Cider in wooden crate

IT ALL STARTED IN THE FOOTHILLS of Urnieta and Hernani in the Basque Country. Peter Yi, a wine buyer, took a break from tasting wines to visit a sagardotegi, a traditional Basque cider house. It was a gastronomic experience like no other: cider-braised chorizo, tortilla de bacalao, rib-eye steak, and walnuts, cheese and membrillo, all paired with natural, crisp cider caught straight from the barrel. It was an eye-opening experience and not long after his trip, he told his sister Susan, “We need to open a cider house in Brooklyn.” He was dead serious, and within weeks, Peter walked away from a business he’d built for 25 years, while Susan quit teaching to study apples and hard cider.

That was the spring of 2014. They didn’t know a bushel from a bin of apples. What they did know was that they wanted to make a wildly natural cider.

In early 2015, the Yi siblings purchased an orchard in New Paltz, Twin Star Orchards, and planted 50 acres of heirloom dessert and cider apple trees. That fall, they opened the farm to the public for cider tastings, apple-picking, and wood-fired pizzas and burgers. Shortly after, the siblings opened their flagship Brooklyn location, which housed a full-scale cidery, restaurant, bar, and tasting room. Though the cider house enjoyed a short, exhilarating stint in Bushwick, the Yi siblings woefully shut down the 12,000-square-foot cider destination due to the COVID pandemic.

Despite the setback, the siblings are grateful that their business not only survived, but is thriving at the farm. Moreover, they believe that the experience forced them to revise and improve the project’s vision and direction. They are now able to focus all of their energy into the farm and producing cider onsite, giving the team more time to hone in on the most important aspect of cider making, the apples. Their heirloom-variety trees, planted in 2016, just started producing fruit a couple of years ago. Now, with over 25 heirloom and wild varieties of apples, Peter is enthralled with the possibilities. This year, they are excited to release a series of small-batch ciders, from pet-nats to wine and cider blends and méthode champenoise cider.

At Brooklyn Cider House, one simple ingredient is used to make ciders – apples – so the structure, aromas, mouthfeel, and any residual sugar are definitively tied to the quality of their apples. All ciders are made from freshly harvested apples and are fermented in stainless steel tanks with wild or wine yeast, with minimal intervention. They strive for balance, depth of structure, and drinkability.

The Tasting Room and Pavilion at Twin Star Orchards are open from April through the first weekend of November, serving wood-fired pizza, burgers, and barbecue. They offer cider tastings, live music, U-pick strawberries in the summer, and u-pick “ugly apples” in the fall. New this year, the Tasting Room will remain open for
cider tastings and light snacks in winter.

The Essentials




Twin Star Orchards
155 N. Ohioville Rd.
New Paltz, NY 12561





Apr–June, Sept–Nov
   Fri: 12–7pm
   Sat–Sun: 11am–7pm
  Fri: 12–8pm
  Sat: 11am–8pm
  Sun: 11am–7pm


Check website for winter hours

Tasting Fee

$6.00–$8.00 (cider flights)



Farm Acreage

200 acres


40,000 gallons


Susan Yi

Cider Maker

Peter Yi

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