New to market

Celebrated cidery skips the middleman and brings award-winning sparklers to the people


If you’re convinced absolutely nothing good came out of the COVID pandemic, talk to Daniel and Talia Haykin. They may change your outlook and help you discover you really like hard cider. 

Like so many local food companies, Haykin Family Cider, founded by the couple in Aurora in 2018, faced potential extinction in 2020.  

“When the pandemic happened, most of our ciders were being served at local fine-dining restaurants. Suddenly, they all had to close,” says Daniel. “Our tasting room was closed and sales were low at stores. To survive, we decided to bring our ciders directly to consumers.” 

Haykin Family Cider focused on its online cider club and retailing, and bringing ciders to farmers markets, including Boulder’s this year.  

Daniel and Talia Haykin.

“The experience changed our DNA as a company,” Daniel says. “We decided that we would never again miss an opportunity to go directly to the consumer and tell our story without a middleman.” 

The benefits of personal contact are abundantly clear when you stand at the Haykin Family Cider booth at the Boulder Farmers Market on any given Saturday. Curious folks approach Daniel and Talia or one of their helpers, who clear up myths as they share samples of sparkling ciders, each made from a single Colorado apple variety, ranging from their refreshing, crisp McIntosh cider to the complex Yarlington Mill cider. 

For instance, ciders don’t have to be sweet and flavored like the popular Angry Orchard’s products. They can be dry and barely fruit. Market samplers experience the revelation that good ciders are much more like wine than beer and made to be enjoyed with food — whether it’s a hot dog or coq au vin

Tasting reveals exactly why Haykin ciders have won so many awards, including medals at the cider Oscars: the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. 

For Daniel, a financial advisor who has worked on Wall Street for Lehman Brothers, being at the farmers’ markets and other events and working at the cidery’s tasting room are good investments.

“It really changes things a lot when you show up in person,” he says. 

The Haykins may be new to the market but not to Boulder. Their inspiration started with a devotion to heirloom apples, which the city has a long history with.

“[Making cider] was a subversive way for us to advocate on behalf of heirloom fruit,” Daniel explains. “Nobody really cares about an apple if all you’re doing is smearing peanut butter on it. If you want to highlight heirloom apples and make people care about saving them, you have to make it into something that captures their attention.”

Prior to Prohibition, Boulder County had a thriving apple industry largely devoted to hard cider. But coupled with disease and drought, Boulder’s apple orchards were wiped out in the ’20s. But many trees, abandoned in alleys and fields, survived to tell a story of Boulder’s past. 

Today, Boulder Apple Tree Project is dedicated to finding and saving heirloom varieties of apple trees growing in fields, alleys and on abandoned orchards. So far, the organization has tagged hundreds of historic trees. The project also assists Community Fruit Rescue (a Boulder organization dedicated to harvesting local trees to stock food banks), keeps bears safe by removing fruity temptations where people live, and helps businesses like the Haykin’s produce ciders. 

“We’ve been involved with the Boulder Apple Tree Project for years,” Daniel says. “When I heard what they were doing I wanted to help in any way possible.” 

Daniel notes that Colorado’s cider movement is growing, with more than two dozen craft cideries producing artisan beverages ranging from Teal Cider in Dolores to Big B’s Delicious Orchards in Hotchkiss. 

The Boulder area is home to several notable cideries including BOCO Cider in Boulder, Lafayette’s Acreage, the home of Stem Ciders, St. Vrain Cidery in Longmont and Wild Cider in Firestone.

The cider boom comes in the wake of the successes at Colorado breweries, wineries and distilleries. 

“The consumer in Colorado is very open-minded,” Daniel says. “There’s a real ethos here of appreciating small producers and their craft products.” 

Taste of the Week: Conchas & Galletas

AGCuesta – Mexican Conchas sweet bread

I love the smell of a new bakery first thing in the morning. The aroma of bolillo sandwich rolls emerging golden from the oven and dulce de leche empanadas cooling in a rack greeted me when I walked into the recently opened Panaderia Tradicional Y Neveria at 1312 Centaur Village Drive in Lafayette. 

Open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. near Centaurus High School, the bakery produces classic Mexican cakes, conchas, pan dulce and galletas, plus cream cheese and jalapeño filled breads. Ice cream by the scoop and in sundaes are available along with traditional savory snacks, like two versions of elotes (Mexican street corn), and chilindrinas, a delightful combination of pickled pork skin, cabbage, tomatoes, avocado, hot sauce, crema and lime. 

The local panaderia choices also include Boulder’s Panaderia Sabor a Mexico, 2839 28th St., Lafayette’s Sweet Bites Panaderia, 100 E. South Boulder Road, and Panaderia Guanajuato, 1630 Main St. in Longmont.

Culinary Calendar: Slow Food on the Farm

We offer a heartfelt salute to Bert Steele, the beloved co-owner of the Niwot Market, who died on Aug. 7. Niwot’s unofficial “mayor” and one of the last of the old-school grocers, Steele’s life will be celebrated from 2-9 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Niwot Tavern at Bluegrass for Bert, a free concert featuring five bands. 

Takoyaki, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, Japanese sweets and traditional Japanese kids’ games are on the menu at Osaka’s End of Summer Festival 3-7 p.m. Aug. 27 at 2460 Canyon Blvd., Boulder. 

Boulder’s Jacob Springs Farm hosts a Slow Food farm dinner Aug. 26 featuring Gambian-born chef Modou Jaiteh. Proceeds benefit local BIPOC farmers. Tickets:

Born in 1923, The Sink is being celebrated with a new exhibit at the Museum of Boulder. Opening Aug. 27, The Sink: The Rest[aurant] is History, spotlights the food, beer, culture, music and art connected to the celebrated CU-adjacent eatery. If you visit on Sundays, you can view the Sink’s new 100th anniversary documentary.

altitudevisual – grilled corn on the cob with melting butter, created with generative ai

Words to Chew On: Butter That Corn 

“Everybody dies. There’s no avoiding it and I do not believe for one second that butter is the cause of anyone’s death. Overeating may be, but not butter, please. I just feel bad for people who make that mistake.” 

— Nora Ephron

Don’t miss Boulder Weekly’s comprehensive guide (with map) to Boulder County’s roadside farm stands at: 

Boulder County Farm Stands by alexiskgnu · MapHub

Boulder County Farm Stands by alexiskgnu

Click on the map above to search Boulder County’s farm stands.

Don’t miss Boulder Weekly’s comprehensive guide (with map) to Boulder County’s roadside farm stands at: