Cider Corner: 4 Elements of a Successful Cidery and Brewery Combo

While there are numerous open-minded adult beverage consumers, not every craft beer drinker likes hard cider, and not every hard cider drinker likes craft beer.

Benny Boy Brewing gets around this, staking a claim to being “the first combined brewery and cidery in Los Angeles, and, to our knowledge, the city’s only tank bar,” according to co-founder Chelsey Rosetter, who said the clear advantage is being able to bring together people who usually choose breweries with those who usually choose wine bars or cideries.

“Any group of friends can have one destination, a whole menu of options, and a big garden in between,” Rosetter said. “It’s such a unique experience to visit a craft production facility, see the process in action, sample something from a barrel — or in our case, straight from the tank in our Tank Bar — and it’s really fun to be able to showcase more than one product made onsite. There are a few aspects we home in on at Benny Boy to keep this model working.”

Encouraging Crossover

At Benny Boy, the cidery and brewery are two separate buildings with a beer garden in between, and Rosetter said customers were always encouraged to visit both. 

“There are a lot of people who are going to come for the beer, but when we get them intrigued by cider, too, we’ve really achieved our goal,” Rosetter said. “One of the fun ways we do this is by offering snakebites (half beer and half cider), and the guest physically walks into the Cider House for the first half and then over to the Brewery for the second half.”


Co-owner and namesake Benny Farber said that once customers were in the door, the education process begins.

“Many people have never heard of cider or expect something ultra-sweet like the commercial examples available at the grocery store, which is why it’s so great when we get to introduce them to a bone dry craft cider — 100% fermented apple juice with zero residual sugar — and change their whole perception of the category,” Farber said.  “It’s also why we offer sampling flights in both buildings. We often see someone try a flight of ciders and then a flight of beers (or vice versa) to get the whole Benny Boy experience.”

Unpretentious Atmosphere

Trees, fire pits and pop-up food vendors on site contribute to what Rosetter referred to as a “big backyard” feel.

“We are so pleased that at the end of each night all the furniture moves down to the fire pit area, and strangers who would never have chatted end up sharing a bench and getting to know each other,” Rosetter said. “ If people are feeling comfortable, they are more open to trying new things.”

Attention to detail was key in creating the feel they were after, down to choosing Apfelwein glassware over stemware for their ciders.

“It’s decidedly not stemware, and it feels more like you’re having a pint of beer,” Rosetter said. “While we make high-quality products, we never want to be a place that is seen as pretentious or unapproachable, and I think the open yet cozy atmosphere we’ve created at Benny Boy is incredibly welcoming. 

“Although you might be sipping a cider for the first time, or having a flight of beer styles you’ve never heard of, you can just have fun doing it. Our staff has a big part to do with that energy, too.”

Holding special events

Rosetter said Benny Boy hosts unique events showcasing drinking traditions from around the world that represent both the worlds of craft beer and cider. 

“Of course we leaned hard into Oktoberfest with an awesome German beer line-up, but we also threw a Txotx party, pouring our Spanish-inspired Sidra cider straight from a barrel Basque-style, and we’ve hosted many cheese and cider pairing events as well,” Rosetter said. “Events are a great way to make education fun and celebratory and get people engaged with the products on a more personal level.”

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