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Philadelphia's Craft Hard Cider is coming to Kensington this summer! Help us equip our kitchen, and get some great merch in the process
Philadelphia's Craft Hard Cider is coming to Kensington this summer! Help us equip our kitchen, and get some great merch in the process
43 backers pledged $8,650 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$8,650

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Our Story 

Our story begins over 70 years ago with founder John Kowchak’s grandfather, Charles, and the apple orchards of North-East Pennsylvania. Charles grew up an orphan and spent his summers working the apple orchards as a way of making money. It was during this time he learned to brew the best tasting hard cider, made from fresh pressed local Pennsylvania apples. Over the next few decades he perfected his techniques by brewing up an annual batch of cider using a 50 gallon drum he stored in his basement. Each year, he would bottle his hard cider in milk jugs he collected over the course of the year, and then on Christmas Eve he would travel around his neighborhood leaving gallons of his fresh hard cider for his neighbors as gifts. When the winter nights got extra cold, he would often take some cider outside and let it freeze into what the locals called “Jersey Lightning,” but we know it better as Applejack.

John with the original Sir Charles in 2015
John with the original Sir Charles in 2015

As he got older, John began to practice his own home brewing, and remembered the great cider his grandfather used to make. John decided to honor his grandfather’s legacy by brewing great hard cider with the name “Sir Charles,” after the man who started it all. After graduating from Drexel University with an MBA in Entrepreneurship, he traveled to England to study the art of making traditional hard cider. He graduated from the International Hard Cider and Perry Academy in 2012 and formed Original 13 in 2013. 

Our Cider

Sir Charles, our flagship cider, launched in 2014, and is the original Philly hard cider. Our flagship cider is brewed in an English style using a blend regionally grown apples. Based on John’s grandfather’s recipe, we brew it with a French champagne yeast to give it a light and refreshing body. The final brew is crisp and refreshing and full of apple flavor, but unlike other ciders it contains just a hint of sweetness with no lingering aftertaste. As soon as our cidery is up and running, we plan to roll out the original Sir Charles Cider, as well as three brand new brews: Strawberry Valkyrie, Deep Blueberry Sea, and On Wings of Cherry. 

All four will be available on tap at local establishments, and for sale in our restaurant and tasting room. In addition to our four main ciders, we will also run specialty and limited edition ciders carrying the Original 13 brand in our tasting room and restaurant. These will be where we let our creative juices flow, and we hope to bring you some of the most unique and exciting local ciders under the Original 13 name. 

The Challenge

We first launched Sir Charles hard cider in the fall of 2014. When we first launched, we rented space from a local winery to brew our cider as it was the most cost effective option for us at the time. One year after the launch of Sir Charles, however, the winery ran into financial troubles and was sold to a new owner; our brewing contract was canceled immediately, and because we did not own our own winery, we were not permitted to take possession of our own cider. This setback forced us to cease production and re-evaluate the future of Original 13. Obviously we could have called it a day but after an incredible launch and the support from our fans and friends, we decided to buckle down and push in all the chips. Our goal now is to establish our own production facility, free from any 3rd party contractor, and establish a tasting room in the heart of Philadelphia where we can share our ciders with those who are passionate about real craft cider, perry, and mead. 

Today we are just about ready to open our very own cidery in the heart of Olde Kensington! While we have secured most of our funding for the facility and are on track to have the cidery up and running this month, we now want to invest a little bit more into our tasting room kitchen. We are looking to upgrade our kitchen from our original plans in order to provide the best possible gluten-free food options and service to match our fantastic cider offerings. Specifically, we are seeking $8,500 to cover the cost of our range, one of the most significant expenses associated which our kitchen. Any money raised beyond that goal will go to cover unexpected costs which may arise during the construction of the kitchen.  

Rewards

Stickers
Stickers

 

Bottle Opener
Bottle Opener

 

Men's Next Level T-Shirt
Men's Next Level T-Shirt

 

Ladies Next Level V-Neck T-Shirt
Ladies Next Level V-Neck T-Shirt

 

16 oz. Pub Glass - Original 13
16 oz. Pub Glass - Original 13

 

64 oz Growler - Original 13
64 oz Growler - Original 13

 

Risks and challenges

Our biggest challenge right now is dealing with permits and licensing through the City of Philadelphia. Any major delays which have or will come up throughout the course of our project are generally due to permit delays, inspection delays, or licensing issues. We are prepared to deal with these challenges as they come, and are confident that we will overcome them.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Stickers and Thank You Letter

    For any donation over $10, you will receive two Sir Charles vinyl stickers, a personal thank you note, and the knowledge that you are helping support local Philadelphia craft hard cider!

    Includes:
    • Sir Charles Stickers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Sir Charles Bottle Opener

    By donating $25 or more, you get the Sir Charles stickers, as well as a Sir Charles branded paddle-style bottle opener.

    Includes:
    • Sir Charles Stickers
    • Sir Charles Bottle Opener
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Sir Charles T-Shirt

    Contributors of $50 or more will receive a Sir Charles T-Shirt; show off your support of local Philadelphia cider by wearing this fashionable shirt all over town, wherever you may be! We will also send you the Sir Charles stickers and bottle opener.

    Includes:
    • Sir Charles Stickers
    • Sir Charles Bottle Opener
    • Sir Charles T-Shirt
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Recognition in our Tasting Room

    Become immortalized in Original 13 history! With a $75 or more contribution, your name will appear on a commemorative donor recognition board on display in our tasting room for all of our guests to see. In addition to your name on the wall, you will also receive the Sir Charles stickers, bottle opener, and T-Shirt.

    Includes:
    • Sir Charles Stickers
    • Sir Charles Bottle Opener
    • Sir Charles T-Shirt
    • Recognition in Tasting Room
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Original 13 Glassware

    Not excited about T-shirts? Take home some Original 13 branded glassware instead! Choose this reward to receive the Sir Charles Stickers, Bottle Opener, as well as an Original 13 Ciderworks Growler (64 oz) and 2 Original 13 glasses (16 oz)! You will also be recognized on the wall in our tasting room.

    Includes:
    • Sir Charles Stickers
    • Sir Charles Bottle Opener
    • Recognition in Tasting Room
    • Empty Original 13 Growler (64 oz)
    • Original 13 Ciderworks 16 oz Cider Glass
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    10 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    All of the Above

    Want to take home EVERYTHING? Pledge $150 or more and get the Sir Charles Sticker, Bottle Opener and T-Shirt, the Original 13 Growler and Glasses, and recognition on the wall in our tasting room.

    Includes:
    • Sir Charles Stickers
    • Sir Charles Bottle Opener
    • Sir Charles T-Shirt
    • Empty Original 13 Growler (64 oz)
    • Original 13 Ciderworks 16 oz Cider Glass
    • Recognition in Tasting Room
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    Ships to Only United States
    3 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Exclusive Kickstarter Contributor Party

    Come party with us! Donate $250 or more and receive an invitation for you and a friend to our exclusive Kickstarter contributor party. Get a behind the scenes look at our cidery, tasting room, and lab, taste test our delicious food options, and party with local cider enthusiasts! You and your plus-one will each go home with two Sir Charles stickers, a bottle opener, and T-Shirt, and you will be featured on our Donor Recognition Wall.

    Party date TBA (will be announced at least 30 days in advance)

    Includes:
    • Sir Charles Stickers
    • Sir Charles Bottle Opener
    • Sir Charles T-Shirt
    • Recognition in Tasting Room
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Cider Making Lesson

    Learn to make your very own hard cider at home! Our Brewmaster will show you the basics in an exclusive class held at our Cidery, and we'll provide all of the equipment you need to get started. You'll also receive the Sir Charles Stickers, bottle opener, T-shirt, and you will be recognized on the wall in our tasting room.

    Includes:
    • Sir Charles Stickers
    • Sir Charles Bottle Opener
    • Sir Charles T-Shirt
    • Recognition in Tasting Room
    • Home Cider-Making Kit
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Exclusive 4 Course Dinner

    As a top contributor to our Kickstarter, individuals who give $500 or more will receive an invitation for two to a private dinner hosted for just 10 couples in our tasting room. Our Executive Chef will prepare four full courses. You and your guest will each take home the Sir Charles stickers, bottle opener, and T-shirt, and an Original 13 glass. You'll also be recognized on the wall in our tasting room.

    Dinner date TBA (will be announced at least 30 days in advance)

    Includes:
    • Sir Charles Stickers
    • Sir Charles Bottle Opener
    • Sir Charles T-Shirt
    • Original 13 Ciderworks 16 oz Cider Glass
    • Recognition in Tasting Room
    Less
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    Limited 1 backer
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Funding period

- (30 days)