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Bob Antanitis


About us

Bob and son Rob Antanitis in aging room


We started making hard cider in our basement about 30 years ago.

In 2006 we bought a press and began making our own sweet cider. Now we direct every step of the cider making process, from selecting the apples through bottling. The only thing we don't do is grow the apples.

We buy our apples from orchards here in Columbia and neighboring counties. We add only sugar, yeast and salicylic acid, and occasionaly fresh fruits, such as strawberries. We add no raisins, fruit concentrates, sulfur compounds or other preservatives. These ingredients allow us to produce pure, very smooth hard ciders.

Barrels of fermenting cider and crates of apples, December 2010

Each year we produce new flavors, depending on the types of apples available and growing conditions. Although we usually mix varieties, we sometimes produce distinctive single–apple ciders, such as Delicious Red and Satin Gold.

To see how we make our hard cider, take a tour.

Ciderworks & winery

Our ciderworks and hard cider winery were the former drying kiln for the Little Lumber Company, which operated in Benton from 1941–2001. Its well insulated walls allow us to contol the temperature and humidity for aging cider. The building houses our entire operation, includng the pressing and aging rooms and retail store.

Colonel Ricketts later in life

Colonel Ricketts

Robert B. Ricketts (1839 – 1918), a local historical figure, is the namesake of our hard cider. Born and raised in nearby Orangeville, PA, Ricketts was an officer in the Union Army, leading an artillery battery during the Battle of Gettysburg.

After the war, Ricketts, along with his father and uncle, bought land in Columbia, Sullivan and Luzerne counties. With two partners, he developed a sawmill business in the plateau region just north of Benton.

Some of Ricketts' land holdings are now part of nearby Ricketts Glen State Park, famous for its spectacular waterfalls and hiking trails.