Apple blossoms mean Minnesota’s cider season is here

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 … [ Read more]

Minnesota Cider Guild incorporates, Cider Week planned for June 5–10

Local hard cider producers from around the state officially established the Minnesota Cider Guild on April 3rd. “The Minnesota cider industry is very young, with the majority of cider makers launching their businesses within the last four years,” says guild president Gretchen Perbix of Sweetland Orchard. “We have tremendous support among our local consumer audiences, … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2016

What’s the value of a brewery’s stance on mining? Why be concerned with obscure English apples? What’s so important about a chicken sandwich at a stadium? Why does it matter if a basketball team weighs in on current events? The answer to all those questions is the same: it makes a difference. There are people … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2016: Mike and Gretchen Perbix of Sweetland Orchard

Minnesota’s cider scene is flourishing. In 2015, cidermakers made 100,000 gallons of cider from 33,333 bushels of Minnesota-grown apples. By 2019, they are projected to make upwards of 400,000 gallons of cider, which would require an additional 100,000 bushels of apples. Though the demand for cider apple varieties is rising, Minnesota apple growers are reluctant … [ Read more]

Minnesota’s guilded age of cider

Jim Morrison of Sapsucker Farms could barely keep up with the nearly 1,000 people who attended the Minnesota Cider Guild’s first-ever Cider Fair on Sunday in Jordan. He was surprised by the sheer number of people looking for a sip of his Yellow Belly Hard Cider, but also at how many times he heard someone … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: September 2016

Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on a recent remarkable beverage. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Pere Mata Cupada No. 15 Cava – John Garland, Senior Editor You may have heard about “grower Champagne,” the small-batch bubbly that’s vinified by the farmers … [ Read more]

Fair trial: Our favorite new State Fair libations

Drinking at the Minnesota State Fair is all about balance. You don’t want anything too thick or heavy, nor anything too dry. You’re looking for something crisp and tart, light and refreshing. Something to pep you up. Something to help you slink amidst 100,000 of your closest statesmen. Something to help wash away whatever cheese and … [ Read more]

The State of Cider 2016: Updates from cideries during Minnesota Cider Week

For at least one week in the year, cider reigns supreme in Minnesota. Town Hall Brewery’s sixth annual weeklong cider celebration runs through June 11, and this year the event was rebranded Minnesota Cider Week to reflect the growing community of cidermakers and cider drinkers across the state. Cider is an essentially simple beverage—take apple juice, ferment … [ Read more]

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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]

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]