Apple blossoms mean Minnesota’s cider season is here

Blossoms on a Dolgo crabapple tree at Sweetland Orchard // Photo via Sweetland Orchard Facebook

Blossoms on a Dolgo crabapple tree at Sweetland Orchard // Photo via Sweetland Orchard Facebook

Apple orchards are beginning to bloom and that can only mean one thing: cider season is here.

Starting Friday, May 5, Number 12 Cider House’s taproom, located at Deer Lake Orchard in Buffalo, will be open for business on the weekends. Started by four couples, one of which owns Deer Lake Orchard, Number 12 is the maker of an English-style dry cider, a blackcurrant cider, and a semi-dry cider that features the Chestnut Crabapple developed by the University of Minnesota.

Down in Webster, Minnesota, Sweetland Orchard celebrated the bloom by inviting the public to visit on May 6, enjoy nature, chat with the owners, pack a picnic, and try some experimental ciders Sweetland has been working on.

Keepsake Cidery has taken advantage of the warm spring weather to plant the first trees of the year in their orchard. Varieties include Golden Russet, Roxbury Russet, Binet Rouge, and Medaille d’Or.

Milk & Honey Ciders has also been turning over earth this spring, breaking ground on a new cidery and taproom facility in St. Joseph, Minnesota. In addition to prepping the site for construction, Milk & Honey is planning to introduce two new ciders for the summer: Flora and Fauna.

In Minneapolis, construction is underway for a new tasting room at Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, founded by husband and wife Jeff and Gita Zeitler. While the renovations occur, the winery and cider house is still open for bottles sales on Fridays and Saturdays, with access through the side door.

Thirsty for more? This June, Minnesota Cider Week returns from June 5 through June 10 with opportunities to taste through some fine examples of craft cider. The newly formed Minnesota Cider Guild is putting on a sampling event to showcase different ciders being made in the state, as well as ciders from around the country. The Minnesota Craft Cider Festival will be taking place on June 10 at City House in St. Paul.

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Brian Kaufenberg is the editor-in-chief of The Growler Magazine.

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