Will Upstate NY’s Beak and Skiff win USA Today’s best apple orchard again?

Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards is once again in the running for the nation’s best apple orchard in a USA Today contest.

As of this afternoon, the apple orchard in LaFayette, just outside of Syracuse, was in fourth place. It’s the only New York apple orchard in the running among 20 competitors.

In 2015, Beak & Skiff won the top prize.


New York is the No. 2 apple producer in the nation, second only to Washington state. Each year, New York orchards produce more than 1 billion pounds of apples in a year, according to the New York Apple Association. 

Beak & Skiff is one of the largest and highest profile apple operations in New York, with 700 acres of land, of which 400 are farmed. Beak & Skiff helped pioneer onsite retail apple sales and u-pick with its original Apple Hill buildings, on Lord’s Hill Road (Route 80), back in 1975.

The farm started in 1911 when onion farmer George Skiff and dairy farmer Andrew Beak joined forces, according to USA Today’s website.

Today, 1911 is the brand-name for Beak & Skiff’s cider and liquor line. In 2013, the orchard expanded the Apple Hill campus, adding a full-service cafe, retail shop and tasting room/bar for its growing line of 1911 hard ciders and vodka and gin.

More recently, Beak & Skiff has become a national concert venue. 

Beak & Skiff’s Apple Hill Campus is currently open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. In addition to apple picking, the campus features a children’s activity area, country store and bake shop.

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