First came the brewers. Then came the distillers. And now, here come the ciderers. (OK, fine, it's cideries).
The newest wave of alcoholic beverages produced using New York ingredients has earned a week - well, 10 days - dedicated to its ascent, just in time for peak apple season. New York boasts the most cideries of any state, quickly approaching 100, a result of the 2013 Farm Cidery Bill.
Cider Week WNY, presented by Victor-based NY Cider Association and its executive director Jenn Smith, runs Aug. 17-26 and features cideries located between Buffalo and Rochester, with three specific producers - BlackBird Cider Works, Blackman Cider Co. and Steampunk Cider from Leonard Oakes - dwelling within The News' primary readership area.
While you can find the full schedule of events, below are five Buffalo-area events that have piqued our interest.
While presently perched on the shores of Lake Ontario, BlackBird has tentatively planned a September opening for its new Buffalo spot, at 155 Chandler St. in Black Rock.
*Axes and Apples, 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 20 at Hatchets and Hops (505 Main St.). The event, presented by Steampunk Cider, costs $30 and includes one free cider. Only 30 spots are available. Read more about Hatchets and Hops on Main Street.
*Nine Pin nine-tap takeover, 5 p.m. Aug. 24 at Colter Bay (561 Delaware Ave.). Free to attend. Table-top games of nine-pin bowling fit the event theme, too.
*Steampunk Festival, 5 to 10 p.m. Aug. 25 at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery (10609 Ridge Road, Medina). Cost is $15 in advance for general admission, $30 for VIP here. Drinks tokens, for $4.50 apiece, may be purchased in advance, too. Event goes on rain or shine.
In the NYCA press release, Smith mentioned how part of Cider Week's purpose is to expose new consumers to cider, which comes in an abundance of flavors and levels of sweetness.
Like the farm-to-table movement in restaurant kitchens, the orchard-to-bottle process is celebrated, highlighting the chain of production from rural orchards to the fermenters to consumers across the state.