Sweetland Orchard, in Webster, Minnesota, has been making hard cider since 2012 and is now bottling and kegging it for wholesale distribution.
Four-packs of Sweetland’s Scrumpy Original (“tart, dry, and unfiltered”), Scrumpy Sweet (“a sweet-tart cider that gets its flavor from from the non-alcoholic cider added to every bottle”), and Cherry Rhubarb Scrumpy (“combines hard cider with rhubarb and tart cherries in a brilliant pink cider”) recently began showing up at area liquor stores in 375ml bottles.
Sweetland makes its hard cider from a blend of 100-percent Minnesota-grown apples. They combine apple varieties like Zestar and Paula Red that ripen earlier in the year with late season varieties like Haralson and Honeycrisp.
The term “scrumpy” commonly refers to locally produced, small-batch cider versus more mass-produced ciders. “Going scrumpin'” can also mean going to pick apples.
According to a press release from Sweetland owners Mike and Gretchen Perbix, the four-packs wouldn’t have been possible without help from their friends and family. Their bottling crew included Sam Falbo, a friend who designed the bottles’ labels and carrying cases “who still refuses payment in any form other than apples or cider,” other friends of the orchard, Gretchen’s mother and brother, and Mike’s parents.
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