Sophie Bolich

Pomona Cider Company Announces Opening Date

East Side cidery to host a series of soft openings for the public starting in March.

By - Feb 15th, 2023 03:34 pm
Site of Pomona Cider Company, 2163 N. Farwell Ave. Photo taken Feb. 15, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Pomona Cider Company, 2163 N. Farwell Ave. Photo taken Feb. 15, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Pomona Cider Company is set to open next month, debuting its craft ciders and cozy, laid-back atmosphere in Milwaukee’s Lower East Side neighborhood.

The long-awaited “cidery in the city,” as company co-owner Tom Gabert calls it, is located at 2163 N. Farwell Ave., where it will host a series of limited soft openings beginning Saturday, March 4 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. A grand opening is planned for early April.

Behind the upcoming business are Gabert and co-owner Sawyer Purman. The two first proposed the business in 2020, but experienced a series of delays due to Wisconsin’s three-tier system for alcohol distribution and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the hurdles, Gabert and Purman remained patient and committed to their vision. The result, which Gabert calls an “urban oasis,” was worth the wait.

“It’s just gorgeous,” he said. “You can tell that it’s all done by hand…just like the process of using your hands and making cider from scratch, we wanted to give that feel in the aesthetic as well. Everything in this was done by someone, it wasn’t just manufactured.”

Nearly every piece of furniture and decor inside the cidery — save for the chairs — was handmade by local artisans, including lampshades and sake glasses thrown by a Milwaukee ceramicist, tables and benches from a local woodworker and logos and wall art by the Wit And Co. graphic design studio.

The 2,100-square-foot cidery features lounge, banquette and bar seating options, which are surrounded by orchard-inspired decor. A minimalist mural of an apple covers one wall, while another features a colorful depiction of Pomona, the Roman goddess of orchards and the cidery’s namesake. The building’s high ceilings are outfitted with leaf-embossed wood panels, lending a warm and whimsical feel to the space, while windows along the building’s southwest wall overlook the Oak Leaf Trail.

Visitors will also be able to observe the fermenting process through a display window near the bar, Gabert said.

At the bar, guests can expect a selection of lightly sweet, Normandy-style ciders that were fermented on site using apples and pears sourced from a Door County orchard. Pomona will also offer ciders from its partner company, Door County-based Island Orchard.

At its soft opening, the cidery will also debut a limited menu from chefs Katie Gabert and Sam Sandrin, who are perhaps better known as the talented duo behind Strega.

Katie Gabert (Tom Gabert’s sister) and Sandrin are developing a full menu for the cidery, which will become available in April. After that, the pair will continue as kitchen and menu consultants for the cidery, while also helping to plan private dinners and events.

A preview of the April grand opening menu is available to view online.

For more information and future soft opening dates, visit Pomona Cider Company on Facebook.


Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us