When the old Bottle Shop moved into the former Central Hudson building between Main and Water Streets the term “artisanal cider” was not in everyone’s vocabulary. Fast forward to July 2020, and the newly restored basement entrance leads to Left Bank Ciders in Catskill.
Despite the region being heavily populated by wild apple orchards, the “hard cider craze” never really made its way to Greene County. Owner’s, Tim, and Anna did not want to play into the fad of ciders but instead fell into it from a passion of sustainability and hyper-locality.
The subterranean Cidery is a young and funky addition to Catskill’s ever-growing artisanal businesses. Anyone who has ever visited the area has romanticized about remodeling and opening a business like this. The attention to detail and craftsmanship of the building can be attributed to Tim and Anna’s creativity and visionary skills. Tim’s background in sculpture created an easy transition for their vision. The bar, booths, cider tap line is all repurposed from gas lines, wood from the ceilings. There is even an old mailbox to pay your electric bill hidden in brewing area.
Tim and Anna’s ethos comes from their background working at a neighborhood compost program downstate. Tim and Anna noticed how many apples a local farmer could not commercially use based on consumer standards. Making alcohol was not new to the couple. When Tim went to school in Chicago, he met Dave, who is also a partner and huge influence in the business. Initially, they began experimenting making mead but this soon turned into a bigger passion project. Two years later, Left Bank Ciders successfully opened their doors in Greene County.
Last year’s season produced apples that are used in their current batches. Everything from crab apples, to foraged apples and since opening they have received countless offers from customer’s backyard trees including pears. Left Bank Ciders embraces what the Hudson Valley and Catskill are home to – creativity and local bounty.
Their ingenuity manifested itself into their products as well. They are proud of having something to experiment with to keep it fun and interesting. The recipes may not be the same twice, but their passion for the craft shines the second you take a sip.
The back patio was a “year-two plan” but that addition that went up in less than 2 weeks with the help of a repurposed fence, and fortunately expedited by Greene County Government. Despite COVID being in the equation, Left Bank Ciders has seen unconditional support from the community including local breweries, the County legislature, and thirsty customers.
“Wherever possible we reused everything that was here - even with the equipment. All our equipment is preowned…Max and Zane from Subversive Malting + Brewing helped us out a lot when we started. They sold us a bunch of used tanks that are integral to our operation and just generally gave us advice and assistance when we needed it. Jeannine from Crossroads Brewery also helped us, giving advice on layout and design in the early stages of planning.”
Left Bank Ciders embraces the local breweries and distilleries by expanding their menu to carry other beverage options.
“It is a great community to be a part of and we are so lucky and thankful to have landed here! “We try to direct customers to each other's places and hope to make Catskill a beverage destination! The breweries really help each other out and are more collaborative than competitive and that feels so positive.”
Follow Left Bank Ciders on Instagram here.
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