By Kate Merrill

BOXBORO (CBS) – It happens here in Boxboro. At the junction of Route 2 and 495, it’s the hometown of Boston Marathon legend Bill Rodgers. Here they celebrate Fifer’s Day, to honor a local minuteman who is said to be one of the first wounded in the Revolutionary War.

That same legend also the namesake for the most popular hard cider crafted by hand at Pony Shack Cider Company. Fifer’s Dream is the original recipe created by Nate McKinley in his garage seven years ago. “About a year in, I thought this has wheels; people are responding well to this cider. People like it,” he said.

Pony Shack Cider Company (WBZ-TV)

Two years ago, Nate quit his day job in financial services and made the leap to full time cider maker. He now has a small building where he makes several kind of craft hard cider from locally sourced ingredients. “100% fresh pressed local apples,” he assured us.

After the apples are pressed, the mixture is fermented and then canned all in the same building.

I tried my hand at the canning machine, but it’s harder than it looks. My can ended up in the reject pile.

Kate Merrill and Nate McKinley at Pony Shack Cider Company (WBZ-TV)

The labels, designed by his sister-in-law, are also applied by hand, one-by-one.

According to Nate, the fermenting process removes much of the sugar which results in a taste that’s much drier than cider or apple juice.

There are several flavors. The Fifer’s Dream is made with dessert apples. Barrel-Me-Over is aged in Whiskey Barrels. There are also ciders flavored with pears, blueberries and cherries.

Pony Shack is sold at many local liquor stores.

Kate Merrill


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