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The Festival of Kingston Black: Hard Cider Event at Scott Farm Orchard

707 Kipling Road
Dummerston, VT

In honor of the Kingston Black, the “One Apple to Rule them All”, five cider makers from four states come together at Scott Farm Orchard on Sunday, September 24 from 12-4PM to showcase their hard ciders—made with this highly-prized heirloom apple, sparsely grown in the U.S.                                                                                                                

Hard cider enthusiasts have the opportunity to meet Scott Farm orchardist Ezekiel Goodband, cider makers from Eden Specialty Ciders of Newport, VT, Farnum Hill Ciders of Lebanon, NH, Slyboro Ciderhouse of Granville, NY, Stormalong Ciders of Sherborn, MA, and Whetstone Ciderworks of Marlboro, VT, as well as Chelsea Green Senior Editor Ben Watson, author of Cider Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions and Making Your Own, who will beavailable to sign books. 

There will be six or more Kingston Black hard ciders to taste, along with local food pairings.

Kingston Black apples are among the 125 varieties of heirlooms grown at the Scott Farm Orchard. There will be some, along with other bitter cider apples, available for those who dare to taste these inedible varieties.

According to Scott Farm Orchardist Zeke Goodband, “Kingston Black is one of our most popular hard cider varieties; people get in line early in the summer to reserve this apple for their hard cider making.”

A British heirloom variety, Kingston Blacks contain the three ingredients necessary to make a well-balanced cider: tannins, acidity and sugar. Their skin, a deep red color, accounts for “black” in their name, and gives their fresh juice a distinct ruby color.

Festival co-organizer and co-owner of Eden Specialty Ciders, Eleanor Leger says, "What distinguishes the great ciders of the world is their use of 'bitter' apple varieties that provide tannic structure. Kingston Black is arguably the most famous of these mostly inedible varieties. At Eden Specialty Ciders we've been incredibly fortunate to have worked with Scott Farm to source these special apples for our ciders. This Fall marks our tenth season of collaboration, and we can think of no better way to celebrate than to put on this festival dedicated to the cider variety that rules them all when it comes to Heritage ciders, the Kingston Black, and the few, brave makers who feature it in their ciders." 

The Kingston Black Festival marks the first of its kind in New England. According to Scott Farm and Landmark Trust Operations Manager and festival co-organizer Kelly Carlin, “We’ve wanted to host a festival like this for a long time. Cider makers from all over New England, and sometimes further, come to the farm to buy our apples because we grow so many hard-to-find varieties. Cider apples do not bring in as much money as other apples since they often aren’t good for fresh eating, so not a lot of orchards grow them. We grow a dozen hard-to-find varieties that are just used in cider, so we get lots of enthusiasts coming here in the fall. We are pleased to work with Eden Specialty Ciders to host the first of what we hope will become an annual event at the orchard!”

The Kingston Black Festival is going to be held in the Apple Barn at Scott Farm Orchard at 707 Kipling Road in Dummerston, Vermont on Sunday, Sept 24, from 12-4pm. The fee for those 21 and over is $10 per person, which includes a commemorative tasting glass. To register go online at, email or call 802-254-6868.

In addition, Scott Farm is offering a workshop, Introduction to Making Hard Cider, with one of the featured cider makers at the festival, Jason MacArthur of Whetstone Ciderworks of Marlboro, VT, on Sunday, Oct 1 from 10-Noon. Whetstone Ciderworks will also be offering free Hard Cider Tastings at the Farm on Sundays Sept 17-Oct 15, 12-4pm, and Saturdays, Sept 23-Oct 14, 12-4pm.



Established in 1791 when George Washington was serving his first term as President, Scott Farm consists of 571 acres and 23 buildings, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1995 the Vermont non-profit Landmark Trust USA took over the farm. The Trust has since restored many of the buildings, and under the guidance of Orchardist Zeke Goodband, has converted the orchard from conventionally-grown McIntosh to more than 120 ecologically- grown heirloom and uncommon apple varieties. The farm also grows peaches, plums, nectarines, pears, grapes, cherries, quince, medlars, gooseberries, and hops. Four fully restored historic vacation rentals, surrounding the farm, are available for short or long term self-catered stays throughout the year.  Details at 

Kingston Black Festival press release.pdf