Fourth Annual Old-Fashioned Cider Tasting

Taylor Romano
The Groundhog
Published in
3 min readOct 17, 2016


Centuries ago, a man would ride his horse miles to get a big cookie for just a nickel here. The Vassar girls would also meet by the fireplace for meetings. A couple would share their first kiss and date. Then in 2008, The Cider Mill Friends of Open Space & Historic Preservation, Inc, would purchase it.

The Kimlin Cider Mill, listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places is also designated as a Town of Poughkeepsie Historic Landmark. It held their fourth annual old-fashioned cider tasting this Saturday. Offering a variety of both hard and sweet ciders, tours of the mill, a live band, cider doughnuts, apple butter, and an 11-year-old grill master.

After taking a tour and speaking with President, Lisa Weiss and Vice President, Mike Fraatz the passion and enthusiasm they have, along with their outreach and positive impact on the community is evident. Their education and keen taste for cider makes the tasting more enjoyable. The sponsors that donated cider to the festival were Angry Orchard, Arlington Wine & Liquor (Doc’s Draft), Fishkill Farms, Naked Flock, Pennings Farm Cidery, Yankee Folly and more.

This event was just a small idea four years ago, which brought in 100 people on a rainy day with only 3 three ciders to taste. This year the beautiful weather, personable volunteers, and array of ciders, was one of their best outcomes. The date for the next tasting is already set for October 14, 2017. They hope to expand awareness to the mill and are continuing to raise money to renovate and restore the history that resides in the mill.

The Kimlin Cider Mill was built between 1925–1935 by Ralph R. Kimlin. It started out as a roadside stand in the 1940’s. With hopes of becoming a stone castle, it quickly grew to have a comforting interior, which would act as a lounge for customers and gathering spot for different local groups and committees.

The Kimlin family continued to press their own apples, make cider and even had a contract with the well-know company today, Mott’s. Their hydraulic press, was used to make the cider would produce 500 galloons of cider per hour when it was at the height of its condition. This press, which still stands in the mill, came out before presses everywhere were modified with a more stable handle.

Along with the press, the house itself has experienced damage. The doorframes and wooden logs that lay across the mill are extremely low. “The Kimlin’s weren’t short, the road got tall” said treasurer and tour guide, Ann Shershin. The mill rests on Cedar Avenue, half a county road and half a city road. Over the years the road has risen and caused a few flooding issues at the mill, since the floor is flush with the road itself.

Cider Mill Friends has refurbished the attic and is putting in efforts to renovate more of the mill. In the back is a museum with old tools and fossils found at the historical site. Shershin had kids display the use of a corn husker. An ear of corn is placed in a shoot, as you spin the wheel, within seconds the kernels are completely off the ear. “It’s what kids did before TV.” said Shershin.

The history the mill has and the tedious and detailed work that goes into making old-fashioned cider can be found at the Kimlin Cider Mill. With educated volunteers, pictures, and artifacts the mill offers a delicious and education experience.