Fall in Connecticut means different things to different people. For some, it’s corn mazes. For others, it’s pumpkin patches. For apple lovers, it’s apple picking—and farm-fresh apple cider! Whether you like it hot or cold, there’s just something about apple cider that screams fall—the sweetness, the tang, the little bursts of cinnamon and nutmeg and other spices—it’s enough to make you melt.
So if you’re looking for some fresh apple cider this fall, check out the farms and mills below. They’re Connecticut famous for producing the freshest, most flavorful cider around. If hard ciders and apple wines are your thing, you’re in luck: 3 of the mills here offer those as well.
Hogans Cider Mill in Burlington has been crafting its cider since 1912—more than 100 years! It’s actually been declared a historic site by the state. If you visit the mill, you’re free to walk around the grounds and even visit the original barn, which houses the mill’s old cider press. And if you’re looking for a more grown up treat, they make and sell hard ciders (and even offer free samples)!
Hogans is open from 10am–6pm seven days a week through Christmas.
Beardley’s in Shelton has been a working farm since 1849. The first apple trees were planted on the farmland in the 1920s, and since then the farm orchard has been producing its very own apple cider. The cider is made from apples that are either malformed or that are too small to sell, meaning that nothing is wasted, and is made in small batches for freshness.
To preserve the natural flavor of the apples, the cider is treated with UV light instead of heat pasteurization, something that sets it apart from most other cider producers; it takes a little longer, but the final product is worth the wait. They’re open 7 days a week from 10am–5:30pm.
This historic cider mill in Old Mystic dates back to 1881 and boasts itself as operating the only steam-powered mill in the whole country, making it a great mill for history and engineering buffs. In addition to traditional regular ciders, Clyde’s also offers hard ciders and apple wines for the adult crowd.
They’re open 7 days a week from September through December, 9am–5pm. Stop by on Saturday or Sunday for cider-making demonstrations (11am, 1pm, and 3pm in October; 11am and 1pm in November).
Bishop’s Orchard in Guilford has been crafting cider since the late 1930s. The cider is made from a blend of apples grown right there on the land, and it’s so popular that it can be found in a lot of stores around the state. In all honesty, it’s the cider I think of when I think of cider in Connecticut.
Like some of the other mills in this list, Bishop’s also offers 3 varieties of hard cider for adults and an array of wines. Bishop’s is open Monday through Saturday, 8am–7pm, and Sundays from 10am–5:30pm.
Located in Middlefield, Lyman Orchards has something for everyone, from a corn maze to a golf course to pick-your-own apples and a pumpkin patch. Is it any surprise that they’ve also got some amazing apple cider? Stop by the Apple Barrel Market to pick up a jug, and maybe one of their award-winning high-top apple pies while you’re at it. You won’t be sorry you did.
The Apple Barrel is open 7 days a week from 9am–7pm. Other features, like the corn maze, pick-your-own, and golf have different hours, so call ahead or check online before you head out.
Riverview Farms in South Glastonbury is another cider mill that makes for a great family day trip, especially if you’ve got little ones in your caravan. In addition to their amazing cider, they’ve got a hayride, a corn maze, Robb’s Ice Cream Shoppe, and even a petting zoo. You might go for the cider, but you’ll stay for everything else!
Riverview is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6, and Saturday and Sunday from 9am–6pm.
Have a favorite orchard that didn’t make out list? Let us know in the comments!