OF CORES! Embrace the Essence of Maine's Apple Cider Culture and Sustainability

Published on 10 October 2023 at 16:49

Exploring the Flavors of Maine from the Inn at the Agora: Our Picks of the Peck


Welcome to the Inn at the Agora in Lewiston, Maine, your home away from home for a delightful getaway. Nestled in the heart of urban Lewiston, the Inn offers you a cozy and comfortable base to explore the rich apple cider heritage of Maine. There are apple orchards and cideries throughout Maine. Apples and warm apple cider donuts await! Sweet cider is a staple, but hard cider has made a comeback in Maine. You can find maps of cideries on Maine Cider Map & Directory – Cider Guide.   In this blog post, we will guide you through three distinct categories, each focused on a unique aspect of Maine's apple cider experience. Finally, we’ll reveal our overall top pick!



Large Producer Hard Cider Adventure


The Statewide Staple goes to...

Ricker Hill Mainiac Hard Cider Tasting Room (and Orchard) - Turner, ME


Ricker Hill is Maine’s largest producer of hard cider. Mainiac hard cider is served all over the state, as well as their non-alcoholic varieties. This multigenerational family-operated enterprise got its start from the original Ricker Hill Orchard in nearby Turner. “Our beautifully designed tasting room is right next to our cidery, and across from the original orchard. We have 18 taps pouring all our classic ciders, limited releases, and seasonal favorites. There's indoor and outdoor seating, as well as plenty of parking. All ages welcome.” Open daily Sunday- Wednesday 11:00 am -6:00 pm. Thursday-Saturday 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

11 Ricker Hill Rd, Turner, ME 04282. P: (207) 225-6165 W: rickerhill.com


Small Batch Hard Cider Adventure


1: Urban Farm Fermentory - Portland, ME

We recommend exploring small batch hard cider brings at Urban Farm Fermentory in Portland. This unique establishment specializes in crafting seasonal beverages through wild fermentation processes. Experience the flavors of locally foraged, harvested, and seasonal ingredients. Their offerings include hard cider, kombucha, mead, gruit, and more. They offer paired food and snacks. Sip on these refreshing creations and explore the community engagement hub that supports local artists, makers, and creatives. (207) 468-2639 E: info@fermentory.com W: https://www.fermentory.com



2: Portersfield Cider - Pownal, ME

Portersfield Cider, a farm-based conservation center in Pownal, has a reservation-only tasting room that is well worth the advanced planning. This orchard is home to over 225 apple and pear varieties, some in danger of extinction. Their mission is to reimagine hard cider production in Maine while conserving rare fruit trees. Sample small-batch ciders available only at their tasting room, paired with seasonal foods from local producers. “Our goal is to move cider from the barstool to a seat at the table. Dry, lightly sparkling, richly-flavored ciders go best with an aged cheese, good bread, and dinner with friends. Come explore cider and local food with us. Our tasting room has reopened for the 2023 season, by advance reservation only. Please see our RESERVATIONS page for more information.”  E:stillmangreen@yahoo.com W: http://www.portersfieldcider.com/



3. Norumbega Cidery

“Norumbega Cidery was founded in 2013 with the mission to rediscover past traditions and make a contribution to the present of the local and regional hard cider landscape. Situated on 17 acres of old farmland in southern Maine, Norumbega Cidery is a young and growing orchard, a cidery, a place of experimentation and tradition. We look forward to sharing with you the fruits of our efforts! Tastings are offered on weekends, weather permitting.”

Check Norumbega Cidery's Facebook page for the latest updates and availability. 207-370-2027 E: info@norumbegacidery.com W: https://www.norumbegacidery.com/home




Roadside Cider

The Top Roadside Stand goes to...

The Apple Barrel - Cumberland Center, Maine

Your journey into the world of Maine's apple cider doesn’t have to include a tasting room, or even an orchard for that matter! Maine is peppered with roadside stands that offer local favorites. Our pick for the best stand to get non-alcoholic apple cider and other goodies is The Apple Barrel in Cumberland Center. Just a short drive from Lewiston, this quaint roadside farm stand is a treasure trove of local agricultural products. Explore the bountiful selection of honey, maple syrup, preserves, and cider donuts. But the star of the show is their apple cider, available from September through November in various sizes to take home and enjoy.


Kid-friendly Adventures: Fun for the whole family



Tough to choose a favorite orchard, since each boasts their own unique collection of all things cider and apple-picking, as well as a range of fun activities and homemade goods on premises.


1: Thompson's Orchards - New Gloucester, ME

Bring the kiddos to Thompson's Orchards in New Gloucester. Established in 1906, this historic orchard allows kids (and the young at heart) the chance to ride in tractors—an experience that's bound to bring smiles to all faces. While you're there, indulge in some fresh cider and take in the rich history of the orchard.



2. Rocky Ridge Orchard (Bowdoin)

­“In the midst of quiet hay fields in Bowdoin, Maine–about 6 miles north of Mt. Ararat High School on Route 201–you'll find our orchard and bakery, featuring homemade pastries and breads, deli sandwiches, and Toot's ice cream as well as Maine made merchandise. Sample our fresh apple cider donuts while you look through our antiques and Maine gifts.” Horse-drawn wagon rides are available on weekends in September and October. Rocky Ridge is open until the end of October, every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 38 Rocky Ridge Lane, Bowdoin, ME 04287 (207) 666-5786 W: Rocky Ridge Orchard



Drumroll Please...

Now for our overall choice for all things cider and apple picking:


The winner is… Wallingford’s Fuit House, Auburn.

Let’s delve into why this takes the top spot. Wallingford’s Fruit House is only about a 15-minute drive from the Inn at the Agora. There, you can order a flight of Ricker Hill hard ciders, get in line to watch, as hot cider donuts are made from scratch and order yours. Two words that we must mention about our favorite location: Apple Dumplings. (YUMMY!) These amazing little treats are a MUST-try delight. Take the kids and enjoy PYO apples, a corn maze, and an outdoor play area. There is a large area with picnic tables and a big tractor that makes for great photo ops. Browse locally made goods, from jugs of sweet cider to homemade jam and handcrafted gifts, in the gift shop. Enjoy outdoor high-top seating with table umbrellas and pick out your favorite pumpkin to take home.  1240 Perkins Ridge Rd, Auburn, ME 04210 · ~4.7 mi   P: (207) 784-7958 W: wallingfordsorchard.com



As your memorable respite comes to an end, the Inn at the Agora is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy all the goodies you picked up on your adventure, cherishing the flavors and experiences of Maine's apple cider culture. Whether you explored the world of hard cider, non-alcoholic cider, or indulged in fresh apple cider donuts, your weekend was filled with the essence of Maine's apple heritage and sustainability.

So, pack your bags, set out on these incredible journeys, and let the beautiful Inn at the Agora be your warm and welcoming home throughout your apple cider adventure.

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