Homebrew Recipe: Wyld Cyder

There was an apocryphal bad frost centuries ago in Hessen, Germany that wiped out that year’s grape crop. The distraught winemakers turned to apples and they haven’t looked back since. That region is now the heartland of Apfelmost—a hard cider, fermented with the naturally occurring microbes on the fruit and extant from year to year … [ Read more]

Cidermaker Profile: Rob Fisk of Wyndfall Cyder

For most people, the word “spitter” evokes the thought of something unpleasant—angry llamas, perhaps, or individuals who require a little extra talking space if you want to stay dry. Not Rob Fisk. For him, the word means something beautiful, something high quality, something on which he’s built his life. Spitters are the colloquial term for … [ Read more]

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Cider wins big just in time for the new year

Tucked within the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed in Congress a few weeks ago was the CIDER Act, a much-needed and long overdo update to cider regulations in the United States, according to the Cider Association. The CIDER Act amends the Internal Revenue Code to create a definition of cider that more accurately reflects the reality of … [ Read more]

Sweetland Orchard Bottling Line of ‘Scrumpy’ Hard Ciders

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 … [ Read more]

Rooted in Tradition, Keepsake Cidery Looks to the Future

Photos by Brian Kaufenberg “This is really out there,” my fiancée remarks as we turn onto another winding country road taking us deeper into farmland on our way to Keepsake Cidery in Dundas, Minnesota. She’s right—the roar of I-35 has completely faded away by this point,  replaced by the sound of rustling trees in the … [ Read more]

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Minneapolis Cider Week is June 1–6

By the numbers, hard cider is the fastest-growing segment of the United States’ beer market. Seeing more than 70 percent growth each of the past two years and a market share that has grown fivefold in the past three years, hard cider is in the midst of a full-blown renaissance. Minneapolis Cider Week, an annual celebration of all things hard cider, … [ Read more]

The State of Cider 2015

The art and science of hard apple cider has been practiced in America since long before there even was a United States. The first English settlers to arrive in New England are said to have promptly requested apple seeds from the motherland upon learning that the crabapples native to the promised land were unsuitable for the making of their favorite fermented beverage. The … [ Read more]

Seattle Cider Company Entering Minnesota Market

A new brand of hard cider from the Pacific Northwest will soon begin competing for the coveted spot of the apple 0f Minnesotans’ eyes–or pint glasses, as it were. Seattle Cider Company, which is based in its namesake city, touts its exclusive use of fresh-pressed Washington apples and the absence of concentrates and artificial flavors and colorings in … [ Read more]

Jim Morrison’s Sapsucker Farm and Yellow Belly Hard Cider

For this farming couple, starting small led to success, one crop after another. One of Jim Morrison’s favorite memories from childhood involves apples. “I was sitting out in the woods one day,” he recalls, “and I remembered how when I was a kid my parents would occasionally bring home a one-gallon tub of fresh, unpasteurized … [ Read more]

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Apples to Apple Cider: Minnesota’s craft cider takes root

Minnesota’s craft cider scene is growing. The sweeter cousin of craft beer contains a similar alcohol by volume, but with the nose-tickling bubbles of dry champagne. While not out of place next to Surly or Indeed’s latest seasonal on draft, cider is actually created in a process that has more in common with making wine than … [ Read more]

Leidel’s Hebron Cider

 By John Garland Mitch Leidel’s family has been on the same plot of land north of La Crescent, MN since the mid-1800s. His great-grandfather planted the orchard in 1917, on which his grandfather worked his entire life. Looking for new sources of revenue to keep the farm alive, Leidel’s Cider was born after consultation with Levi Funk (a … [ Read more]