Fall Guide

How About Them Apples?


The Hard-Pressed Cider Company specializes in two things: apple cider and cider donuts. Nothing could be more autumnal, or New England, than that pairing, but founder Robert Swanson never expected to start a business. During his college years in the early 2000s, Swanson was messing around with an apple press. One jug led to another, and soon he was setting up shop in a mobile trailer. Like a cool weather lemonade stand, Hard-Pressed serves fresh-pressed refreshments from a service window, and lines can get long.

The tiny operation has won major acclaim, especially in the wake of its first donut experiment in 2015. Part of Swanson’s success comes from his all-natural approach; the only ingredient in his cider is apples, sourced from local farms. (Connoisseurs may notice the flavor of the ciders change from week to week, since Swanson uses a range of apple varieties). The donuts are sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, a welcome blend on a crisp fall afternoon. Hard-Pressed opened Labor Day Weekend for a fresh new season on Windmist Farm in Jamestown through November 18. Jamestown


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