East Haddam Staehly Farm Winery’s hard cider wins awards at Big E

Hard cider made by Staehly Farm Winery of East Haddam earned the distinction of “Best Connecticut” and “Best in New England” at the 2021 Eastern States Exposition Gold Cider & Perry Competition in June.

Hard cider made by Staehly Farm Winery of East Haddam earned the distinction of “Best Connecticut” and “Best in New England” at the 2021 Eastern States Exposition Gold Cider & Perry Competition in June.

Staehly Farm Winery / Contributed photo

EAST HADDAM — Staehly Farm Winery’s hard cider earned the distinction of Best in Connecticut and Best in New England, as well as finished with several silver and bronze medals during the 2021 Eastern States Exposition Gold Cider & Perry Competition in June.

They included entries from the farm’s Yankee Cider Co.

The competition include entries from across the region, and a Best of State is featured for each of the participating New England states, according to a press release from owner Kevin Staehly.

An additional award, given for the highest-ranking cider in the competition, is dubbed Best in New England.

Yankee Cider Co., a Staehly brand, achieved distinction as the Best Connecticut Cider and Best Cider in New England. Yankee Cider entered a Tart Cherry Cider called “Washington’s Admission.” made from East Haddam-grown apples and tart cherries, the owner said.

The farm has been featured in the New York Times as one of the last growers in Connecticut to grow these cherries, the news release said.

The judges found the resulting hard cider to be exceptional in its quality, awarding it enough points to classify it as a “world-class example of the style,” the owner said. The award comes on the heels of the Big E’s 2019 Cider & Perry Competition, where Yankee Cider Company’s New England Dry also placed Best of Connecticut and Best of New England.

Yankee Cider Company opened an independent tap room, the first Farm Cidery Tap Room in Connecticut, on the north end of Staehly Farms at 23 Petticoat Lane in late 2019.

The tap room is open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. For information, visit yankeeciders.com.