Alexandria Fisk and Jahil Maplestone have opened New York City’s first urban craft cidery right on the border of the Queens and Brooklyn boroughs. Australian-born Jahil has been homebrewing beer for years, but started making cider for British-born Alexandria, who preferred it to beer. After entering one of his first batches in a cider competition and receiving a note from the judges reading “You should sell this,” they decided to scale up the operation, taking advantage of the new legislation for NYS craft cider. So in a 600-square-foot room crammed full of machinery, some of Jahil’s own design (he made the giant cider press and bottling mechanism himself), Descendant Cider Company was born.
Descendant uses apples grown on farms in the Hudson Valley and Jahil hand-selects varietals for each batch. Sometimes they pile all the apples into their car to bring back to the city for pressing. “By law, I have to use mostly New York State-grown apples," Jahil says. "But these are the best around, so why would I go anywhere else?”