Harvest Hosts is an incredibly unique RV membership program. Through this program, members are granted access to 2445+ host locations across North America for overnight accommodations with no camping fees. To support each of these businesses, members typically make a small purchase of wine or produce or whatever it is that the business is selling or offering. Locations include establishments such as farms, wineries, breweries, museums, restaurants, attractions, and more. An excellent example of one of our amazing hosts is Sterling Cidery in the village of Fair Haven within Sterling, New York. The one-of-a-kind location is a working craft cidery in a beautiful town by Lake Ontario. Continue on to learn all about the location, its history, the business today, and its joining of the Harvest Hosts program.
Sterling Cidery originally began operating in Sterling, New York with owners Amy and Bobby Malo. Just about two years ago, the Malos approached Brandon Furber and his wife Jana, along with Jana’s sister Lesley Gould and Craig Arnold and asked if they would be interested in purchasing the business. At that time, Brandon had about twenty years experience in making hard cider. However, he had yet to take his skills to the next level in a business sense. After agreeing to purchase the business, Brandon, Jane, Lesley and Craig reopened Sterling Cider under their ownership in June of 2019.
Since that time, the business has expanded to include a variety of food options, as well as New-York-made wines, spirits, and crafts, in addition to the cider that they were already brewing. At the time of their reopening, they also set a goal to produce 100% of their own cider. Previously, they had been producing about 75% of their own cider and supplementing it with other local ciders.4
The Business Today
Today, Sterling Cidery has achieved their goal of making all of their craft ciders in house and by hand, starting with fresh-pressed juice made exclusively from local apples found in Cayuga, Wayne, and Oswego counties. In fact, some of their apples even come from another of our favorite local Harvest Hosts locations, Ontario Orchards. They take pride in maintaining the natural apple flavor and aroma as they transform the fresh juice into delicious hard cider. In addition to making all of their own cider, they have also begun to offer light fares, such as bread, pretzels, appetizers, and small pizzas. The menu and availability is continually changing, so be sure to double check what they are currently serving if you are wanting to enjoy good with your cider.
More recently, Sterling Cidery has also placed a huge emphasis on maintaining a sense of community surrounding the cidery. “It’s not a bar – it’s where the community comes together,” part-owner Brandon Furber said. “When tourists come here they say they feel part of the community, and that’s what we want.” Part of the push for community includes an emphasis on local music. Front porch jam sessions are a common occurrence around here, and they occasionally host back-lawn concerts as well.
Joining Harvest Hosts
Sterling Cidery joined the Harvest Hosts program within the past year. They of course offer cider tastings and sales, but they also offer wine and beer. In addition, they have a small gift shop selling alcohol-themed and locally-made gifts and souvenirs. The cidery can be found in the downtown area of Sterling, with many other attractions within walking distance. This includes the Little Sodus Bay of Lake Ontario just a few short blocks away. Currently, they offer two pet-friendly spaces for RVs under thirty-five feet in length.
Sterling Cidery is a unique location, perfectly displaying the excellence of the Harvest Hosts experience. Be sure to stop by on your next trip by beautiful Lake Ontario!
Have you ever visited Sterling Cidery? Do you enjoy craft cider? Feel free to share in the comments below!
Cover Photo Credit: Shady Shores Campground
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