Glynwood launched the Cider Project in 2010 with a travel exchange between French and American producers of hard apple cider, the outcome of which was a shared vision formed by a vanguard of local cider makers to establish their product as the signature beverage of our region. We have since launched a series of initiatives and collaborations under the Cider Project auspices that have broadened opportunities for the region’s apple growers and have supported the production of orchard-based hard cider.
Distinctive products like hard cider evoke a local food culture and sense of place that is closely tied to agriculture, in addition to garnering more profit for farmers. Recognizing these opportunities while addressing the still-real obstacles faced by our farming community, our goal was to foster a cider market in the Hudson Valley as the linchpin in a chain of positive social, environmental, economic and community benefits.
We created Cider Week as a way to connect trade professionals to farm-based cider producers in the region, while also increasing public awareness and appreciation. In seven consecutive years, Cider Week has grown from a series of marketing events for producers and retailers into a fully governed statewide trade association of more than 60 members, buoyed by hard cider’s increasingly large stake in the nation’s beverage industry. Ciders of the Hudson Valley is a branding effort we developed on behalf of the original group of producers who participated in our Apple Exchange, plus new cideries that have since launched. The campaign includes an illustrated map of 28 different cideries and distilleries in the Hudson Valley, inspired by Napa and Sonoma’s imprimatur as a destination for regional product (wine).
For its next phase, Glynwood is returning to the “roots” of the Cider Project. We are currently addressing the need for more cider apple production in the Hudson Valley, as a profit opportunity for growers and to further distinguish orchard-based products in the market. As part of this process, we have identified the need for additional cultural exchanges, further education on cider apple varieties and continued market research in an evolving industry.