Free State Ciders, LLC was established in 2015. The name was chosen as a combined tribute to the history of Maryland and hard apple cider in general. In early American history, hard cider was once the most widely drank alcohol beverage. A combination of factors eventually changed this, but the final nail in the coffin was prohibition in the early 20th century. Orchard owners switched to producing non-alcoholic apple ciders during prohibition to continue making money. Non-alcoholic cider, once called apple juice, replaced hard cider. Hard cider would not become popular again in America until the 21st century. One of the nicknames for Maryland, coined in 1923, was "Free State". A Georgia Congressman (supporter of prohibition), denounced Maryland as a traitor to the Union for refusing to pass a prohibition related enforcement act. Hamilton Owens, editor of the Baltimore Sun at the time, wrote an editorial titled "The Maryland Free State", arguing in a mock-serious tone that Maryland should secede from the Union rather than prohibit the sale of liquor. The nickname stuck in later editorials.
Free State Ciders is a Maryland company producing hard apple ciders from apples grown exclusively in Maryland. Our name was chosen to celebrate the interesting history of both hard apple cider and our great state. Check out the links below to learn more!