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Germantown Pastry Chef Hopes to Bring Life Back to Historic Cider Barrel

Brandi Edinger is a Germantown resident and executive pastry chef who is hoping to breath new life back into an historic Germantown icon, the historic Cider Barrel. But she needs your help.

Shuttered since 2003, the iconic Cider Barrel was part of what made Germantown special for almost 80 years. Now Edinger wants to repurpose the historic building into a bakery that would sell fresh pastries, including croissants and cinnamon rolls, and of course, cider, as well as, other seasonal items.

To bring the Cider Barrel back to life, Edinger is going to need support from the community. She has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $85,000 by October 8. This is an all or nothing campaign, if the full amount is not raised by the October 8 deadline, all pledged donations will become void and be returned.

“The total cost of this project is between $180,000 and $200,000,” wrote Edinger in the Kickstarter pitch. “I am trying to raise at least $85,000 because at minimum, this can be used towards securing a loan. I am hoping to raise enough money through fundraising to complete the project in full as I do not want to begin this journey owing a debt — however, I will do whatever is necessary.”

Edinger has already received support from the Germantown Alliance and the Germantown Historical Society for her plan. She has also gotten support from the current owner of the Cider Barrel, Elm Street Development the owner of the apartment building which currently surround the historic building.

Since the Cider Barrel is an official County Historic Landmark, Edinger can’t change the outside look of the building, however, the interior of the building will need to be renovated. “To make this happen, the building itself needs a lot of work,” wrote Edinger. “There are some structural issues that need to be addressed as well as a complete renovation to the interior. It is currently an old, empty building that needs A LOT of love. Unfortunately, the cost to do so is what stands in the way. It is an estimated $140,000 for the re-construction, $20,000 to $30,000 for kitchen equipment and inventory. I know this is a lot of money but I am determined to make this happen and with your help....IT WILL.”

“If anyone would like to donate their talent/skills to help bring the Cider Barrel back to life I would be extremely appreciative and over the top excited,” Edinger wrote. “That would cut costs drastically.” Since the Kickstarter project began on Wednesday evening, the project has garnered $2,195 in support.

Germantown resident Andrew H. Baker owned an insurance company in Washington D.C. and became the town’s entrepreneur, financing the local bank and opening the Cider Barrel on to sell the cider from his apple orchards in 1926. The Cross family bought the building a few years later and sold cider there for nearly 80 years before closing 14 years ago.

“I have been extremely fortunate to have been given permission to repurpose the Cider Barrel as a bakery, but this project is so much more than that,” wrote Edinger. “This is about bringing a community together while doing what I love. Everything is so corporate these days and we are no longer fostering the relationships we once had. I want to partner with local farms to source as much as I can, to work with schools to offer seasonal jobs to students and to offer small hands-on classes for children.”


Top: The Cider Barrel in Germantown first opened in 1926, but has been shuttered for 14 years, but Germantown residents Brandi Edinger hopes to reopen the iconic roadside attraction as a bakery.

Next: Brandi Edinger stands in front of the Cider Barrel in a video on the Kickstarter site. She hopes to raise $85,000 by Oct. 8.

Next: Edinger inside the building as part of the video on the Kickstarter site.

Photos courtesy Kickstarter.

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