When you envision a PA cidery, perhaps you imagine a rustic, refurbished barn on the grounds of a beautiful orchard, with rolling hills in the background. To be sure, there are plenty of lovely cideries in the Commonwealth that look much like this, and they offer a unique experience of tasting cider just steps away from where the apples were grown.
But, countryside taprooms aren’t the only shape that Pennsylvania cideries take. In fact, there are a growing number of urban cideries open on Main Streets and in busy urban neighborhoods, bringing in country-grown apples or pressed juice, and making cider on site. Urban cideries are a fun way to enjoy the incredible range of Pennsylvania ciders in an unexpected environment!
Here are urban cideries of Pennsylvania that you’ve got to check out:
History buffs: This one’s for you! Arsenal Cider House is a Civil War-thematic winery and cidery specializing in small-batch, handcrafted hard apple cider, fruit/grape wines and meads. Arsenal first opened in 2008 with its flagship location in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, just steps away from the historic Allegheny Arsenal, for which it’s named. This bustling spot offers 13 ciders, meads and wines on tap.
In the years since, it’s expanded to open two more PA locations: one in Dormont, PA, which is a cider house featuring food from Haversack Sandwich Co.; the other is its Farm Cider House in Wexford, PA, on site at Solebury Orchards in Bucks County.
Product highlights: Grierson’s Ginger Apple Cider, Broken Hearts are for Apples (Stayman Winesap cider), Harris’s Farmhouse Cider
300 39th St., Pittsburgh, PA; (412) 682-7699; 2905 W. Liberty Ave., Dormont, PA; (412) 403-6174; 2537 Brandt School Rd., Wexford, PA; (724) 777-2402.
Another popular cidery in Pittsburgh is Threadbare Cider, which has a full-fledged bar and restaurant in Troy Hill. Guests gather in the lofty tasting room or around picnic tables on the dog-friendly patio to sip house and experimental ciders, Wigle Whiskey barrel-aged cocktails and craft pizzas. It does a bustling brunch, as well (hello, breakfast pizza!)
Tours of the cidery are available, and the events calendar is always stacked with fun happenings, like movie trivia, craft markets and more! Threadbare’s cidery is also home to a bottle shop, for sales to-go.
Product highlights: Gin Barrel Rested Cider, No Ordinary Apple (a single varietal Arkansas Black cider), Bouquet de Rosé
1291 Spring Garden Ave., Pittsburgh, PA; (412) 322-5100.
Located right in the middle of Lancaster’s charming downtown, Levengood’s of Lancaster became the city’s first urban cidery when it opened in 2017. Though it was closed for a spell during the pandemic, this lively location is back open, holding regular hours Thursday through Sunday. Grab a seat at the comfortable bar for a warm soft pretzel to pair with a draft pour or cider flight. The walls are adorned with local art, and there are board games to play for extra fun!
Product highlights: Cranberry Cider, Sunrise Cider (with orange, grapefruit and pineapple), On the Porch (peach mango cider)
219 W. Walnut St., Lancaster, PA; no phone.
If you like magic and fun local beverages, we can’t think of a better place for you to visit! Grand Illusion Hard Cider is a cidery plus a cider and wine bar that boasts the biggest selection of Pennsylvania cider on draft in the world. You’ll find its own housemade ciders, other PA ciders, and a rotating selection of five PA beers and eight PA wines on draft. On the food side, there are bountiful gluten-free options on the dinner and brunch menus. If you have any questions about the extensive cider list, just ask the staff, all of whom are Cider Certified Professionals, certified through the program run by the American Cider Association.
On Monday nights, a house magician travels from table to table for spooky and mysterious tricks, and live music is often on offer. There are even escape rooms you can book to make a whole afternoon or evening of it!
Product highlights: Blue Illusion (blueberry lavender cider), Presto Peach, London Pub Cider
26 W. High St., Carlisle, PA; (717) 462-4716.
Tucked off Philadelphia’s hyper-touristy South Street, find Hale & True, a modern, stylish tasting room, serving a selection of modern ciders made in-house (you can see the tanks right from the bar!). Choose from its core line of ciders or special seasonal releases, as well as cider-based cocktails, PA beers and a small selection of local wines. Food options include a menu of small plates; outside food is also welcome.
Product highlights: The Standard, Hail to the Hopped, The Season (cider with cranberries and maple syrup)
613 S. 7th St., Philadelphia, PA; (267) 639-4334.
You’ll find friends and neighbors gathered and sipping on tasty ciders at Five Maiden’s tasting room in downtown Bethlehem’s South Side. There is always great entertainment available, like games and live music, as well as a rotating roster of food trucks providing cider-friendly bites. Try one of Five Maiden’s ciders, made with locally sourced fruit, or one of the Pennsylvania wines, cocktails and beers available. Its popular mug club includes lots of benefits, like early access to new cider releases, merchandise discounts and a free birthday cider.
Product highlights: Valence (sweet and tart cherry cider), Cider Donut Cider, Semi-Dry
327 Polk St., Bethlehem, PA; (610) 295-9260.
Experimental is the name of the game at Space Time Mead & Cider Works, a small production winery/cidery on the outskirts of Scranton. Innovative, boundary-pushing ciders, including harvest ciders, perries, and cysers, are what you’ll find when you visit its small retail space. This isn’t a bar or tasting room per se (there’s no seating and food), and is primarily available for scheduled tastings for small groups, or to-go retail shopping.
Product highlights: Earthbound Pear (semi-dry perry), Dark Gravity (local cider blended with local wildflower honey), Apple Centauri (cider made with apples from Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties)
419 S. Blakely St., Dunmore, PA; (570) 504-5758.