Good Life

Bellefonte’s Good Intent Cider taking advantage of drink’s popularity

Adam Redding, owner of Good Intent Cider in Bellefonte, uses his expertise as an environmental engineer to help him make cider.
Adam Redding, owner of Good Intent Cider in Bellefonte, uses his expertise as an environmental engineer to help him make cider. CDT photo

Adam Redding has good taste.

At least he hopes he does.

Redding’s family runs Good Intent Cider located at 167 South Potter Street. The cidery’s drinks can take the edge off for adults, but the atmosphere inside the business welcomes all ages. The business is open only on weekends.

“That’s the way we wanted it to be,” Redding said. “It’s a family business, my wife and I and my parents. The ciders we make are distinct in that they’re not watered down, and we also wanted it to be place anyone could enjoy.”

Adam Redding gave a look at the business of selling cider.

Q: How did you get started?

A: We got started back in the fall of 2010 when I decided to take a class in cider making. We made it in college, and we made some at home before, but I didn’t really have anymore background in it. My background is in environmental engineering. There are some tie-ins there between what I do with the cider and what I do for my day job, which is mostly drinking water purification. I started making it after that class, people liked it and we thought we could make a business out of this. We decided in the fall of 2013 to open the business up.

Q: When is the best time for sales?

A: The spring is a good time. The summer is quite steady. Our slowest time is after Christmas through the end of February. That’s good for us, though, because that’s the height of production time. We don’t start fermenting until around Thanksgiving, because we don’t get the varieties of bunches we want until that time of year. The varieties we want are only available then.

Q: Is cider fairly new in the US?

A: Cider is actually the original drink in the U.S. It disappeared and lost its footing due to prohibition. After that the breweries grew rapidly in urban areas and could be produced throughout the year.

Q: Why has it caught on again?

A: It’s falling on the tail end of the craft movement, and it tends to be a local product, especially for small places like this. One thing is it’s more expensive than beer to produce, and the product isn’t available year-round. With it being gluten-free across the board, some people who either have a true intolerance or believe they shouldn’t consume gluten move to ciders. Wine sales have also surged, so the two of them have grown together.

Q: How much of a learning curve was there for you?

A: Not so much in making it, but in deciding what apples we wanted in our mix. The family that we work with to grow the apples and do the pressing, changes their mixture for their sweet cider throughout the year. The variety they use predominantly is a good long storage apple. As we fermented different batches we kept all the other variables the same, but the mixture changed. We realized if we were picking stuff later in the season then the quality of our cider was better.

Also, my Ph.D is in environmental engineering, and a lot of the filtration principles and chemistry apply to cider making. That was kind of second nature. While a lot of it is an art, it’s also just being meticulous and following methods.

Q: So you have another job?

A: I work for what was Siemens Water Technologies, and I’m an activated carbon scientist. We’ve been spun off as of April of last year as a separate company called Evoqua Water Technologies. Sometimes I find in that job, because my customers know I do the cider on the side, that they end up being more interested in talking about this than water treatment. I’ve realized there are things I learn from that, that I can apply to this and vice versa.

Q: Is it difficult to find time to make your cider?

A: Yeah, but the good thing with my other job is that it’s more flexible. You still have to get the job done. I have this location, and to make it easier I’m setting up my lab for my day job next door.