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Making the Rounds –
Raising the Glass to the Sweet Life

The Angry Orchard treehouse.

The cider bar inside the tree house.


September 22, 2016   |   By Helen Benefield Billings

With sweeping views of their 60-acre apple orchard and the scenic Hudson Valley as their backdrop, the folks at Angry Orchard Hard Cider in Walden, New York recently teamed up with Pete Nelson and his talented crew of craftsmen from Animal Planet’s hit TV show “Treehouse Masters” to construct a one-of-a-kind tree house tasting experience for their guests.

Pete Nelson meeting the treehouse owner at Angry Orchard.

Ryan Burk, Head Cider Maker at Angry Orchard Hard Cider, greets Pete Nelson of Animal Planet’s hit show, “Treehouse Masters.”

Pete Nelson and the build crew talking through the treehouse build at Angry Orchard.

Perfectly nestled into the arms of a huge white pine tree, the structure was built 18 feet high and showcases the entirety of the apple orchard and surrounding area. It features a full bar for hard cider tastings, in an open-air pavilion concept with one single wall located directly behind the bar.

Hard cider is stored in barrels in the stone barn, an existing structure just next to the tree house. The cider is cleverly transported through a 30-degree Fahrenheit pump, out and up into the tree house, for the most perfect cider on tap imaginable. What a dramatic and super inviting place for people to come up and enjoy a cider, and appreciate the grand scope of this magnificent property.

Entrance to the Angry Orchard tree house.

Entrance to the Angry Orchard tree house.

Angry Orchard Innovation Cider House entrance.

Angry Orchard Innovation Cider House entrance.

Angry Orchard has fashioned the ultimate hard cider lover’s paradise. Their zeal for the art of cider making is palpable, and partnering with Pete and his team who strive to connect people with nature was the ideal blend of passion and creativity.

Angry Orchard’s head cider maker, Ryan Burk, was kind enough to answer a few questions that you might find of interest:

ITM: Why did Angry Orchard decide to work with “Treehouse Masters”?

Ryan: Our team was drawn to Pete Nelson’s creativity and energy to build inventive, unique tree houses. It’s very similar to the cider making process – we both get to express our creativity through our craft – so it was a natural fit to work together.

Ryan and Pete at the cider bar in the tree house.

Ryan and Pete at the cider bar in the tree house.

Ryan showing Pete the apple harvesting equipment.

Ryan showing Pete the apple harvesting equipment.

We have a special place in our hearts for trees because without them, we wouldn’t have cider! Pete and his team obviously share that passion. We’re all committed to quality craftsmanship when it comes to making something great. In their case, it’s tree houses, and in ours, cider.

ITM: What are you most looking forward to about this tree house?

Ryan: We wanted a great new place to enjoy the cider that we make here on our orchard. At its core, the Innovation Cider House is our playground for experimentation, innovation and pushing the boundaries of what cider can be for U.S. drinkers. But, at the end of the day, we want drinkers to visit and learn about the history of cider, how it’s made, and to explore new/experimental cider styles in our tasting room.

angry-orchard-crisp-apple

angry-orchard_orchards-edgeA tree house overlooking our orchard offers visitors an entirely different perspective of our ciders and the Hudson Valley landscape, since they’re able to overlook the orchard and really understand the cider making process, from apple to glass.

www.angryorchard.com

About the author

Helen Benefield Billings

Helen Benefield Billings

Travel and hospitality industry writer Helen Benefield Billings has been with in the Mix since its inception in 2004. Helen lives in her native childhood home of Sea Island, Ga. when not traveling or attending industry functions with her husband, Don.