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The Nation’s Best Apple Picking Farm: Beak & Skiff

The Nation’s Best Apple Picking Farm: Beak & Skiff

It’s peak apple picking season in Central New York, and Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards has new attractions this fall to entertain the entire family. The family-run farm for five generations has expanded its facilities in order to accommodate a brand new café and tavern.

Aside from the fun apple picking, cool summer concert series, and pony rides for kids on the weekends, Beak & Skiff has added a cocktail of hard ciders to their premium small batch spirits and hard ciders menu, while their tasting rooms remain open seven days a week.

The 1911 Tasting Rooms are the stage for trying out the variety of alcoholic beverages that the Beak & Skiff families produce in their own farm with their own products. From “tree to bottle,” the 1911 spirits promise to deliver a 100 years-worth of heritage in every bottle.

Debbie Skiff-Brennan is a fourth generation member of the Skiff family who makes syrup and acts as a buyer for the company. She confirmed that the apple cider is possibly the best selling product on their Apple Hill Campus, aside from the apples, of course. Their hard apple cider is not only found in the Beak & Skiff general store, but it can also be found in chain grocery stores such as Wegman’s and Tops. Even though their distribution remains mainly local to Upstate New York, they have also distributed 1911 spirits to Europe.

The Apple Hill Campus closes when the snow piles up against the doors and the shovels are brought out twice a day to plow the pathways. But, the manufacturing of and the packaging of the apples and spirits continue in the warehouse year-round to be distributed throughout Upstate New York. Food catering by a renowned chef in a world-class kitchen is also an available service throughout the year.

The families also seek to include their loyal customers in the distillation process by letting them watch how the apple cider is produced. However, it’s still in the works for when it will actually open.

Finally, Beak & Skiff is waiting to see if they were the lucky winners of USA Today’s top Apple Orchard in the country. The winner will be announced on Oct. 3.

“We’re very excited about it. It would be huge, for anyone, but especially for us,” Skiff-Brennan said.


UPDATE Since we published this article, Beak & Skiff in fact won USA Today’s Top Apple Orchard in the nation! Congratulations to the family for helping Central New York become even more livable and wonderful.

About The Author

Sophia Melissa Caraballo

Sophia Melissa Caraballo Pineiro is a Syracuse University student in the Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Jourmalism graduate program. She has a background in English Literature, along with a Writing and Communications minor from the University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez.

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