“We bow before the Volstead Act, and serve it to you sweet. Tis’ better far than old and hard, this glorious temperance treat,” President, Germantown Historical Society, Susan Soderberg, read from a poem formerly painted on the Cider Barrel.
The historic building dates back to the prohibition era, serving sweet, non-alcoholic drinks through 2002, when no one was willing to take over the reins of the cider business.
“All that remains is the iconic Cider Barrel itself,” Soderberg said. “It is unique. It’s one-of-a-kind roadside architecture.”
Sitting on the edge of Route 355, the larger-than-life barrel sparks curiosity in many passersby, including Brandi Edinger, a local pastry chef with plans to reopen the building.
“I drive by this thing every day,” Edinger said. “The Cider Barrel is beautiful. It’s such a shame that it’s been sitting so long without anybody using it.”
Her vision is multifaceted, including a classroom for baking lessons, space to host camps for kids with special needs and baked goods made from local ingredients.
And of course, Edinger will sell cider as well.
She hopes to offer seasonal drinks from the former drive-through window.
“I just want that whole feeling of nostalgia [and] memories to come back as people are coming in,” Edinger said.
If her current investors hold true, Edinger said renovations will begin this October.
She’s raised $7,000 since last year and will continue raising money as she leases the building from Elm Street Development.
“This would be a way of saving the building, because as long as it remains empty and just sitting here against the road, it is vulnerable,” Soderberg said. “There have been a couple of attempts to move it.”
You can donate to Edinger’s project here.