“It [can be] incredibly stressful but regardless of the day, I never sleep poorly because I finish every day with this level of satisfaction that I never experienced doing anything else.”
When you arrive at Nine Pin Cider’s impressive, 17,000-square-foot production facility in downtown Albany, NY, the first thing you notice is a large mural, splashed across the side of the building, of a beautiful rose. It was painted on commission by Nine Pin founder Alejandro Del Peral’s artist father 20 years earlier, and when Nine Pin was ready to expand just a few years ago, the space that was perfectly suited for their operations, coincidentally, was the same building brandishing his father’s brush strokes.
Growing up in the Hudson Valley in Upstate New York, Alejandro was taught by his artist father to embrace the pastoral natural world that surrounded them. As kids, Alejandro and his pals would run around the local apple orchards and suburban neighborhoods after school, mischievously “borrowing” many of the area vacation homes’ empty pools.
When he first tasted hard cider on a whim (when he was legally allowed to, of course), Alejandro immediately recognized his passion and sought out an apprenticeship. He landed at Citizen Cider Co. in Essex, VT, and within just three years, Alejandro had crafted his own award-winning cider blend.
Following his entrepreneurial spirit, Alejandro turned to his parents and their neighbors, owners of Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, NY, to launch his business. The main ingredient, apple juice, was the most costly expense (besides legal advice), so Samascott Orchards’ investment of free juice, along with help from friends and family, allowed Nine Pin to officially get off the ground in 2014.
With the Tasting Room open and production increasing from 65,000 to 250,000 gallons annually, Nine Pin can focus on their roots, celebrating their local farms and community by hosting Earth Day clean-ups in downtown Albany, various food pop-ups, and charity drives. Meanwhile, their brand is expanding beyond the capitol region to reach much of New York State.
Nine Pin’s taproom is open to the public six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday, with a rotating selection of 18 taps, including their own New York hard cider and local beer, wine and cocktails. Visit ninepincider.com and/or follow @ninepincider on Twitter to learn more about the cider and where to enjoy their various products in your area.
By The Bootstraps is my way of highlighting the stories of intrepid entrepreneurs as they bootstrap their way to success. Every week I’ll release a video (and sometimes audio version) of these conversations. If you’d like to read more about the project or submit your own entrepreneur story for consideration, visit here.