ESD_logoFirst of its Kind Cidery uses Minimal Energy for Heating and Cooling Harnessing the Power of the Seasons

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Empire State Development (ESD) has announced that Seminary Hill Cidery has completed construction of its new building to house cider making operations, while serving as a tasting room to welcome residents and visitors. The cider maker and orchard, located in the Hamlet of Callicoon, Sullivan County, invested $4.9 million to build the new facility at its 12-acre orchard that features more than 1,500 trees growing over 60 American heirloom, English and French varieties of apples and pears. Seminary Hill focuses on a holistic approach to the orchard's ecosystem, growing fruit without the use of chemical pesticides.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said, “The craft beverage industry is booming in New York State and Seminary Hill Cidery is a great example of a company that is benefiting from the abundant natural resources of the area, while doing their part to create jobs, invest in the region and reduce their environmental footprint in the process.”

Doug Doetsch, Founder & CEO of Seminary Hill said, “Without our partnership with Empire State Development, Seminary Hill simply would not have been able to build this production and tasting room facility, which we hope will be a model for sustainable architecture and agri-business,”

New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, "The new tasting room and event space at Seminary Hill Cidery is the perfect complement to any trip in the Catskills. I LOVE NY is proud to support this project through our Market New York program, and we hope that more visitors - especially craft beverage enthusiasts - include a stop at Seminary Hill as part of their next New York State vacation."

Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian said, “This investment in Seminary Hill Cidery is also an investment in the surrounding community which will benefit from an inviting and unique space that will attract visitors to the region and residents alike.” Seminary Hill Cidery has all the makings of a distinctive destination that will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.”

The new tasting room and cidery is clad with larch wood reclaimed from the underwater pilings of the original Tappan Zee Bridge and decorated with recycled woodwork from oak trees felled to build the property. The Cidery is the first of its kind constructed according to the standards of Passive House, consuming minimal energy for heating and cooling by taking advantage of direct sun during the winter and shade during the summer. The expansion will add 13 new jobs and was supported by $900,000 in ESD grants: a $500,000 Market New York capital grant, and a $400,000 grant recommended by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council.  

"The Completion of the Seminary Hill Cidery is a big win for Sullivan County," said Senator Mike Martucci. “The innovative Passive House construction will ensure that we continue to progress in our emissions goals while still creating jobs and spurring growth in the local economy. This project is further proof that economic development and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive. " 

Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther said, “I am thrilled to see the completion of the Seminary Hill Cidery House and Event Space. This magnificent project is a welcome addition to the fantastic renaissance we have seen in Sullivan County over the last few years. I would like to congratulate Seminary Hill, and I look forward to their success as a thriving part of the Sullivan County business community.”

Taking advantage of a spectacular location high above Callicoon, Seminary Hill Cidery is an excellent addition to our growing list of attractions that blend with the natural surroundings,” said District 5 Legislator George Conklin, who represents the Callicoon region on the Sullivan County Legislature. “Thanks to the critical help of Empire State Development and the commitment of the owner to nurture his roots in Sullivan County, we have an incredible place for people to visit and – just as importantly – for locals to work. This is a public-private partnership done the right way.”

Delaware Town Supervisor Stephan F. Lundgren  said, “I offer my heartfelt thanks to Susan and Doug Doetsch, who have recently bestowed on the hamlet of Callicoon three exquisite gems that demonstrate their love and respect for this small riverside community: the state-of-the-art Seminary Hill Cidery, the 1,500-tree organic orchard, and the painstakingly restored and repurposed Boarding House which once was the Callicoon Hospital. Congratulations and best wishes!”

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit and


About New York State

New York State is a premier vacation destination with world-class attractions, picturesque natural beauty, locally sourced cuisine and a booming craft beverage scene, an array of accommodations, and iconic, year-round festivals and events. Its 11 diverse vacation regions feature some of the world’s top ranked beaches; two out of America’s top three favorite state parks; breathtaking Niagara Falls; more ski areas than any other state; one of the nation’s longest foliage seasons; multiple Halls of Fame; North America’s longest, fastest and highest zipline; the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States; and the country’s longest multi-use trail. Add in the state’s unique museums, historic landmarks, cultural sites, charming small towns and urban playgrounds, and it’s no wonder New York has been consistently chosen as a top getaway by travel publications and experts. For more information, or to begin planning your next New York State vacation, please visit


Kristin Devoe | | (518) 414-1087

ESD Press Office | | (800) 260-7313