When Steve and Joan Belkin purchased Lookout Farm in South Natick in 2005, they became only the ninth owners since the 180-acre property was set up in 1651. The farm, open weekends from May through July, and then daily from August through October, offers seasonal fruit picking plus train rides, farm animals, a maze, and children’s activities and entertainment.
To draw customers year-round, Jay Mofenson — who is married to the Belkins’ daughter, Amy, and formerly was a practicing lawyer — opened a hard-cider taproom on June 5. Mofenson and Aaron Mateychuk, brewmaster at the Lookout Farm Hard Cider Co., had this to say about their operation:
Q. How did an attorney end up working at a farm?
Mofenson: I practiced construction law for 10 years, but I’ve always loved the outdoors. I wanted to utilize my skills for something different, and the farm offered a great opportunity. It’s a majestic place, just in need of fresh ideas and some revitalization.
Q. How did you settle on the taproom?
Mofenson: The economics of farming are very difficult. It was my personal challenge to preserve this gorgeous property and keep it financially sustainable. That led to repurposing many of our 25 varieties of apples into hard cider.
Q. What can customers expect to sample?
Mofenson: We’re running four varieties on tap, including our Farmhouse Blend, which is available for purchase. Aaron has creative freedom to devise brewer’s choices as we continue to grow, evolve, and plant new trees. The hard cider is our focus, but we also have a tasting room offering charcuterie, cheeses, and flatbreads, with many items sourced from local farms.
Q. How was the Farmhouse Blend developed?
Mateychuk: With hard cider, it’s all about balancing the acidity to create a nice sense of sweetness but also crispness. Other companies might add water or sucrose, but ours is 100 percent real apples with local honey to round out the flavor profile. We want it to be as pure and amazing as the farm it comes from.
Q. Are other expansion plans on the horizon?
Mofenson: Quality is our number one driver, so we’re going to grow as long as we can put out a product that we’re proud to have our name on.
The taproom hours at Belkin Family Lookout Farm, 89 Pleasant St. in South Natick, are Thursday through Sunday, 12 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.lookoutfarm.com or www.lookoutfarmcider.com.Cindy Cantrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.