The Ultimate Guide to Cider Week 2018

Photo by Kevin Kramer

Photo by Kevin Kramer

Celebrating all-things cider, the annual Minnesota Cider Week is back and ready for sipping action. Running June 2–9, this week-long celebration, organized by the Minnesota Cider Guild, highlights our state’s locally crafted cider, as well as many of the establishments that embrace and support the fast-growing industry.

The week is full of events, from special tappings to cider dinners (and brunch!), all building up to the Guild’s grand soiree: the MN Craft Cider Festival, taking place Saturday, June 9 from 1–5pm at the Como Lakeside Pavilion. More than 100 ciders from 43 local, national, and international cideries will be on site for sampling–a great way to see what’s going on in the world of cider.

Tap Features and Happy Hours

The taps of Milk & Honey Ciders // Photo Aaron Job

Milk & Honey Ciders is one of the many Minnesota cideries participating in Cider Week // Photo Aaron Job

Nothing beats a good happy hour. Value paired with delicious drinks, snacks, perhaps even a patio or rooftop: what could be better? Taplines filled with cider, that’s what. All week long, the following establishments will be loading their bars with Minnesota ciders and highlighting them with tap features, flights, menu pairings, and more.

Black Sheep Pizza – Eat Street – Tap Features
Black Sheep Pizza – North Loop – Tap Features
Bulldog – Uptown – Tap Features
Fielder’s Choice Tap & Table – Tap Features
Grumpy’s – Downtown – $4.75 Minnesota ciders all day; Tuesday, June 5
Grumpy’s – Northeast – Tap Features
Happy Gnome – Tap Features, Flights, Cheese Pairing
New Bohemia – Uptown – Tap Features, Flights
Red Cow – 50th & France – Tap Features, Flights
Red Cow – North Loop – Tap Features, Flights
Red Cow – St. Paul – Tap Features, Flights
Red Cow – Uptown – Tap Features, Flights
Red Wagon Pizza – Flights, Short Pours, Menu Pairings
Republic – Tap Features, Flights, Happy Hour Specials
Town Hall Brewery – Tap Features
Town Hall Lanes – Tap Features
Town Hall Tap – Tap Features

Cider Brunches and Dinners

A bright, acidic white wine and flaky fish. A robust stout paired with rich beef stew. Some foods have already found life-long partners in their liquid libation counterpart. This week, discover cider’s perfect match at one of the following cider dinners and brunches.

St. Genevieve Brittany Brunch Pop-Up • June 2 and 3 • 9:30am–2pm each day • St. Genevieve • Brunch items are priced a la carte
Brunch makes everything better. Kick off Minnesota Cider Week with brunch inspired by France’s renowned cider region, Brittany. Sip on local and imported ciders while savoring dishes like buckwheat galette with ham, gruyere, egg, and preserved tomato; escargot; clams steamed in Calvados; pastries; and oysters.

Town Hall Cider Dinner • June 5 • Starts at 7pm • Town Hall Brewery • $75
Town Hall Brewery has long been a cider supporter, and they’re going all out this year with a four-course meal prepared by Town Hall Brewery chef Michael Hanson paired with ciders from Angry Orchard, Uncle John’s Cider Mill, Maiden Rock, and Milk & Honey Ciders, all of whom will have cidery representatives on hand to discuss their ciders. Bonus: This year’s menu is entirely gluten-free.

The Hasty Tasty Showcase Craft Cider Dinner • June 6 • 6–8pm • The Hasty Tasty • $65
Minneapolis’ Hasty Tasty has teamed up with the MN Cider Guild for a five-course meal paired with craft ciders from Keepsake, Shacksbury, and Sweetland Orchard.

Special Events

A goblet of cider at Urban Forage Winery & Cider House. Gita Zietler, an owner of Urban Forage, is in the background // Photo via Urban Forage Winery & Cider House Facebook

A goblet of cider and co-owner Gita Zietler at Urban Forage Winery & Cider House // Photo via Urban Forage Winery & Cider House Facebook

Amp up your apple game at one of these cider-centric events, from educational talks with cidermakers to a cider-themed trivia night.

MN Cider Week Kick-Off Party • June 2 • 12pm–2am • New Bohemia Uptown • Free
New Bohemia in Uptown will be party central on Saturday. Thirteen cideries will be on tap, including Wyndfall Cyder, Carlos Creek, Number 12 Cider House, and Thor’s Hard Cider.

Firkin Fun • June 5 • Starts at 2pm • Black Sheep PizzaSt. Paul • Free
Wet your whistle with a one-time-only specialty firkin from Milk & Honey Ciders. This extra-special sipper features cherry, citrus, and bitter herb—the perfect antidote for the summertime heat.

Meet Your Maker: Presented by The Happy Gnome • June 7 • 6–8pm • The Happy Gnome • $35
As the name implies, this unique event at The Happy Gnome allows you to meet local cider makers while drinking their products, all while learning about the cider-making process. Cidermakers from Milk & Honey Ciders, Keepsake, Sweetland, and Wyndfall Cyder will be on hand; chef Scott Brink will provide hors d’oeuvres.

Cider Trivia Night • June 7 • 7–8:30pm • Urban Forage Winery & Cider House • Free
Do you really know cider? Do you know the history of hard cider apples, the unique characteristics of Basque ciders, any other apple-related tidbits of knowledge? Test your smarts at Urban Forage’s all-cider trivia night.

One Ukulele Show + Barrel-Aged Cider Release • June 8 • Starts at 7pm • Urban Forage Winery & Cider House • Free
Americana band One Ukulele will rock Urban Forage with deep, folksy tunes during this Friday night performance. Urban Forage will also be releasing their barrel-aged cider.

Sociable Cider Werks’ Applepalooza

Coinciding with MN Cider Week, Applepalooza is Sociable’s week-long celebration of all-things apples. Every day from June 4-10, the newly expanded Northeast Minneapolis establishment will be hosting special events, from a cider cooking expo to a cider cocktail class.

Bingo with specialty prizes • June 4 • 7–9pm

Firkinpalooza • June 5 • 6–10pm  • $25
For one night only, you can have the taproom all to yourself (and a few dozen of your closest fellow cider-lovers) to sample 10 speciality Sociable Cider Werks casks, plus guest casks from Milk & Honey Ciders and Number 12 Cider House.

Homebrew Panel • June 6 • 5:30–7:30pm • Free
Some of Minnesota’s top cider and wine makers are coming together to share a few of the tricks they’ve learned over the years. The panel includes Jim Watkins, co-owner of Sociable Cider Werks, Peter Gillitzer, co-owner of Milk & Honey Ciders, and Michael Jones, winemaker at Scott Laboratories.

Cooking with Cider • June 7 • 5:30–8pm • $50
Learn to cook with cider with chef JD Fratzke (culinary director for Bar Brigade, Delicata, Spring Cafe, Red River Kitchen, and Republic, and WCCO news anchor and Minnesota Monthly food critic Jason DeRusha. Enjoy samples and hands-on instructions on making a three-course menu.

Cocktails with Cider • June 8 • 6–8pm • $35
Boost your cocktail game with this special collaboration night with Tattersall Distilling. Tattersall’s mixologists will demonstrate three different cider cocktail recipes and offer tips for replicating them at home. Plus, you’ll get to drink what you make. Win.

Specialty Firkins All Day • June 9 • All day

Sociable Summer Funk Fest June 10 • 2-8pm Free to attend, $5 drinking wristband, $60 VIP package
Even though it’s technically a day after MN Cider Week concludes, Sociable Cider Werks will keep the party going with the first installation of the Sociable Summer series: Funk Fest. Things are going to get groovy thanks to local musical groups Nooky Jones, Astralblak fka ZULUZULUU, New Sound Underground, and Alex Rossi. There will also be yard games, food trucks, art vendors, signature cider cocktails from Tattersall, some super funky ciders, and the debut of Sociable’s newly expanded taproom space.

MN Craft Cider Festival

Glasses of cider // Photo by Kevin Kramer

Glasses of cider from the 2017 Craft Cider Fair // Photo by Kevin Kramer

Tappings and happy hours. Check. Brunches and dinners. Check. Specialty events. Check. But it wouldn’t be MN Cider Week without the MN Craft Cider Festival.

MN Craft Cider Festival  • June 9 •  2-5pm, VIP entry at 1pm • Como Lakeside Pavilion •  $55 VIP, $40 GA, $5 DD
Sweet summertime—with ciders to boot! Take in picturesque Como Lake while sipping unlimited samples of 100-plus ciders from local, national, and international cideries. There will also be food to purchase from the new Spring Cafe, Red River Kitchen food truck, and Chowgirls Killer Catering.