Sometimes you have to leave home to find out just who you are and to discover what you’re truly called to do. Sometimes, when you do, you also realize that home is the very best place to be the very best version of you. And the best place to make your dreams come true.
Out in Canisteo, on the slow curve of a dusty country road, you’ll find the grand rustic production facility and tasting room for Cider Creek Hard Cider carefully placed beside a small stream meandering through the 2,500 acre family farm.
And while you might take one look and think, yeah, this place was meant to be right here, it wasn’t something that was at the front of cider maker and self-proclaimed mad scientist Kevin Collins’ consciousness when he grew up in the small town. Or even when he left home to explore the world.
Living in the Boston area some years later, selling dental equipment as a profession, Kevin also dedicated some of his time to his passion for home cider-making and to perfecting a family recipe. Folks who were lucky enough to try his efforts early on knew he was onto to something special.
Eventually, he and his wife (and business partner) Melanie returned to his family’s farm nestled in the hills of Canisteo where they built the tasting room in 2015.
From these humble country roots, Cider Creek has spent the past several years generating quite a buzz in the world of craft beverages. In addition to brewing some of the most creative, outrageously good hard ciders out there, Kevin and Melanie are creating a unique destination for craft beverage lovers from near and far.
They realized early on that creating a memorable experience is as important as crafting incredible ciders which is why they are dedicated to providing a wide variety of New York State farm ciders, brews, and wines, a wonderful atmosphere, and some tasty foods, all set in a stunning location that’s sure to inspire you to slow down, catch your breath, and savor the good times.
Receiving acclaim from established craft brew aficionados like Will Cleveland from Democrat & Chronicle who wrote “Kevin and Melanie Collins have established Canisteo, Steuben County, as a craft beverage destination” and from travel writers like Malerie Yolen-Cohen from Huffington Post who stated: “In just three years, little out of the way Cider Creek . . . has medaled in every Hard Cider category worldwide, and in 2017 was the 3rd most awarded cidery on the planet.”
Not that accolades are everything, but they do sometimes provide a gauge as to just how well one’s efforts are being received by certain experts. So it might be of note to mention that in 2017 Cider Creek was the most awarded farm cidery in the United States and is, to date, New York State’s most warded farm cidery.
Creative, funky, and progressive in their brewing methods and recipes, Cider Creek proudly uses 100% New York State apples and they never add water, sugar, artificial flavors or sweeteners to their products. You can taste the difference.
Away from the lakes that give the region its name, and away from the wine trails (and the sort of well-deserved hype to be expected for one of the world’s top, yet still under-the-radar, wine regions), this small cidery located on the family farm where Kevin’s father, Dr. A. Byron Collins spent over 50 years raising Black Baldy and Hereford cattle has been turning heads around the world.
There are plans to continue to make Cider Creek more than a brand for exceptional ciders, but a complete destination by adding some sort of accommodations on the property at some point. And did we mention, the Canisteo tasting room is located on the Finger Lakes Trail, making it a wonderful detour or add on experience for day hikers and those seeking outdoor activities?
The tasting room and production facility also lends itself for a stay-awhile-and-relax vibe with a fireplace surrounded by rocking chairs, an expansive country porch, an open lawn, and the awesome fire pit tucked in down by the stream.
Add in wood-fired pizzas, craft beer and wine from New York State Farm breweries and cideries, and you’ve got yourself the perfect spot for an afternoon.
There’s more, of course, but we suggest you stop by yourself to get the full effect. If you aren’t able to make it out to Canisteo, but find yourself in the Hammondsport area, stop by the satellite tasting room just off the Village Square for some exceptional libations. You can learn more about Cider Creek at CiderCreekHardCider.com.