Big Fish Cider Company Holds Tasting

The temperatures outside were frigid, but warmth was plentiful inside as the Big Fish Cider Co. in Monterey held its second tasting event Friday afternoon, celebrating the release of their Church Hill Blush, a recipe created with raspberries from Church Hill Produce in Doe Hill. The crowd started arriving at 4:00, and the small room stayed packed as customers came in to sample and purchase the product. Employee Aaron Burkholder reported sales had been brisk, and talked more about the company’s products.

“The Church Hill Blush is all we have available right now – we’ll have four available at Maple Festival. The one that probably will be our most popular will be our Monterey Maple, and that, as it sounds like, is fermented with maple syrup. Then we have Allegheny Gold, which is a semi-sweet cider, made largely with Golden Russet and Jonagold apples. Then we have the Crab Bottom Pippen, which is an off dry cider, made with a similar mix of apples to the Allegheny Gold, but it’s also got some crabapples in it. And then the fourth would be the Church Hill Blush.

“This year, we’ll have a total of five, the four that we just talked about, and then also, the Highland Scrumpy, which will be a cider made from all Highland County apples, some of which were donated by people in the community. And, in the future, we do hope to expand into some other varities as well, maybe kegging small batches and things like that, but that’s a ways off.”

Mr. Burkholder explained the apples are produced locally, and would be interested in more local sourcing for its products.

“Since we are a local business, and we’re very interested in using local products, and working with local people, we’d very much be interested in orchard lease agreements, or less formal arrangements. We can’t guarantee we’ll come get your apples, but we’ll make every effort to.”

For more information, visit their website at

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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