A Guide to Maine Cider

Buoyed by an interest in local food, gluten-free eating, and the ongoing enthusiasm for heirloom apples, the last few years have seen significant growth in Maine cider industry. There are now 19 cider makers in Maine with at least five additional producers under development.

Northern New England and upstate New York have a great climate for growing apples. There is currently a scarcity of specialty cider fruit but that’s being addressed by cider makers like Portersfield, Cornish and Whaleback that are planting new orchards, and in the meantime are harvesting apples from wild trees and old orchards from as far away as Canada.

A big step forward in the retail side of the business took place in 2019 with the launch two dedicated cider bars – Perennial in Belfast and Anoche in Portland – opened for business. It’s rare that I find a restaurant in Portland that doesn’t have at least one cider on their menu.

I’ve put together this page to provide an handy resource for me and my fellow cider enthusiasts to the producers, cider bars, bottle shops and events that are part of the emergent cider community in Maine.

Maine Cider Makers List
Here’s a list of cider producers in Maine that are in business—see the bottom of the list for ones under development. Please email me at anestes@portlandfoodmap.com if you know of one that’s missing from the list.

After Harvest Cider Company
After Harvest was founded in 2017. They use a “blend of traditional cider variety apples” from Kelly Orchard, and have produced 7 ciders: Farmouse Brett, Galena,  Nottingham, Regal Lager,  Royal Blue, Staghorn, Wild. Their production facility is located in Acton, Maine.
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Ayuh Cidah
Ayuh Cidah is a new cider producer that got underway in 2019. They produce their cider using fruit from Morrison Hill Orchard.
Morrison Hill Orchard, 272 Morrison Hill Rd, Farmington, Maine (map)
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Bent Bough Cider
Bent Bough was launched by Justin Glover and Laura Sieger in 2018. Their first production batch from 2017 was a collaboration with Rocky Ground (see below). It was made with “wild Maine apples…naturally fermented in oak barrels [and] bottle conditioned with Maine maple syrup”.
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Cornish Cider Company
Cornish was founded in 2017  by Jacqueline & Jared Carr. Their primary cider is Common Fruit, and also release a small batch series named Odd Fruit. They also make an excellent ice cider. Cornish is open by appointment only, call (207) 415-4607.
135 High Rd, Cornish, Maine 04020 (map)
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Deer Isle Cider Company
Deer Isle Cider in Stonington produces a sparkling cider pressed from foraged fruit from the from trees in Deer Isle and further afield in Maine. The cider is bottle conditioned. It’s available from a number of retail locations on Deer Isle and in Central Maine.

Freedom’s Edge Cider Company
Freedom’s Edge Cider launched in 2020. Their cider is available on draft at bars in Waterville, Augusta and Portland. There current year’s cider is a blend of ” McIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Northern Spy, Fameuse, Liberty, Baldwin, Dabinett, Newtown Pippin, Spartan, along with some wild seedlings.”.
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High Ridge Farm
High Ridge was founded by Andrew White and Kate Lafleur on a 35-acre farm in Montville. Their 2017 batch of Feet on the Ground is currently available. It’s wild fermented and pressed from apples harvested on their farm and others nearby. The cider was barrel-aged for one year prior to bottling. In the summer and fall of 2019 they held weekly cider dinners at the farm.
117 Choate Rd, Montville, ME 04941 (map)
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Kennebec Cider Company
Kennebec cider was founded in 2009 by Betsy and Ben Parks-Stamm who sold it to the present owners, Megan and Nathan Hall in 2015. They produce three primary ciders: Traditional, Blueberry and Quince, and have also made a ice cider, a pomme rouge (made with Niedzwetzkyana  apples) and a summer berry cider.
42 Case Rd, Winthrop, ME 04364 (map)
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Norumbega Cidery
Norumbega was founded in 2013. They’re located on a 17-acre property in New Gloucester. Current production includes the Classic Dry, Cyser, Spice and Berry Medley varieties.
380 Woodman Rd, New Gloucester, ME 04260 (map)
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Orchard Girls Cidery
Orchard Girls was founded by Marie Daigle and Daniel Gassett in 2019. They press Macintosh, Spencer, Macron, and Clapps apples to produce 8 ciders: Amoreena, Iðunn, La Dame Roûge, Chantico, Pomona, Charlotte, Gabby, Roseleigh.
375 Main Street, Kingfield, ME 04947 (map)
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Oyster River Winegrowers
Oyster River is a natural winery and cidery located in the Midcoast. Winemaker Brian Smith produces three ciders Wildman, Hoboken Station and Dry Cider. The winery was founded in 2010 and the first vintage of cider dates to 2012. They are distributed in Maine by Devenish Wines.
929 Oyster River Rd, Warren, Maine 04864 (map)
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Portersfield Cider
Portersfield was founded in 2015 by author, orchardist and cider maker David Buchanan. Portersfield forages wild Maine and heirloom apples to produce two primary ciders—Aronia and Traditional Dry— as well as a small batch series. Their small batch Ridlon 16/2 was a 2019 Good Food Award recipient. You can often find Portersfield at the weekend Portland Farmers’ Market in Deering Oaks Park.
255 Elmwood Road, Pownal, Maine (map)
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Ricker Hill Hard Cider
Ricker Hill Orchard dates back to 1803. The business began commercially producing cider in present century in 2014. Ricker Hill has three options in their present line-up: Maniac Gold, Maniac Mac and Maniac Gold with Cranberry.
11 Ricker Hill Rd, Turner, ME 04282 (map)
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Rocky Ground Cider, Newburgh
Abbey Verrier and Angus Deighan began planting their orchard in 2013 as part of a college class assignment. From that initial beginning they’ve gone on to be one of the more interesting an high quality producers of Maine cider. Their orchard in Newburgh along with foraged wild apples are used to produce 7 regular varieties of still and sparkling cider along with a small batch series entitled  Flora and Fauna. Their 2016 and 2017 vintages are currently available.
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Sweetgrass Winery & Distillery
Best known for the small batch Back River Gin, but also produce fruit-based wines including a bottle conditioned  sparkling cider pressed from “Stark, Wolfe River, Golden Russets, Northern Spy, Golden Delicious, Tolman Sweets, Macon, Spartan, Red Delicious, Empire and Baldwin” varieties. Their winery/distillery is located in Union but that have tasting rooms in Portland and Kennebunk.
324 Fore Street Portland, ME 04101 (map)
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The Sow’s Ear Winery
Sow’s Ear is located in Brookville on the Blue Hill peninsula north of Belfast. They produce a methode champenoise sparkling cider with apples sourced from the Sow’s Ear orchard and local wild trees. The cider is barrel-fermented with wild yeast. Sow’s Ear is Maine oldest cidery. Owner Tom Hoey began making cider in 1983 and launched his company commercially in 1991.
303 Coastal Road, Brooksville, Maine 04617 (map)
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Urban Farm Fermentory
UFF produces a traditional dry cider, along with ones made with hop, blueberries, and seaweed. Owner Eli Cayer and his team also produces kombuchas, juns, beers, and meads. UFF is located in the ‘Yeast Bayside’ neighborhood of Portland.
200 Anderson St, Portland, ME 04101 (map)
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Whaleback Farm Cider
Whaleback was founded by Gene Cartwright and is located on his farm and orchard in Lincolnville. Whaleback has produced 10 varieties of cider including ciders blended with peaches, plums, grapes, elderberries and aronia. The apples and other fruit are grown on their orchard on the coast of Maine. Their ciders are fermented with natural yeast and barrel-aged before bottling. Their newest cider is Forager’s Blend pressed from wild foraged apples.
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Winterport Winery
Winterport was founded in 2001 by Michael and Joan Anderson. They produced a number of pear and apple-based wines and ciders as well as other fruit wines.
279 South Main St, Winterport, ME 04496 (map)
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There are also several cider makers in various stages of development. Follow them on instagram and facebook to keep track of their progress:

Bars
There are two excellent cider bars located in Maine.

  • Anoche – Anoche is a cider bar and restaurant located on Washington Avenue in Portland. Owner Erika Colby is a 10-year alum and co-wner of Novare Res. She and her team serve a line-up of draft and bottled ciders from the US and Europe, Basque-inspired dishes, and gin-based cocktails. During the pandemic Anoche is operating a cider-to-go takeout window.
  • Perennial Cider Bar – Perennial opened in April 2019 in a subterranean space at 84 Maine Street in Belfast. Owner Khristopher Hogg and team serve “traditional and heritage hard ciders from Maine and beyond, along with dishes inspired by the products of our local farms, forests, and coastline”. During the pandemic, Perennial has outdoor seating set-up on Maine Street.

Bottle Shops
This markets and wine shops have especially good selection of ciders from Maine and away:

Cider Events
There aren’t yet any cider events in Maine on the scale of Maine Beer Week or Portland Wine Week. However, some related events worth checking out are:

Further Reading
For more information on Maine cider and cider makers see these articles in Down East and Press Herald, from the Maine Farmland Trust.