillery, makers of small-batch ryes, gin and vodka. The distillery sources 90 percent of its grains from nearby Lancaster and Lebanon counties. The tasting room mixes up craft cocktails and serves pub food such as pulled pork sandwiches, tacos and more.
Get a behind-the-scenes look on a distillery tour at Thistle Finch Distillery
The state’s largest city is home to Philadelphia Distilling. Philadelphia boasted many pre-Prohibition distilleries but this is the first craft distillery to open in Pennsylvania since before Prohibition. Philadelphia Distilling is known for its Bluecoat Gin, Vieux Carré Absinthe, rye-based vodka and more. It’s opening a much-expanded distillery with a tasting room, restaurant, liquor store and event space.
A selection of spirits offered at Philadelphia Distilling
The Pocono Mountains
In Stroudsburg in the Pocono Mountains, you can find Mountain View Vineyard, where locally grown grapes feature in a signature wine selection. The vineyard also creates seasonal white whiskeys, flavored vodkas, brandy and more. Set aside time for a visit to the tasting room or a vineyard tour.
Pennsylvania is centrally located between several gateways. Choose Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) or Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) to fly direct into the state. Or, fly to international airports in nearby Washington D.C. and Newark, New Jersey. Regular rail service from New York is also available.