Harrison is also known as Harrison Cider, Long Stem, and Harrisons Newark. It first appeared in Essex County, New Jersey during the early 18th century, and was grown extensively for cider until the early 20th century. Throughout the 1800's, Harrison was a leading variety in cider production, valued for its ability to produce many small apples that made a champagne-like cider. By the 1900's, the rise of beer and prohibition largely exterminated Harrison production. This heirloom variety was thought to be lost until 1976, when it was discovered by Paul Guidez. More recently, Tom Burford has brought the Harrison back into cultivation. It is now grown by cider makers throughout North America.
The apple itself is small, round and yellow skinned, with small black dots. Harrison tastes dry and coarse, but yields a large percentage of juice when pressed. Harrison juice is viscous, syrupy, and dark, with complex flavors and exceptional mouth feel.
The Harrison tree is is a heavy annual bearer, with a single tree producing large quantities of small apples. Apples ripen in October in upstate New York, are scab and rot-resistant, and keep well in storage. It remains one of the very finest apples for cider-making, either fresh or fermented.