Left to right starting at the top: Amy presses out the steeped produce; Dana, Brian and Amy mixing up Fire Cider cocktails; One full batch ready for pressing; Dana gets the pump working; Chopping horseradish is a lesson in the potency of whole food; Brian fills 8 oz bottles; Dana packing and shipping orders; A Fire Cider Hot Toddy Tasting in Brooklyn, NY; Dana, Amy and Brian at Dotties Coffee Shop in Pittsfield, MA- the first Fire Cider retail location!;
A 350 gallon batch of Fire Cider ready to press.
"Our philosophy is simple: whole foods make the best medicine..."
Shire City Herbals grew out of our own self care. Dana St. Pierre began making early versions of Fire Cider in the 90's to combat his yearly bouts of bronchitis and seasonal allergies. Through the years Dana tinkered with his Fire Cider recipe to make it both medicinally potent and palatable, adding a few new twists to the traditional base of apple cider vinegar and honey. In December of 2010 our friends at Alchemy Initiative in Pittsfield MA invited Dana and his wife Amy Huebner, a holistic health coach, to sell their herbals teas, tinctures and Fire Cider at the annual Handmade Holiday Festival. To Amy and Dana’s great surprise, many of the people who sampled the Fire Cider at the festival bought some and they soon sold out!
Shire City Herbals was incorporated in January of 2011 with help from Dana’s sister Erin, Amy’s brother Brian and Dr. James Huebner, father and financial adviser. Fire Cider is truly a small family business; from the start-up capital our family contributed we were able, over the next nine months, to slog our way through the seemingly endless paperwork, lab tests, licenses applications and bureaucracy to a finished product that was ready to sell.
Brian, a comic artist who runs the site AFineExample.com, didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he agreed to help his sister Amy by creating the labels for Fire Cider. It was a long process, with more revisions than we thought possible but the end result is a unique, fun label with Brian’s original comic characters representing the different sized bottles.
Dana, Amy and Brian began selling Fire Cider in stores in September of 2011. After just a year Fire Cider can be found in almost 100 retail outlets, in every state in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio! Amy, Dana and Brian spend a day every week producing Fire Cider at the Community Development Kitchen in Greenfield MA. We all take turns attending festivals like The Big E and The New Amsterdam Market in downtown Manhattan.
We use only organic, domestic produce to make Fire Cider as healthful as possible. We buy local, raw, wildflower honey from Merrimack Valley Apiary in Billerica MA directly from the bee keeper. We are still looking for a local provider (in the New England area) for the raw, organic, unpasteurized, living apple cider vinegar that is the base of Fire Cider.
What is in this Fire Cider stuff? The base is raw, Certified Organic apple cider vinegar and raw wildflower honey. Then we add: Organic Oranges, Organic Lemons, Organic Onions, Organic Ginger, Organic Horseradish, Organic Garlic, Organic Turmeric, and Organic Habanero Pepper.
Is Fire Cider raw? Yes, we use all raw honey, produce and vinegar. Fire Cider is never heated or refrigerated, it is a living, raw, whole foods tonic. Vinegar and honey are nature’s preservatives so we never add anything but what’s listed on the label!
Is Fire Cider organic? We use all organic produce and vinegar. It was not possible to get certified organic honey that was local to us. We chose to buy raw, unpasteurized wildflower honey directly from a local farm.
Is Fire Cider spicy? We get asked this a lot and the answer is: it depends on your love of and tolerance for heat. Fire Cider can be enjoyably warming or wicked spicy! For those who are afraid of the heat, Fire Cider mixes deliciously with lemonade, orange juice, tea and more. It’s still a health tonic, even if you water it down.
Does Fire Cider contain alcohol? No, it does not. It does however, mix well with alcohol if that's your style, so check out our blog or our recipe book for our signature Fire Cider cocktails!
Sip Winter Warm Up Tea: for immune boosting, body warming, cold and flu relief. The recipe is on our blog under Drinks.
Berkshire County, Massachusetts