FAIRFIELD, Iowa — Three years after opening its cidery and taproom, Jefferson County Ciderworks is expanding, moving the majority of its production to a new facility within the City of Fairfield. The 12,000+ square foot building will allow the cidery to dramatically increase its production to meet current market demands, as well as expand into retail sales with the addition of both a canning and bottling line. When the new production facility is fully up and running, Jefferson County Ciderworks expects to be one of the largest cider producers in the state.
The steel-frame building, a former millwork manufacturing facility, has been vacant for more than a decade. The closure of the business was part of a larger economic trend that has put stress on families and towns across Iowa, which has lost some 39,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000—a 15 percent decline. Meanwhile, the craft beverage sector is booming in Iowa, with local businesses contributing $860 million to the state economy in 2016.
“With so many manufacturing jobs leaving our state, it was important for us to support the community by investing in existing infrastructure, and create new jobs that can’t be outsourced,” said Jesse Narducci, head cider maker. “Like the heritage cider apple orchards we’ve planted in Jefferson County, this move represents our dedication not only to local agriculture, but also to the local economy, and the community Ciderworks calls home.”
As a result of the expansion, Ciderworks expects to add two new full-time positions and make two part-time hires in 2018. Additionally, the cidery is working with Indian Hills Community College to develop a branch-to-bottle cidermaking apprentice program focused on teaching how to both farm and ferment apples. Working in the new facility, the full-time apprentice will learn skills that can be applied elsewhere in the cider business, or in the broader craft brewing and distilling, winemaking, and culinary industries.
“We started this business because we want to grow apples in Iowa, to expand the agricultural community through creating a value added product. We want to bring back the apple, in all its glory—through new american cidermaking techniques and flavors.” said Katie Greenfield, co-owner. “In the past few years, we’ve come to see the whole wonderful community in Jefferson County become our friends and supporters—and we’re thrilled that this move will allow use to reach even more people.”
About Jefferson County Ciderworks
In 2013, native Iowans Jesse Narducci and Katie Greenfield moved back to their hometown to make cider from the apples Jesse planted on the family farm. The 800-tree orchard, which is planted with many heirloom cider apple varieties that were nearly lost to history, is now the backbone of Ciderworks’ New American Ciders.