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Eat and Drink

Bad Seed Brooklyn celebrates one year of hard cider in Crown Heights

The brand makes upward of 40 "dry" ciders, most of which you can only try at its tap room.

Bad Seed has 12 different ciders on tap

Bad Seed has 12 different ciders on tap at its Brooklyn tap room. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

Once a common drink in 1800s America that waned during Prohibition, cider has been experiencing a resurgence in recent years.

Among the Hudson Valley cider producers behind this reemergence is Bad Seed Cider, which makes the first-of-its-kind dry cider fermented to have 0 grams of sugar.

Last October, the seven-year-old hard cider brand expanded to the five boroughs, opening a tap room in Crown Heights to coincide with the beginning of Cider Week NYC.

“Because Brooklyn has always seemed like a second home, it was the logical place for us to look when we decided to open a second location,” said Bram Kincheloe, co-owner of Bad Seed, which is based in Highland, New York. “We love all the different places opening up in Crown Heights, like Berg'n, and wanted to be a part of the growing scene.”

The tap room, located on Franklin Avenue off a strip of auto repair shops on Atlantic Avenue, has largely remained a neighborhood secret. It features 12 Bad Seed ciders on tap alongside eight rotating taps of New York State craft beers.

Ahead of this year’s Cider Week NYC — which kicks off Friday with a party at Bad Seed Brooklyn — amNewYork spoke with Kincheloe.

How has Bad Seed Cider been doing in Brooklyn? Have you found the interest in cider here that you hoped?

Cider is most definitely gaining in popularity. As people look more toward gluten-free options, and more and more toward low-sugar or completely sugar-free options, we are poised to provide exactly what they need. As far as Bad Seed Brooklyn specifically, we have 12 taps of our own cider on draft at all times. Our flagship Dry Hard Cider is distributed throughout NYC and beyond, but we don't distribute any of the other 30 to 40 ciders we make. So, to taste one of them, you have to come to one of our three tap rooms.

How has the bar done throughout the year?

Bad Seed Brooklyn has actually been surprisingly consistent. Whereas obviously we do way bigger numbers in the fall at both our upstate bars (as people flock that way on their weekends off, looking to take in pumpkin picking, apple picking, apple cider doughnuts and the changing leaves), Bad Seed Brooklyn has more or less operated more like an NYC bar. Of course there are fluctuations (people leaving for the summer, etc.), and we are indeed seeing an uptick in sales now that we are in prime fall season, but it's a lot steadier and more consistent and less dependent on seasonality than the other tap rooms.

What do you hope people will take away from your hard cider?

Our whole motto is "Bad Seed: The Dry Cider." It's no longer the Angry Orchard, 30-grams-sugar experience. There is a way to make dry cider taste delicious — and a way to make it commonplace and accessible to a whole new generation of drinkers — and we are at the forefront of that movement.

Do you have any new developments in the works for ciders or collaborations?

We don't have any active direct collaborations going on right now, but we have been working with MOTO, a spirits company out of Brooklyn, selling them apples for their delicious products. We have an old-time music jam session every Thursday night at our Brooklyn taproom.

How are you celebrating Cider Week NYC this year?

Bad Seed [Brooklyn] will be hosting the official kickoff party on Friday. We will be featuring guest pours of friends of ours, such as Graft Cider, Diner Brew Co., Naked Flock, Embark Craft Ciderworks and many more.    

IF YOU GO

Bad Seed Brooklyn hosts the official Cider Week NYC kickoff party on Friday from 6 p.m.-1 a.m., free admission | 585 Franklin Ave., Crown Heights, ciderweeknyc.com

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