A new business doesn’t always start with a business plan, or even a building. Sometimes, it’s just about the right location and a piece of land.

That’s how Noah Herron, along with co-founders Mike Hayner and longtime friend Marc Rupentha, the winemaker at Urban Vines, came up with Urban Apples. It will be Hamilton County’s first hard cidery and the 15th in Indiana. Herron is also the owner of Urban Vines Winery & Brewery, a popular destination in Westfield since 2018.

“With me, it always starts with finding the perfect property,” Herron says. “I’m always looking around the area for new properties that are for sale. Once I find the perfect location, then I work my way back towards what would do well in that location.”

Herron came across a horse farm next to Grand Park and figured the land would be a great agritourism location in the long term. Herron purchased the 25-acre property in 2020. It was previously home to Bridle Oaks Farm, an equestrian facility with a 20,000-square-foot stable, a barn that dates to the mid-19th century, two ponds and plenty of open land. With his background in wine making and brewing, he wanted to stay with something close to home – something familiar.

“There’s breweries, there’s wineries, there’s distilleries, and very seldom do you hear about cideries,” Herron says. “Finding an opportunity that nobody’s doing around you, I think, is really important.”

Glass of hard cider
Just one of the ciders on-tape at Urban Apples

Urban Apples opened in late May. Guests can expect a German-based food menu with delicious ciders, German beers, wine and a few mixed cocktails while they enjoy the landscape of Hamilton County.

“If we didn’t do this, a developer would have bought it and turned it into houses,” Herron says. “For us, the value was there because we were able to keep a 20,000-square-foot building and then build out from there.”

And build they will.

Herron sees the cidery as a fun place for families to grab dinner and let their kids roam free. The cidery sits on 25 acres of land with picnic tables, a 35-foot kid mountain, ponds and more. Over the next couple of years, the grounds will be developed with more amenities like an amphitheater, fire pits, additional landscaping, an orchard and more.

Guests can look forward to special events throughout the year, like Germanfest in the fall and Lift Off, a hot-air balloon experience. Urban Apples is also offering the Cider Society, as a way to enjoy certain features of the property for members only.

“With the opening of Urban Apples, this will be my third business and now we’re over 100 employees,” Herron says. “The days are long but are always fun and challenging. It has never felt like work to me.”

Herron and his wife have lived in Westfield for 12 years, and credit their love of the growing community for why Urban Vines and Urban Apples are operated in Westfield. It’s where he’s most comfortable, and the city’s substantial growth has influenced his success.

“We absolutely love it here,” Herron says. “The community, the people, the way of life – we have really immersed ourselves in the community and have made so many new friends. My wife and I volunteer in a lot of the kids’ sports and clubs. Spending time with family and friends is important to us, and how we balance out all the hard work we put in with the Urban brand.”


Comments 1

  1. Alberta Egle says:

    A great place for the band “The Mulligans “ to play. They have a great following. Talented musicians!! 🎶🎶

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