The planning and preparation took about four years, but now this new local business is finally drawing on the fruits of its labor.
LANCASTER, NY – After four years of planning and preparation, a new cider house and brewery have opened in Lancaster.
Clarksburg Cider is located on 17 acres on Walden Avenue near Ransom Road. Customers can try a number of handcrafted hard ciders, craft cider cocktails, and menu items, many of which are infused with cider.
“Our goal is really to introduce cider to everyone, and if they have a Clarksburg, that’s great! If they have another of New York State’s great ciders, that’s fantastic too. Our hope is that this just presents them with a new drink that they can start making from their staple, âsaid Bryan Lefauve, Vice President and Owner.
Chief cider maker Edward Graves grew up making apple cider with his father and grandfather, so the transition to hard cider making came quite naturally to him. For him, it is partly science, partly art, mixed with experimentation and a lot of excitement.
One of her favorite creations is a pineapple and hibiscus cider.
âI’ve always wanted to use hibiscus. I’ve always thought it was an interesting ingredient. I didn’t know how many to use. That’s the truth behind it all,â Graves said.
After some trial and error, he crafted what he says is a perfect blend of purple and fruity.
CEO and owner Michael Robb got the idea to start a cider house from his father, who has a working farm in the hamlet of Clarksburg, hence the name of the company. They planted an orchard three years ago and plan to continue expanding it each year.
They also planted a small orchard on the cider house property in Lancaster. There’s not enough yield yet, so they make cider with Mayer Brothers Cider Mill juice. Once the orchards produce enough apples, they will use them in their cider production.
The faucet room has been open for about six weeks, but their canned product has been on the market since the first week of April.
âIt’s very new. It’s extremely exciting. We love all the buzz we get, and for me one of the most rewarding things is being here in the reception hall and going around and to get feedback, âRobb said.
The menu features local and New York State produce, such as meats, cheeses, and produce. Meats are smoked on site, and there are wood-fired pizzas and vegetarian and vegan options.
General Manager Jon Robare describes the menu as high but accessible.
âWe did as much as possible with New York State ingredients. We worked with local farmers and with local suppliers to try to source as much as possible from New York,â said Robare.
There are special seasonal ciders and a winter edition will be announced in a few weeks. Graves said it showcases classic holiday flavors.
It also uses different wood barrels to achieve different flavor profiles. Cider is kept in barrels that held wine, whiskey, and even tequila so those flavors are infused into the cider.
There’s a huge outdoor patio, lawn games, fire pits, three ponds – and it’s dog friendly, complete with a dog water fountain.
Clarksburg Cider is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended for full service meals. The bar is first come, first served.