Blog: Exploring Crucial 10 Craft Cidery and Shamrock Grove Motel: A Day to Remember!


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Hey everyone! We had the amazing opportunity to visit Crucial 10 Craft Cidery on Route 3 in Thornton, NH, after our fun-filled tour of the White Mountain National Forest. It was such a treat! We got to sip on some delicious cider and check out the Shamrock Grove Motel, owned by the same lovely family. If you couldn’t join us, don’t worry — we’ve got all the juicy details right here.

Crucial 10 Craft Cidery

Our fabulous hosts at Crucial 10 Craft Cidery were Byron O’Donnell, Jr., the mastermind behind the cider, and his parents, Byron O’Donnell, Sr., and Donna O’Donnell, who also run the Shamrock Grove Motel and New Outlook Realty. They welcomed us with open arms and treated us to a delightful cider tasting session and some wonderful stories.

What Makes Crucial 10 So Special:

  • Taproom Vibes: Open since May 2023, the taproom feels like a cozy, local pub. It’s the perfect spot to kick back, with regular music both inside and outside under a big tent filled with picnic tables and games.
  • Unique Apples & Aging Process: They use some really distinct apple varieties and age their cider for 6-8 months right there on-site. You can taste the care they put into each batch.
  • Pressfest Event: Every October, they throw a big event called “Pressfest.” Picture cider tastings, apple pressing, food trucks, craft vendors, and live music. It’s a blast for both cider fans and families!

Volunteer Impressions:

  • Veronica: “The cider tasting was the perfect end to our White Mountain adventure. The Dry Bonz cider, an award-winner, was my favorite! I’m definitely telling everyone heading north from Concord to stop by here.”
  • Vicki and Paul: “We’ve passed by the Shamrock many times but discovering the Crucial 10 Cidery was a wonderful surprise. The cider flight was fantastic, and we’ll be sending visitors your way for sure.”
  • Joan: “Thanks for the free cider flight! The setting is gorgeous, and I loved learning about the different apple varieties.”

This just in!

Crucial 10 Cidery is thrilled to announce that they recently won medals in two international cider categories at the NABA International Beer and Cider Awards. Their Hopped Blueberry Cider placed 3rd in the Hopped Cider category, and their Bonez Dry Cider placed 3rd in the Traditional Cider category. Both were only bested by ciders from the western United States. “Competing against the best cider companies in North America was an honor,” said Byron O’Donnell Jr. “Next year, we’re aiming for gold!”


Shamrock Grove Motel

After our cider tasting, we got to tour the Shamrock Grove Motel. It’s such a charming place, offering clean and comfy accommodations right in the heart of the White Mountain Region. It’s a peaceful retreat with all the amenities you need.


What Makes This Motel Special:

  • Perfect Location: Shamrock is super close to all the adventures — rivers, lakes, mountains, you name it. It’s just a few miles north of Exit 29 off I-93 and near places like Waterville Valley Resort, Owl’s Nest Golf Club, Polar Caves, and more.
  • Comfy Rooms: Their newly renovated rooms are spotless and cozy, each with a coffee maker, refrigerator, and microwave. For families or larger groups, some rooms can connect to form spacious suites. Our volunteers loved the fun themes and how meticulous everything was kept.
  • Great Amenities: Guests can chill out in the outdoor pool and soak in the beautiful views. Plus, they deliver a complimentary breakfast basket to your door every morning by 7:30 AM.
  • Farmette and Country Store: They’ve got adorable goats, a bunny, chickens, and a pony. Plus, you can shop for unique New Hampshire gifts. How awesome is that?


Volunteer Feedback:

  • Veronica M: “The pool setup is perfect for families with young kids. Donna does an amazing job making the rooms feel like home. The prices are great, and the breakfast basket is a nice touch.”
  • Jeannine: “I loved everything about your place. Seeing the motel and tasting the cider was a treat. I’ll definitely tell visitors about your attractions.”


Our visit to Crucial 10 Craft Cidery and Shamrock Grove Motel was an unforgettable part of our White Mountain tour. We learned a lot and felt so welcomed by the O’Donnell family. If you didn’t make it this time, we highly recommend you stop by this hidden gem in Thornton, NH, for some awesome cider, cozy accommodations, and beautiful scenery.

Big thanks to our hosts at Crucial 10 Craft Cidery and Shamrock Grove Motel for making our visit so special. We can’t wait to share our experience with guests and encourage them to explore these wonderful spots!