Philadelphia's Home for Craft Cider
Our story begins over 90 years ago in the hills and on the farms of Northeastern Pennsylvania, where an orphan boy named Charles Steckel would spend his days working as a farmhand at the local apple orchards. It was there that he developed his passion for brewing hard cider.
Each fall, he would fill a 50-gallon barrel with fresh juice from his local orchard, then ferment it in his basement until it was perfectly dry. Just before Christmas, he would tap the barrel and fill old milk jugs with his delicious hard cider, leaving the jugs on the doorsteps of his neighbors as gifts.
Fast-forward 80 years, and the grandson of Charles would take the family tradition of making hard cider to the next level and open Original 13 Ciderworks in 2017. In honor of his grandfather and the man who introduced him to traditional cider, the flagship brand would be called Sir Charles.
Original 13 Ciderworks is the brainchild of John Kowchak (President) and Travis Frehafer (Vice President). Back in 2013 they formed Original 13 Ciderworks and worked with a local winery in Lancaster, PA to produce their first kegs of cider. Just starting out, the pair would walk the streets of Philadelphia with a keg in tow, giving samples of their cider to any bar that would give them the chance.
After this winery was bought out, Original 13 looked like it would fail before it even got off the ground. Without a place to brew, the team made the bold decision to double down and found their own cidery.
By 2016, a location in Olde Kensington Philadelphia was selected. Over the next 9 months, they would raise the capital to fund the project and by October 2017 the tasting room and bar was opened to the public.
Currently Original 13 Ciderworks produces over a dozen flavors of cider, from its Original Semi-Dry, to Deep Blueberry Sea, and our line of dry Atacama ciders. We still pay tribute to Sir Charles himself by recreating his original recipe each fall as our Old Scrumpy Apple Wine. We are currently distributed across eastern and central Pennsylvania and in New Jersey.