WRITER | MARY ROSE KULCZAK
PHOTO | Bløm
Michigan orchards are the third-largest producer of apples in the country. And where there are apple growers, hard cider makers are nearby, ready to turn the ripe fruit into delicious craft beverages. A perfect climate for apple growing has turned the state’s western side into Michigan’s Cider Coast. Visitors can tour tasting rooms while enjoying spectacular views of the lakes and colorful fall foliage.
Add these cideries to your “must-try” list this fall and try a glass (or a flight) of homegrown cider for an authentic “farm-to-glass” Michigan experience.
Bee Well Meadery and Cider, Bellaire
Brothers Chris and Jeremy Vansice opened their meadery and cidery in 2014. In 2018, they debuted their tasting room, featuring 20 rotating taps of ciders, sodas, and snacks in a family-friendly environment.
Starcut Ciders/Short’s Brewing Company, Bellaire
In 2015, Short’s Brewing Company ventured into hard ciders with popular selections like Octorock, Pulsar, and Mosa. They source many of their apples from their home in Antrim County.
Townline Ciderworks, Williamsburg
The Altonen family owns and operates the orchards that inspired their hard cider venture. They have created a family-friendly atmosphere with food trucks, music, and a selection of sodas. They offer an award-winning family of ciders on tap as well as cans like Smart Alec, Sweet Elise, Sandra Dee, Big John, and more.
Suttons Bay Ciders, Suttons Bay
The Leelanau Peninsula farm of Mark and Madelyn Korzon is home to their cidery orchards. Popular selections include Highlander, I Spy Ginger, Barrel Rider, and Smitten. Check the website for Friday night musical guests throughout the season.
Tandem Ciders, Suttons Bay
A few years after discovering cider while on a tandem bike tour of the UK and moving to Michigan from Massachusetts, Dan Young and Nikki Rothwell opened Tandem Ciders in Leelanau County.
TwoK Farms, Suttons Bay
Brothers George and Max Koskela brought their “farm-to-glass” philosophy of cider making to the region in 2010. In 2018, they opened their tasting room with a patio that overlooks West Grand Traverse Bay. Some of their award-winning ciders include Benjamin, Hopp’d, Sangria, Riesling, and Cille.
Pux Ciders, Conklin
With over 125 apple varieties, Pux Ciders creates unique cider blends, including Pomander, Whippersnapper, Orchard Brut, Rosé, Minty, Ballyhoo, and Pinch.
Vander Mill Ciders, Grand Rapids
Paul and Amy VanderHeide opened their cidery in 2006. In 2016, they opened a new production facility and taproom in Grand Rapids, where they serve a selection of food choices and ciders.
The Peoples Cider Co., Grand Rapids
Initially a home cider maker, Jason Lümmen turned a hobby into a business, launching The Peoples Cider in 2011.
Farmhaus Ciders, Hudsonville
John and Megan Behrens started their cidery on John’s 150-year-old family farm. Behrens, who is president of the Michigan Cider Association, said the cidery offers a spectrum of styles, from dry to sweet.
Virtue Cider, Fennville
Gregory Hall brought his 20 years of experience as a Goose Island Beer Company brewmaster to the cider coast in 2011. He founded Virtue Ciders using local heirloom fruit and sustainable farming practices. Popular varieties include Brut, Solar Hop, Pear, and Rose.
Carriage House Ciders, Benton Harbor
Creating small-batch cider for the last 30 years, Paula Camp makes cider that honors her values of authenticity and diversity.
Peats Cider Social, Stevensville
Owned and operated in Paw Paw, you can sample Peats Original Cider at their converted retro bowling alley tasting room.
While the coast offers many cideries to choose from, including many that we haven’t shared here, there are also plenty of options for unique ciders in other areas of Michigan to explore.
Blake’s Hard Cider, Armada
The Blake family farm has been in operation for 75 years. Visitors can tour orchards, the cider mill, a tasting room, and a production facility.
Blöm, Ann Arbor
Located in downtown Ann Arbor, Blöm (pronounced “bloom”) makes what they like to call seasonal session meads and ciders that are light, dry, and carbonated.
Boss Cider Company, Leslie
This family-owned and -operated cider house makes small batches by hand on-site, with 14 ciders on tap.
Broken Barrel Hard Cider Company, Ottawa Lake
All of the apples used to make Broken Barrel ciders come from the Bennett family orchard. Guests can also visit the store, where the orchard sells homemade donuts, fritters, cider, and honey.
Gitche Gumee Ciderworks, Hancock
Owner Phil Kelm began his Keweenaw Peninsula cidery in 2014, where he uses local products like honey, maple syrup, and wild apples to craft his ciders in French oak fermentation barrels.