Hogan's Cider Mill in CT has become a social media sensation

Hogan’s Cider Mill in CT has become a social media sensation

The short video from September 12 highlights the highlights of the Burlington destination, including its outdoor display with heaps of pumpkins and gourds in front of a vintage red truck, and what has become its signature drink – a glass of hard cider, topped with cider. Donuts. As of press time, the video has garnered more than 1.4 million views.

Drunken Donut cocktails from Hogan’s Cider Mill in Burlington, Connecticut, on September 21, 2022.

Lisa Nichols / for Hearst CT Media

Hogan's Cider Mill in Burlington, Connecticut, on September 21, 2022.

Hogan’s Cider Mill in Burlington, Connecticut, on September 21, 2022.

Lisa Nichols / for Hearst CT Media

Cider Mill manager Margaret Borla said Hogan has been seeing more and more visitors to the state in recent seasons, thanks to the power of social media. She said it’s not uncommon for guests to drive from New York, Boston, or even further afield if they see the perfect fall scenes on Instagram or TikTok, or want to sample the decadent donut in person. She recently received a call from a woman in Virginia, who wanted to visit and asked for recommendations on hotels nearby.

Burla was just over a year old when her parents, Chet Dunlop and Teresa Clifford Dunlop, took over the cider mill in 1992—80 years after Patrick Hogan, son of Irish immigrants, began producing cider there in 1912. Professional golf coach and PGA professional, and founded Theresa New England School of Golf On the Burlington property.

We just fell in love [the cider mill]Clifford Dunlop said. Morris Hogan, son of Patrick Hogan, ran the mill until his death in 1989, and two of his longtime employees, Wendell Gunn and Martin Chesniak, taught Dunlops the ropes of cider production, using the original press.

Dunlops has kept the original tradition of sweet cider, but has also branched out to make the solid version, and now offers several flavors of 12 percent ABV cider. Varieties alternate throughout the year, with modern options like black currant, sour cherry, honey, pumpkin spice, and maki’s mold, with a blend of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.

The country store at Hogan's Cider Mill in Burlington, Connecticut, on September 21, 2022.

The country store at Hogan’s Cider Mill in Burlington, Connecticut, on September 21, 2022.

Lisa Nichols / for Hearst CT Media

The Red Barn Bar at Hogan's Cider Mill in Burlington, Connecticut, on September 21, 2022.

The Red Barn Bar at Hogan’s Cider Mill in Burlington, Connecticut, on September 21, 2022.

Lisa Nichols / for Hearst CT Media

Clifford Dunlop credits her daughter for what she calls a “new era” in the business. Burla grew up on the property and even married her husband, Peter, under an arch on the floor in 2019. (Peter Burla works alongside his wife and in-laws as a logistics manager for Hogans). Borla took over Hogans’ social media accounts, showcased his scenic location and helped create some of the signature drinks now on the menu.

Weekends get incredibly crowded, Clifford Dunlop and Burla said, and Hogan’s team manages the crowds by running bars all over the place. In the tap room on the second floor, on the top floor of the mill store with bottled hard cider, gourmet snacks and merchandise, guests can try a lukewarm cider, both aged and alcohol-free. At the Red Barn Bar behind the mill store, visitors can buy cider by the glass and flights, which feature four flavors.

The outdoor bar serves up Drunken Donut, now popular on social media, a blend of freshly pressed sweet cider and hard Hogan December Frost cider, topped with cider donuts, whipped cream and dessert sprinkles in vibrant fall colors. (The Delightful Donut is available as a non-alcoholic recipe, with sweet cider only.) Borla came up with the name of the sweet brew, along with another innovation: Blueberry Pancake shot, a blend of Hogans blueberries and maple wine with maple syrup and fresh juices crowned with whipped cream and blueberries. .

Olivia of Bristol and Alyssa of Southington enjoy a drink of hard cider at Hogan's Cider Mill in Burlington, Connecticut, on September 21, 2022.

Olivia of Bristol and Alyssa of Southington enjoy a drink of hard cider at Hogan’s Cider Mill in Burlington, Connecticut, on September 21, 2022.

Lisa Nichols / for Hearst CT Media

On the Hogans grounds, you’ll find picnic tables, fire pits, and corn hole plates, and guests are welcome to bring their own food (but they must carry whatever they bring.) There’s plenty of space to sit, relax, sip, and chat, but there’s another new offering for visitors: drinks and engagements, which combines the two passions of families. Dunlop: golf and cider. Guests can play 18 holes of mini golf while sipping their own cider, with convenient apple crates on each hole for players to put their drinks in as they throw.

Hogans is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-6pm (with a limited menu); Friday and Saturday 11am-8pm and Sunday 11am-7pm The complete click menu is available Friday through Sunday.

522 Spelman Highway, 860-675-7320, Tweet embed


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