There has always been a lot to like about Clark Farms at Bushy Hill Orchard, what with the blueberry and apple-picking, the cider donuts, the fresh veggies, honey and a now a new chef with some very progressive ideas about breakfast and other meals, but the newest addition has added an exciting element: a great bar serving hard cider!
The project began when Becky and Alan Clark realized they had way more apples than they knew what to do with. They had more than they needed to make the amount of cider they sell, but not enough to wholesale. They needed another outlet, and decided on making hard cider, which would take care of the overabundance of apples problem and help diversify the farm in the process.
The Clarks consulted with a national expert on cider and wine, and in 2019 began getting approvals from the town, the state and the federal government, in that order. Getting the equipment, learning how to make the cider, and building the bar began during the COVID year and they were ready to start serving this April. The cider bar has proved to be very popular!
There are four flavors of the hard cider: Bear Essentials, which is flavored with honey (of course); Sweet Surrender, sweetened with sugar; Ruddy Wild, a dry cider with cranberry; and B.N.D., also a very dry type. For the summer, you can get Sweet Surrender and Ruddy Wild as a slushie. You can also get a “flight,” which is a sampler of all four flavors, or a “growler,” in sample or full size. The bar also makes Bellinis and Mimosas during the Saturday and Sunday breakfast hours (starting at 9 a.m.), during which patrons can enjoy live jazz music from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch and dinner are available Thursday through Saturday, noon to 8 p.m., closing at 5 p.m. on Sunday. All of these meals can be enjoyed outside as well as inside, as the Clarks have added two levels of patios with tables and umbrellas at the side of the building.