Hard Pressed to Drink Better


Last year we had a brewery open, this year it’s a cidery in nearby Germantown with cozy tasting room steeped in local history. BONUS: their fool-proof recipe you can try at home!  

UPDATE December 2020 — Young American Cider is **NOW OPEN** Their tasting room is unfortunately closed during pandemic restrictions but their delicious dry ciders are available for take-out (or gather ’round their outdoor fire pit!). According to a recent feature in the Philly Inquirer, they’re offering dry, tart cherry and hopped cider with plans to add seasonal ciders as well as kombuchas and cocktails like Hot Spiced Cider with local rum from Kensington.

Originally published August 24, 2017

Young American Cider is an emerging Germantown business producing distinctive hard ciders with crisp and complex profiles that we desperately want to tell you is available for purchase.

But no! They’re still jumping thru LCB hoops before they can sell their product – however they can provide it free at tastings.

Saturday September 9th, come out to the Philadelphia Honey Festival and sample the latest Young American ciders, “Probably our hopped and cider varieties,” said Kate Kaman , who makes the cider and also owns half the company with her husband Joel Erland.

The couple lives in the top floor of the sprawling historic “Silversmith” property on Germantown Avenue, which includes friendly pets, swelling bee hives in the back garden, plus an art studio where they sculpt metal for public installations around the city. The cidery is a labor of love, community, and inspiration for them both.

Their technique mimics those of America’s earliest settlers. September thru May, they blend fresh-pressed juices from local orchards, then ferment these concoctions over several months. Flavors marry and intensify to create modern spins on this colonial-era beverage.

“There’s such a bounty of apples in the farmlands around Philadelphia, it’s so cool to explore different flavor combinations,” Kate explained. Besides the usual varieties of green, red, and golden apples, she experiments with herbs, cherries, berries… she’s even tried aging a cider in a Bourbon barrel for several months. “That one was smoky,” she told us, “And dry.”

Kate’s quick to explain that ciders don’t have to be sweet, or even taste overtly like apples. Young American’s hopped cider, for example, drinks like a beer, with the clean grassy bite of an IPA. Even their “regular” recipe seems worlds away from the familiar fruit-juiciness typically associated with hard cider.

See for yourself this month at Honey Fest, and follow @youngamericancider for future tastings, events, and hopefully an opening soon.

Sept 9 (10am – 4pm)
Wyck Historic House, Farm, and Garden (6026 Germantown Ave)
Free cider tastings plus food trucks, children’s activities, bee-keeping demos, and vendors selling honey-based natural products.

Since September is back-to-school time, let’s have a living history lesson! This fool-proof recipe launched Kate’s love for this historic, organic beverage. “When I saw how ridiculously easy it was to make hard cider, I was hooked on trying new recipes,” she told us.

“It’s kind of weird to call this recipe, actually. It’s only 2 ingredients, but you get to use an air lock.” (About $5.00 on Amazon or from any brewer’s outlet – you can find demos showing how to use one online).


1 gallon fresh-pressed apple juice (ideally) or the same equivalent in regular supermarket apple juice, if you have to.

2 teaspoons dry champagne yeast (you can also use baker’s yeast but it will add a “muddy/bready” flavor).

1 gallon or 2 two-liter clean, glass bottles plus airlocks for each.

Slowly dissolve yeast into half a cup of lukewarm cider in a measuring cup (you should see small bubbles collecting on the surface). Pour yeast mixture into cider. Seal & shake to distribute. Distribute cider between bottles, seal with airlocks to allow carbon dioxide to escape during fermentation. Let sit in a cool, dark room for about 3 weeks or until the bubbling almost stops. Yield: about a gallon


The Young American Way — literally. Cider has been made in NW Philly using these simple methods since colonial times.

Young American Cider
Emerging cidery in nearby Germantown, open for special events only — for now. They’re in the process of tying up their PA Limited Winery License,  so in the meantime you can sample these delicious all-natural, gluten-free blends at local tastings. 
6350 Germantown Ave





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