Rowan Asher Winery (RAW WINERY)

ROWAN ASHER WINERY R.A.W Urban Winery & Hard Cidery

Pocono Mountains First Urban Winery and Hard Cidery makes Napa Style Wines and Craft Small Batch Hard Ciders. Visit our 2 Tasting Room locations in Stroudsburg close to the Pocono Resorts.

Filtering by Tag: apples

And so it became their water

Hard cider, some say it's a fad, a girly drink, while some say "it's too sweet for me", others say it's like wine while others compare it to beer. Just what is this fermented beverage and where did it start?

For a detailed answer visit:


We however will sum it up for you....


Hard Cider is made from apples. Many varieties of apples are blended together and pressed into fresh apple cider. The fresh pressed cider is then fermented using the natural wild yeast from the apples or a cultivated yeast is added to begin fermentation, much the same as how wine is made. Over the next few weeks the sweet apple cider will begin to lose it sweetness because the yeast will eat up all the natural sugars resulting in a dryer fermented beverage that is surprisingly not very reminiscent of apples. They range from about 6.5% ABV up to 8.5 %ABV.

But where did it come from? Early in US history the first settlers had experienced the devastating effects of drinking unclean water. So after settling in America, they started fermenting fresh apple cider into hard apple cider as a daily beverage and so it became their water for both young and old alike. For centuries it was the drink of choice and old recipes were brought from their homeland in Europe.

During the time of the prohibition In the U.S., countless cider apple trees orchards were cut down and burned, making the common hard apple cider a rarity in many parts of the United States. 




In recent years with the return of curated goods and handcrafted items as well as craft beverages, hard cider has seen a revival. 

A young hard cider from Rowan Asher Winery & Hard Cidery  

A young hard cider from Rowan Asher Winery & Hard Cidery  

For many who have tried commercial hard apple cider, you could agree that it resembles sweet bubbly apple juice because of the punch of flavorings, juice and sugary sweetness that has been added after fermentation. That's how commercialism has catered to the super sweet tooth of the US consumer.

But if this was your only introduction to Hard Ciders, then you have been mislead. Allow me, a Hard Cideress, to properly introduce you to the amazing world of handcrafted hard ciders! Because handcrafted "homemade" hard ciders are quite different....

It has a wonderfully old-fashioned appeal and as a craft it just feels wholesome. You can taste the fermentation and alcohol in real hard cider and it is amazing! 

There are a vast array of the ciders being made in the states today, from sour or spiced ciders to fruity, while others have been introduced to hops or aged whiskey bourbon barrels, like our "Oaky O'Shea". The amount of carbonation varies as well as levels of dryness from dry, off dry, semi dry, semi sweet and sweet. Different types of yeasts are used from white wine yeast to ale yeast and champagne yeast and these all affect the final product and taste preferred. It can be purchased in cans, bottles and some cider tasting bars like the one at have a growler program, where you can return the growler for a discounted refill of ciders on tap.

All of these variations allow for endless creativity as well as bountiful flavors in this newly "tapped" Market. So why not look online and find your local Hard Cidery and sample a few sips of Americas oldest beverage. 


You can find cideries on the newly formed North East Cider Trail that is working to unite Virginia to Maine. Check out


Seed to Sip

Driving home tonight from a workshop on fermentation and chemistry in making hard apple cider, I found the demographics of the classroom to be quite interesting. Being in the wine industry for some time, there is a certain stereotype among my fellow wine makers and enthusiasts, however the demographics of today's workshop was quite different from that. I found myself feeling quite honored to be around these men and farmers that I respect so much for their years of valuable experience working the land, having sleepless nights during the snowy season hoping their crops would survive and how poetically they spoke of the beautiful infrastructure of their orchards.

Can't you just taste them, the fresh produce of summer? 

Can't you just taste them, the fresh produce of summer? 

Having only green eyes and not green thumbs, we source our fresh pressed apple cider from a local farmer in our community and I am quite emamored by these strong knowledgeable men. I'm sure we all respect farmers for what they produce for us on a daily basis, when we remember to. But overall I think we may take them for granted.


Think of the summer farmers markets full of green luxurious produce that makes us feel wholesome and healthy just by looking at it, sweet apple cider and pumpkin pies that magically appear just in time for the fall harvest, do we forget to thank the tireless effort of our local farmers? I'm sure we all do, I for one know that I am guilty of it. But a wealth of knowledge is available from these dear ones who don't ask for glory, yet provide to us the sustenance we need to feed our little children and ourselves. Beautiful "farm to table" meals are grown by our local farmers. 

Farm to table, poached pears

Farm to table, poached pears


These were the men I was surrounded by tonight. Many of them, like myself, have begun creating a new genre among the craft beverage industry and that is what has united myself with these respected men.

They really know what it means to go from seed to sip. 

A special thank you to Mary from and Denise, Carla and Erin from Penn State Extention, also Eric Shatt from Redbyrd Cider for your instruction at the "Seed to Sip" workshop.