Our cider rapture started in the foothills of Urnieta and Hernani, in the Basque Country, catching natural cider straight from the barrel. Peter Yi, a wine buyer, took a break from tasting wines to visit a sagardotegi. It was a gastronomic experience like no other: simple, farm-fresh food, paired with natural cider caught straight from the barrel. Delicious food, incredible ciders, and elated diners filled the cidery with pure magic. It was a thunderbolt moment and not long after his trip, Peter told his sister Susan, "We need to make a cider house in Brooklyn." He was dead serious and within weeks, Peter walked away from a business he built for 25 years and 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.
Brooklyn Cider House has come a long way in very little time, thanks to a super dedicated team; Lindsey joined the founding team in its second year, and Hannah and Eleazar manage the 200-acre farm. The small team revitalized a Hudson Valley orchard, where they have built a cidery, tasting room, farm store, and pavilion that serves wood-fired pizza and burgers. They’re still working hard on their dream to build a cider house in Bushwick, Brooklyn, which they hope to open by fall 2017.
Before launching Brooklyn Cider House, Peter was the owner of PJ Wine, a leading wine retailer in New York City. He is known for his fearless honesty about wines, his creative pairings, and his marathon-like ability to taste hundreds of wines and still pick out the winners. Peter is BCH’s cidermaker, visionary, and driving force. His tenacity, creativity, and fearlessness are exactly why BCH has made so much headway in so little time.
Previously a teacher at The Town School before she started making cider, Susan is a social activist and a lover of creative things. Susan was born in Korea, raised in Brooklyn, and currently lives in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. She is our storyteller, bringing truth and compassion to the project.
Former VP of Credit Sales at BNP Paribas, Lindsey joined the founding team in its second year while she was switching gears from banking to the non-profit sector. She currently lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn and is still involved in non-profits in her spare time. Lindsey has literally helped build BCH from scratch. Aside from being the glue that holds all of BCH’s pieces together, Lindsey has a gift for connecting with people and spreading her belief in the project with incredible excitement and passion.
A recent Cornell graduate, Hannah is the Farm Manager at Twin Star Orchards who oversees the care of 200 acres of land, over 12,000 apple trees, a fleet of ancient tractors, and a crew of dedicated and wonderful farm workers. Hannah started running things at Twin Star after having led an ecological restoration crew in Yosemite’s backcountry. She’s also an outdoor adventurer who runs, bikes, canoes, backpacks, and climbs rocks, trees, and mountains! And when Hannah finds a moment to relax, she’s likely to have her nose in a book or planning her next great adventure.