Western New York's Premier Craft Hard Cider

Our Story

Fall 2006

The story began in Fall 2006 when BlackBird Cider Works founder Scott Donovan purchased a commercial apple orchard in the Town of Somerset, Niagara County, New York from the Bittner family who operate Bittner Singer Farms, a large grower of apples, pears, and stone fruit in Niagara county.

As they learned the commercial tree fruit business, Scott and co-founder Margaret Glover also began experimenting with blends of apples making small batches of hard cider using a restored 1920’s cider press.

With the help of a very long-time friend and Finger Lakes winemaker Steve DiFrancisco, early hard cider recipes began to form in 5 glass gallon carboys.

2011

Just four years later, in late 2011, now able to competently grow quality apples and pears and produce quality ciders, the team secured their licenses to produce and sell hard cider.  Having made small prototypes of four labels, and sold and served in local establishments in Rochester. On December 31st, 2011 with very basic bottling equipment, the team pulled off a 150 case New Year’s Eve production run, finishing the last case minutes before the New Year rang in.  The BlackBird Cider Works tasting room was opened in March of 2012.  That year a modest 900 gallons of hard cider was produced and sold. From those humble beginnings, with the help of many folks from far and wide, the company has now grown to a medium size producer of craft hard cider.

August 2012

Summer Cider Festival I – A small gathering of local folks with connections to area brewing, cider making, and cider drinking including both Woodcock families.

Spring 2013

BlackBird Cider Works becomes the 18th member of the Niagara Wine Trail.

May - June 2014

BlackBird Cider Works signs exclusive distribution agreements with Try-It Distribution and Lake Beverage giving then solid distribution in the Western New York area.

July 2014

BlackBird sees its products in its first prominent Western, New York chain store.

September 2015

Addition added to main cidery building.

October 2015

October 2015 Products begin being packaged in 12 oz. cans.

November 2015

Christmas Cider makes its first appearance in large chain stores.

July 2016

BlackBird Cider Works wins double gold for dry oak aged and gold with Estate Reserve at the New York State Commercial Wine and Cider competition.

November 2016

BlackBird Cider Works Celebrates 5 full years of operation.

2017

BlackBird Ciders distributed in 7 states.

May 2017

BlackBird Cider Works wins Gold and third in show for traditional ciders with Black Rock – Kingston Black Cider.

March 2018

BlackBird Cider Works officially announces the opening of an urban location.  Located in the historic Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo the Buffalo Cider Hall offers a second location for customers.

May 2017

BlackBird Cider Works wins Gold and second in class for wood aged ciders with Buffalo Bluegrass Cider.

2018 Awards

2018 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Buffalo Bluegrass

Gold and 2nd in Class – Wood Aged Ciders

2017 Awards

2017 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Black Rock Kingston Black

Gold – Traditional Cider – Sweet

2017 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Dabinet English Style

Silver – Traditional Cider – Dry

2017 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

New England Style

Silver – Specialty Cider & Perry

2017 New York Wine & Food Classic

Dabinet English Style

Silver – Cider

2017 New York Wine & Food Classic

Semi Sweet Oak Aged

Bronze – Cider

2016 Awards

2016 New York State Fair

Dry Oak Aged

Double Gold – Cider

2016 New York State Fair

Estate Reserve Semi Dry

Gold – Cider

2016 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Buffalo Bluegrass Kentucky Barrel Aged

Silver – Wood Aged Cider & Perry

2016 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Dabinet English Style

Silver – English Cider

2016 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Christmas Cider

Bronze – Spiced Cider

2016 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Estate Reserve Semi Dry

Bronze – Modern Cider

2016 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Dry Oak Aged

Bronze – Wood Aged Cider & Perry

2015 Awards

2015 Crossroads Blues & Brews Festival

Premium Draft

1st Place – Ciders

2015 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Dabinet English Style

Silver – English Cider

2015 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Red Barn Farm Style

Silver – Modern Cider

2015 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Christmas Cider

Bronze – Spiced Cider

2015 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

New England Style

Bronze – New England Style

2015 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Semi Sweet Oak Aged

Bronze – Heritage Cider

2015 New York Food & Wine Classic

Semi Sweet Oak Aged

Bronze – Cider

2014 Awards

2014 New York State Fair

Red Barn Farm Style

Silver – Cider

2014 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Dabinet English Style

Silver – English Cider

2014 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

New England Style

Silver – New England Cider

2014 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Red Barn Farm Style

Silver – New World Cider

2013 Awards

2013 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

New England Style

Silver – New England Cider

2013 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Classic Wood Aged

Silver – Wood Aged Cider & Perry

2013 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Dry Oak Aged

Silver – New World Cider

2013 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Sweet Oak Aged

Silver – New World Cider

2013 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Dabinet English Style

Bronze – English Cider

2013 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Semi Sweet Oak Aged

Bronze – New World Cider

2012 Awards

2012 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Dabinet English Style

Silver – English Cider

2012 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition

Oak Aged Cider

Bronze – Wood Aged Cider & Perry

Original Cidery, Tasting Room & Orchard


8503 Lower Lake Rd

Barker, NY 14012

Original Cidery, Tasting Room & Orchard

8503 Lower Lake Road Barker, NY 14012 716.795.3580 Summer Hours (Jun-Nov) Mon-Fri: 11a-5p Sat: 11a-6p Sun: Noon-6p Winter Hours (Dec-May) Mon-Sat: 11a-5p Sun Noon-5p

Buffalo, Cider Hall & Showroom

155 Chandler Street Buffalo, NY 14207 716.xxx-xxxx Hours Sun-Tues: Closed Wed-Thur: 4p-9p Fri: 4p-10p Sat: Noon-10p

Coming Soon  Cider Hall & Showroom


155 Chandler Street

Buffalo, NY 14207