8503 Lower Lake Road
Barker, NY 14012
About the Cidery:
“BlackBird Cider Works is proud to be Niagara County’s sole craft hard cider producer. Nestled on a beautiful farm overlooking Lake Ontario, we produce hard ciders made from apples grown in our own orchard. We boast a variety of ciders ranging from dry to sweet, including some made from certified organic apples. Our on-property tasting room is open seven days a week, offering samples of our current craft cider selection, as well as bottle sales. Stop by the cidery for a tasting, grab some BlackBird merchandise, and discover why we’re Western New York’s premier craft cider producer. Cheers!”
So, my first honest opinion is holy crap is this place out in the middle of nowhere. But honestly, it’s about an hour north of Buffalo, or 45 minutes west of Niagara Falls/Lewiston but the drive is gorgeous. With sprawling views of Lake Ontario throughout the drive and an incredibly open feeling once you arrive at the cidery/orchard. Honestly I was hoping it would be worth the drive, but once I got there I wish I had driven out to BlackBird sooner!
Probably the most interesting part is that this is on the Niagara Wine Trail because the cidery makes both lightly carbonated and still ciders — which are ciders without carbonation (making them similar to a wine).
The pricing was great, at the time I visited (June 2015) they were VERY reasonable:
$3.00 to sample your choice of four of our fine craft hard ciders.
$5.00 to sample your choice of three of our fine craft hard ciders and keep your souvenier tasting glass.
$5.00 – Groups of 15+ (requires advance reservation)
Special tastings are often offered, inquire upon arrival.
The tasting room staff was very knowledgeable about their products and I got a chance to meet the cider-maker and ask her a few questions (which was even better).
I tried a bit of everything–from the dry to the sweet, and I seemed to lean more towards the carbonated over the stilled, but there wasn’t a cider that I didn’t like.
I also took home a growler (they do both 32 and 64 oz fills) of the limited Buffalo Bluegrass NYS Tart Cherry Cider — wow is it good (pictured below)
Overall, I am definitely more of a beer guy over a cider man, but this place was really cool and definitely worth the drive out to Barker, NY — I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Thanks! And until the next beer!