Colrain, MA
Best of Show: 
Sampling 30+ heirloom apples at the brick meeting house

CiderDay Apple TastingWe drove out to the wilds of Franklin County for the annual CiderDays festival.

This event is distributed all over Franklin County, but we typically use quaint little Colrain as our rally point.  That's because I really enjoy seeing the table outside the brick meeting house (shown here) with samples of scores of different heirloom apples. This is where you can try little-seen heirlooms like the Sheepnose, Twenty-Ounce, Winter Banana, and  Chenango Strawberry, as well as old classics like the Roxbury Russett, Northern Spy, Winesap, Baldwin, and more.

We also enjoy the (sometimes testy) cider panels and the tasting salon, where you can sample hard cider from some of the many cidermakers in New England and beyond.

The events include sessions about types of apples and cider, pairing cider with cheeses, cooking with apples and cider, growing apples, and making cider. It's really an eye-opening experience.