“We source all our ingredients for the cider from the farm. We also grow hops on the farm for our beer,” said Co-owner of Indian Ladder Farms, Dietrich Gehring.
The farm first planted their hops three years ago. While New York State ranks second in the country for the number of breweries and distilleries according to Empire State Development, Gehring says this investment is not risk-free. “It can be a little challenging to figure out what to plant and when and what will fall in and out of favor.”
And not everything goes to plan. Freezes and floods hit farms hard in Massachusetts and Vermont at different times this year. New York was no exception.
“We consider ourselves fairly lucky. Some orchards lost everything and aren’t even open for pick-your-own this year, especially in western Massachusetts. We are going to have a smaller crop this year. described Gehring.
Not all vendors had to grow from the ground. Yeast did years of work for War Cannon Spirits from the comfort of their barrels. “In order for it to be a proper whiskey, it has to age at least two years. Fortunately, we’ve had stuff sitting and aging for around two to five years,” explained Sales Representative, Rich Morrison.