An Interview with Oak & Apple Cidery

Christian and Christina Krapf are owners of Oak and Apple Cidery, a new Rochester, NY micro-cidery that shows off its fair share of Pioneer Millworks reclaimed wood. They partnered with Ketmar Development to build the production and tasting room in Penfield, NY. Many thanks to them for taking some time out to talk with us (amidst getting ready for their public opening on September 22nd) about the space’s design, how they chose materials, and what makes for a really good cider.

 

Oak & Apple Cidery in Penfield, NY. Photo by Jerome Davis

 

Deanna: Tell me about Oak & Apple Cidery…

Christian: 11 years ago my best friend took me to a picnic in Olean [NY] where they have this tradition of farmers bringing their homemade ciders. The ciders I had had up to that point were really sweet, candy-tasting ciders, and the cider I had at the picnic were really different. I wanted to try making cider myself–and bring my own the following year.

When I met Christina, my wife, we started making it together. We had a lot of fun doing it and improving. We thought maybe we could sell it, so we set out on this journey to Oak & Apple. Our mission is to make the best quality cider we can.

Christina: What makes us unique is we do all of the production on site—the whole process is done here right on our farm. So we grow the apples, we press the apples, we ferment on site, bottle, filter, and sell right here. So it’s really a farm to glass experience.

We farm 700 trees, and our varietals are rare apples. Not your typical old English style and French varietals…Golden Russet, Balmers…they’re more rare, very bittersweet tart apples, which are good for hard cider.

Reclaimed barn siding, Pioneer Millworks American Prairie Taphouse. Photo from Oak & Apple’s Instagram.

 

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Welcome Hans and Lori!

We connected with Hans and Lori of HGH Trading & Consulting, Inc. in Texas a few months back. We’re excited to have this Lone Star State tag-team representing our reclaimed and sustainable wood products there and in Oklahoma. On a characteristically hot day in late summer we sat down to learn more about them:

What do you like about Texas?

Hans: The big open spaces once you’re out of the city. I’ve been in Texas for 34 years.

Lori: I grew up in Canada and Chicago so I love the weather that we have in Frisco [TX] from November to May. We can have a few cold days (sometimes 40-60 degrees….haha!) but mostly 75 degrees and sunny. I consider it perfect! I’ve lived here for 22 years and wouldn’t go back.

What’s your backstory with design and wood?

Hans: I’ve always worked in the wood products industries! Wood is so natural and easy to connect with. I spent time in various mills doing everything from production to product development, to procurement, to sales and marketing.

Lori: My college degree is in design but I have always been in sales, representing flooring products to architectural and design firms in Chicago initially, and now in Texas and Oklahoma. I have experience with the fuzzy stuff, and vinyl of many shapes and colors and brands, but it is wood that speaks to me.

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Black and Tan, stout and layered.

Visually tasty contrasting black layered over natural oak tones define our Black & Tan grades to create a dynamic and durable canvas. We’ve reclaimed the oak fence boards from mid-west farms where they spent years on farm duty, experiencing the elements and the animals. The mix of red and white oak has distinct character which we’ve classified into a few standard grades: Black & Tan—50/50, Black & Tan—Tan, and Black & Tan—Black.

When we salvage Black & Tan, each board is layered with eco and animal-friendly black paint that we celebrate in each grade.

 

Creative client requests and our finishing team’s inspiration have made Black & Tan a go-to for additional surfacing (such as saw marks, wire brushing, and Raked) or including a bit more color.

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Our Newest Team Members

As we strive to serve you and meet your project needs, we’ve enlisted some new folks who we’re excited to introduce. 

Andy McQuade, Director of Sales

Andy McQuade


Andy spent a few decades in the material supply realm with some big-name national stores, guiding client choices for everything from single room remodels to hotels, restaurants, apartments complexes, student housing, and more.

“I’m inquisitive by nature and I like to learn. I ask lots of questions! It was the right time for me to make a change, to learn something new so when the opportunity to be a part of Pioneer Millworks came up, I jumped on it. Talk about one-of-a-kind products in a cool industry. I’m pretty excited to be here,” Andy said.

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