Ciderhouse in Hadley revives a New England tradition

Daily Hampshire Gazette
October 26, 2012
Ben Storrow

HADLEY — It was about 10 years ago, in his grandmother’s garden in County Meath, Ireland, that Jonathan Carr of Hadley made an accidental discovery that would shape his career.

There were eight apple trees there, each with a specific culinary purpose, he knew. But his grandmother had long since died, so he and his father were left to figure out the trees themselves. Gradually, they determined which produced the best apples for pies, which were best for applesauce, which had the best eating apples and so on. But one tree still puzzled them.

So Carr decided to make vinegar with its produce. First, though, he made a batch of cider.

“The hard cider was so good I forgot about the vinegar,” Carr recalled with a laugh.

And so it was that his dream of starting a hard cider orchard was born.

It may have taken a decade, but finally this year Carr’s Ciderhouse on River Road here sold its first bottle of hard cider.