Ironbound owner wants to revive Newark as a cider town

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(News 12 New Jersey) As the owner of Ironbound Hard Cider, Charles Rosen is on a mission to make Newark a cider town once again. (News 12 New Jersey) As the owner of Ironbound Hard Cider, Charles Rosen is on a mission to make Newark a cider town once again.
ASBURY PARK -

As the owner of Ironbound Hard Cider, Charles Rosen is on a mission to make Newark a cider town once again.

“George Washington loved Newark cider more than any other cider, and Newark cider was known as the champagne of ciders, nationally,” Rosen said.

Though he had to move his processing to a farm that he bought in Asbury Park due to complex state laws, the move proved life changing for his workers.

Nearly all of Ironbound’s workers live in Newark, and 30 percent of them were formerly incarcerated.

James Williams said Ironbound provided him with his first real job at age 37.

“On the streets, gang banging, selling drugs; I did prison time twice. It was a big surprise coming from the streets coming to farm work. I'm part of it. To me, I'm part of the place. I'm at home. I've grown with the company,” he said.

The cider is made with old New Jersey apple varieties, now grown on local farms in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

“We can be treating people with dignity, helping repair damage to the Earth, having a robust agricultural program and still make money doing so. That's the proof of concept,” Rosen said.

Ironbound Cider is sold in local stores across the state, and Rosen’s New Ark Farms in Asbury is renovating several building to be ready for tastings and events by spring.

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