September 27, by Nathaly Pesantez
A cidery and accompanying on-location restaurant is wrapping up construction in Bushwick, where it will become the first cidery/restaurant combination in the city when it opens its doors in November.
Brooklyn Cider House, the name of the award-winning hard cider with roots in 2014, will prepare and serve hand-crafted ciders paired with “cider-centric gastronomy” in a nearly 15,000 square-foot space at 1100 Flushing Ave, the former site of a meat packing and receiving factory. The site includes a tasting room, a restaurant, bar, and cidery.
Freshly pressed juice will be brought to Brooklyn from the cidery’s 200-acre Hudson Valley farm, where fermentation will be done on premises, according to Lindsey Storm, the cidery’s project manager and “cider goddess”. The massive interior will seat diners in communal tables, who will shift to the cidery’s tank room between courses, with foods like cider-braised chorizo, to taste a selection of ciders, a process inspired by typical cider houses of Spain. The bar area will also have its own menu of staples like olives, almonds, and cheeses.
“The goal is to showcase cider, in addition to what we’re producing,” Storm said. “When people have a more tactile relationship to it and see the ciders, the deeper the appreciation and excitement for it can be.”
The Brooklyn Cider House currently makes five types of ciders, all of which have won awards: Kinda Dry, Half Sour, Bone Dry, Still Bone Dry, and Raw. The ciders are made from harvested apples, where they are fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged between two to 18 months. In addition to serving their own ciders, the Brooklyn Cider House will offer ciders from around the world and apple-based spirits.
The Brooklyn Cider House was founded in 2014 by Peter Yi, once a wine buyer and owner of PJ Wine, after a visit to a traditional cider house in the Basque Country that inspired him to open his own. The ciders are currently made at Twin Star Orchards, the Hudson Valley farm that is also the sight of a cidery, tasting room, farm store, and food pavilion.
The Bushwick site was initially set to open in late 2016, but the process of turning a warehouse into a restaurant and cider proved challenging to The Brooklyn Cider House team. The cidery, set to open some time in November, will be open year round, and will also host education workshops and tastings.
“Seeing the dream realized is unfathomable—quite wondrous,” Storm said. “The goal is to get people excited about cider, and not see it as an alternative. It’s an evolving, delicious beverage.”