Rufus King Park
Talking about History: The History of Cider-making in New York
Sunday, October 13, 2013
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This lecture will be presented by Andy Brennan of Aaron Burr Cidery.
Cider was a popular and important beverage in America from colonial days to the mid-19th century. Safer than water, and easier and cheaper to produce than beer or wine, cider was typically the first drink of the day. An entry in Rufus King’s household account book for October 12, 1815 tells us that he “made 2 pipes Cider my own field apples . . . also 2 more pipes & 1 Barrel.” A pipe (from pipa, Portuguese for barrel) held 126 gallons; a barrel about 31.5 gallons. Therefore, King’s apple orchard produced 535 gallons of cider that season!
Cider's popularity faded for a variety of reasons. Urbanization and industrialization undermined this rural drink. A new wave of German and Eastern European immigrants arrived with a thirst for beer. Pests and cold winters destroyed orchards. But in the end, it was the Temperance movement of the mid-19th century, and later Prohibition, that dealt cider the devastating, and almost permanent, blow.
Today, apple cultivation and cider production are once again on the rise, especially in lower New York State, and Americans are rediscovering this once forgotten drink.
Sample ciders from Aaron Burr and other local cideries during the lecture.
Free, reservations required. Call (718) 206-0545 x13 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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