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June 17, 2015
Empire State Development Announces Angry Orchard Groundbreaking in Walden
New Cidery and Research-and-Development Center Features Local Apples and Small-Batch Ciders
Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Angry Orchard Cider Company officially broke ground on construction of its new cidery, tasting room, and hard cider research-and-development center, at its 60-acre apple orchard in the village of Walden, Orange County. New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball joined Angry Orchard and local and community leaders in raising a glass in celebration of the new facility.
“New York State has an abundance and variety of both apples and ingenuity, and with the Mid-Hudson’s cluster of wineries, breweries, and cideries, I can think of no better place for Angry Orchard to grow,” said ESD President, CEO, & Commissioner Howard Zemsky.
First launched in 2012, Angry Orchard is the number-one selling hard cider in the US, where cider consumption has nearly quintupled since 2010.
“The progress New York State has made in supporting the beverage industry is helping to grow our existing producers at a tremendous rate and attract new ones like Angry Orchard,” said NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball. ” As America’s best-selling cider, Angry Orchard’s new cidery will increase demand for our locally grown farm products – using New York State apples to make new varieties of cider – and add to the tourism draw of the Hudson Valley. We congratulate Angry Orchard and welcome them to New York State.”
"For some time now, we have been looking to establish a home for our cider research, and this orchard is perfect for us,” said Ryan Burk, Angry Orchard Cider Maker. “Not only does the orchard itself have a great history, but this region has such a vibrant group of apple growers and craft cider makers. Also, the town, state and a number of local organizations have all been very enthusiastic and cooperative in helping us establish roots in the region. Right now we're focused on this year's apple crop and also mapping out our research plan, but we really can’t wait to start making cider here in New York.”
The Crist Family, the orchard's previous owner, has a long history of growing apples in the region, and had owned the property since 1963. The family will continue to cultivate the orchard and retain all jobs associated with caring for and harvesting the land.
There are an estimated total of 47 operating cideries in New York State: 13 farm cideries, 18 cider producers, and 16 farm wineries that exclusively make cider. New York State is the second highest producer of apples in the country, with an estimated 1.26 billion pounds harvested last year, and home to 40,000 acres of apple orchards, where growers produced an average of 31,500 pounds of apples per acre. Last year's crop totaled $289 million, a 22 percent increase from 2013.
Empire State Development, New York’s chief economic development agency, provided Angry Orchard with $175,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credits, and Angry Orchard agreed to hire at least seven full-time employees through 2018 and invest $9.1 million in the new facility.
Angry Orchard intends to build a small cidery at the orchard with cider making equipment specifically designed for small-batch experimentation. Using different apple varieties, processes, recipes and ingredients, the cider makers will develop new ciders to offer visitors at the orchard and that may eventually become available nationwide. When the cidery opens in late fall, visitors will also be able to learn about how cider is made.
“I believe Walden is the perfect home for Angry Orchard,” said Senator Bill Larkin. “Creativity and innovation are often inspired by location and in this respect Angry Orchard got it right. The Hudson Valley offers an abundance of family-owned orchards, beautiful scenery and many other amenities that will highlight and build on the already well established brand of Angry Orchard.”
“I am happy to welcome Angry Orchard to New York,” said Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R,C-New Hartford). “This cidery will utilize New York’s unique variety of agricultural resources, while creating jobs and development in the Mid-Hudson Valley.”
“We are certainly excited to welcome Angry Orchard to Orange County,” said Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus. “It serves as another respected company that will bring new jobs to Orange County and promote economic development in the region. I look at this as a win for our community, and I look forward to working with Angry Orchard in the future.”
"We're very excited to welcome the Angry Orchard family into Walden," said Village of Walden Mayor Susan M. Rumbold. “They're going to be a wonderful asset to the community. They appreciate the beauty of the Hudson Valley, and they are the kind of company that appreciates the land and they respect it, and that's the kind of company that we want in New York State."
In October 2012, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo hosted New York's first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit where he brought together dozens of beer, wine, cider, and spirits producers, as well as farmers, industry officials, and tourism experts. The objectives were to find ways that NYS can continue to cut red tape, increase demand for locally grown farm products, and expand industry-related tourism and economic development. Since that time, continued growth and support have brought the beverage industry an enormous amount of success.
2015 Press Releases