No one goes to Henrietta on purpose. Oh sure, we love the idea of Henrietta and its myriad complex of suburban retail sprawl, bringing nearly every major chain and restaurant within reach. But just the mere thought of negotiating Jefferson Road on any given weekend is enough to give me chills. Amidst all the chaos, tucked away near the old Regional Market, the Blue Toad Hard Cider distillery has tasty ciders and friendly staff to guide you to refreshment.
After enjoying their rustic tasting room which opened not long ago in Victor, we decided a visit to home base in Henrietta was required. It’s located in an unassuming structure off Mushroom Boulevard, in that maze of buildings behind the main bulk of the Regional Market. We stopped in on a Sunday afternoon, so it was fairly quiet. There was one other couple visiting the tasting room, which is a little on the small side. There’s an area with tables and darts off to the side of the bar, but I imagine once you get more than a dozen people in the space it starts to get crowded.
We came to Henrietta primarily to taste the seasonal ciders, which they seem to run out of the fastest in Victor. Fortunately, the production facility is right next door, so the Henrietta tasting room isn’t going to run out of anything! My date and I split a flight of the two seasonal ciders so we each got two samples. The Cinna Toad (6.9%) is a classic cider spiked with cinnamon flavor. The Black Cherry (6%) was our favorite, hands down, and we took home a growler of that to enjoy later. Flower City Blonde (5%) and Roc Hard Amber (5.5%) are two of their flagship ciders that are generally available year round. PROTIP: Ask for a “Dirty Blonde” which is pour of the two combined. Our server was very knowledgeable and clued us in to some of the finer points of cider and its production.
Heading to Henrietta to do some shopping? Make Blue Toad a stop on your Sunday “to-do” list. With AJ’s Beer Warehouse and Home Depot around the corner, it can only make running your weekend errands that much more enjoyable.