Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery

Certified Organic Hard Ciders and Apples

We have more then 60 different cultivars in varying degrees of production at this point. This page is always a work in progress.
Our interest in different apple varieties lies in the past, present, and future. There are many great old (heirloom) varieties that we love, and grow. But there are also many new bred varieties that offer fantastic qualities, along with disease resistance, that are excellent apples. Our main interest since 2010 has been in seeking out new, already existing, apple varieties that have sprung up from seed on their own. You can find these all over New England, on roadsides, along old farm fields, mixed in among cultivated trees in abandoned orchards, etc. What some call "apple exploring" involves going out, finding these trees, judging their quality for different uses, and then maybe grafting them into our own orchard if they prove to be exceptional. This is exciting because we can discover new varieties unique to our area, it also gives us an idea how a tree will perform in regards to disease resistance, sugars, tannins, acids, etc, before committing to putting it in our orchard.

These are cultivars that we currently have in varying degrees of production, not all, (or any!) may be available at a given time.

Red Astrachan
- Mid-summer (Aug 1) tart apple with lots of complex flavor. We currently have one tree, so are not offering these commercially but will be adding them to our lineup in future.
Liberty -scab resistant cultivar (no fungicide used on it) sweet, juicy, softer, general purpose dessert apple. 3rd week Sept. This is one of our primary pick-your-own varieties and good in a hard cider blend.
Cortland - wonderful dessert apple, great in salads and for apple sauce. Scab-prone, so commercial availability varies year by year with scab pressure. Oct 1st.
Jonafree- What we formerly thought were Freedoms! One of our customer favorites, it is the other primary pick-your-own block. Similar to Liberty, but often firmer, slightly more acid (tarter but not a tart apple),sweet, juicy, fruity. They store well, to mid winter. Very late Sept.
Freedom - little known scab resistant cultivar (no fungicide used on it).
Delicious (red) - Older striped variety, not the Washington state hard as a rock supermarket kind. We use these mostly in sweet cider blends.
Golden Delicious - excellent heirloom local cultivar, not your supermarket variety! Strong tendency toward biennial bearing (fruits every other year). Honey, spice, and vanilla flavors, ideal for drying with thin skins and sweet flesh. Only commercially available on low scab years. Oct 1st.
Macintosh - Classic New England apple. Very scab susceptible, hard for us to grow organically and we are phasing it out. Used now in our cider blends.
Northern Spy - excellent late fall apple, stores well, complex, sweet, and acid flavors, very stubborn to try to get to fruit, but doing well for us now. Mid Oct.
Rhode Island Greening- Wonderful, complex, late season green apple, good storing apple in limited production.
Golden Russet - Great hard cider variety, Sweet, honey taste. Good keeper. Scab resistant. In old text often called the champagne of cider apples. Mid October.
Jon Pippin- Jonathan seedling from the border of our orchard. Bright, banana, crisp, early season.
Williams Pride - Fine flavored summer apple, scab resistant. August
Fameuse- Old, French Canadian apple, sweet, crisp, fruity, parent of Macintosh. Late Sept.
Baldwin - Sweet, fruity, crisp. Stores well. Mid October. Was the classic New England apple prior to lead arsenate sprays and the dominance of MacIntosh.
Cox's Orange Pippin - Rich, complex, highly aromatic, spicy, an old variety. scab resistant. Stores ok.
Honey Crisp - Crisp sweet dessert apple. Mid Sept, in limited production
Wealthy - Early Sept,

Cider Fruit-
- A seedling from our own orchard, named for the orchardists who grew here for years. Sweet, bitter, good acidity, a great cider apple.
Henry's Yellow Russet seedling- mid-season, looks like a russeted Golden Delicious, spicy, complex chance seedling found in an old abandoned orchard, mild astringency.
Dandeneau- Unknown variety found in an old abandoned orchard.

These cultivars below ARE NOT IN FULL PRODUCTION NOW, they have been planted or grafted into the orchard since 2007. They will be coming into production in the next few years,
Sweet Sixteen - Highly Flavored, nutty, spicy, even vanilla, sweet.
Chenango Strawberry - Another old variety, heavy aroma, tender, fruity. Early Sept.
Frostbite - Exciting new cultivar that some say almost doesn't resemble an apple, tropical in flavor, orange flesh. Can't wait to try it!
Esopus -Spitzenburg - Fruity, acid, complex. Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple, supposedly grows better here than in Virginia, although showing no signs of that at this point. Stores well. Oct 1st.
Summer Rambo - great flavored summer apple
Ginger Gold-
Early Sept
Redstone Canyon Gold- One of the favorites of Bill Mckently of St Lawrence Nurseries.
Roxbury Russet- Early American variety, good eating, for storage and cider.
un-named bletted apple- Let them freeze on the tree, pick them, cut them in half and eat them with a spoon like a custard. Amazing!
Dodd Bannana-
Mann- Late green apple, similar to Rhode Island Greening with less acidity.


Also a few dozen un-named unique seedlings we have on in production or on trial-

Hard Cider specific Varieties-
Chisel Jersey-
Harrison -
Excellent old American cidering apple, it was recently rediscovered and we are trying to help bring it back from the edge of extinction.
Campfield- old American cider variety
Redfield- Bitter sharp cider apple, amazing red colored juice and cider.
Newtown Pippin-
Dabinett- british hard cider cultivar
Reine de Pomme-
Yarlington Mill-
Ashmeads Kernel-
Kingston Black-
Bitter Bannana-
cidering cultivar in testing, from Quebec.
Douce de Charlevoix -
cidering cultivar in testing, from Quebec.
Biladeau - cidering cultivar in testing, from Quebec.
Dandeneau - A seeding we found locally, named for a family friend. Low acid, nice astringency, great sugars, very welcome in our ciders.
17- Chance seedling found in an old abandoned orchard. 17+ brix! (lots of sugars), balanced acidity, good aromatics. Still in testing.
Shavel- Unknown variety found in an old abandoned orchard.
Dead Bottom-Unknown variety found in an old abandoned orchard.

Red Haven
Lars Anderson


Purple Heart


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