The Old Adventures of the Newtown Pippin: Exploring History, Terroir, and Biodiversity through Cider


The Newtown Pippin originated as a chance seedling on the banks of Newtown Creek, which is now the dividing line between Brooklyn and Queens. This popular apple variety had a stellar international reputation in America’s early days and became a commercially important cider apple across the nation, from the eastern seaboard to the Wild West. Join us to explore the storied history and geography of the Newtown Pippin as we taste a range of apples and ciders.

Daniel Pucci, former Cider Director of Wassail in Manhattan, and cider expert and author Darlene Hayes will share their research on the history, terroir, and varietal characteristics of the Newtown Pippin gathered from the four most important and historic regions for Newtown Pippin cultivation – northern California, the Pacific Northwest, Virginia, and New York/New England. We will taste apples from each region in order to experience flavor differences in the fruit, then also try ciders made with fruit from the same orchard. Terroir isn’t discussed as often when talking about cider (as with wine), but Dan and Darlene will share some preliminary analyses that may be helpful in bringing some understanding to the role of soil, topography, and climate in taking apples from orchard to glass.

We are also thrilled to welcome Ryan Burk, the head cider maker of Angry Orchard for a discussion and tasting. Ryan’s New York roots run deep. He grew up in upstate New York and some of his first jobs involved working on orchards in his hometown. He has always been interested in agriculture and fermentation, both of which led him to pursue a career in cider making. We’ll sample a Newtown Pippin single variety cider made at Angry Orchard’s Walden, NY research and development facility along with 10 or so other Newtown Pippin ciders Dan and Darlene have sourced from cideries across the country.

Thanks to Emmi Roth and Roberta’s for providing food for this event!