Adams County hard cider maker named best in region

GARDNERS, Pa. (WHTM) – In the heart of Adams County’s apple country, you’ll find Big Hill Ciderworks.

This time of year, they’re very busy.

“I would say it is a little bit of a dirty job,” cider press operator Kyle Taylor said.

It is pressing day on the farm and the apples are about to be transformed.

“We crush them up into the consistency of mashed potatoes and then we press that through compressed air. We will yield about three-and-a-half to four gallons per bushel,” co-owner Ben Kishbaugh said.

The golden juice will ferment and turn into hard cider. They have been in business for only about two years, but the demand for their product is growing. Last year, they produced almost 5,000 gallons of hard cider.

“This year we are on track to do between 11,000 and 12,000 gallons, and next year we have set enough apples aside to do anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 gallons, so it is going to be a busy year,” Kishbaugh said.

With only three employees, the small business is already making a big impact. It has won awards at several international cider competitions and was recently named Best of The Main Line: Cider Maker.

“It was an eye opener just to think that something we make is being recognized that way, It is really cool,” Taylor said.

What makes Big Hill Ciderworks unique is their farm to table approach.

“We grow everything ourselves on our two farms, so we control the process literally from tree to bottle, which is really what we wanted to do,” Kishbaugh said.

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