A changing of the seasons calls for a shake-up in your go-to alcoholic beverages. In Michigan, locally made hard ciders are available in an assortment of flavors and styles, all perfect for fall. The variety of options also means there’s something to please any wine drinker’s palate.
“I think people are looking for something new and exciting, or a throwback to the past,” says John Behrens, founder and president of Farmhaus Cider Co. near Grand Rapids, via email. He is also the president of the Michigan Cider Association and the Midwest chair of the American Cider Association. “We think of cider as the in-between spot with beer and wine; it is fermented and filtered similar to wine, and from there we can either process it like wine or beer depending on the styles.”
Check out some of these Michigan-made hard ciders to satisfy your cravings this fall.
Two K Farms’ Rosé Cider
This rosé cider is crafted with four different red-fleshed apple varieties and carries notes of candied fruit and watermelon.
“Hard cider can be easily compared to Champagne, and with the use of other flavors, we can make combinations such as rosé really stand out,” says Maxwell Koskela, co-owner of Two K Farms in Suttons Bay.
Northern Natural Cider House and Winery’s Traditional Apple Hard Cider
If you’re looking for a clean, traditional-style cider, try this award-winning one from Northern Natural in Kaleva.
“It’s almost like you are biting into a crisp apple and finishing with a dry white wine,” says Dennis Mackey, CEO of Northern Natural, via email.
Left Foot Charley’s Henry’s Pippin Hard Cider
This is a dry, classic-style cider made from several different apple varieties.
Bryan Ulbrich, owner and winemaker at Left Foot Charley in Traverse City, strives to craft his hard ciders with the purest flavor profiles possible to allow customers to really “connect with the apple itself.”
“Avid wine drinkers need to seek out straight apple cider,” he says. “There are several ranges between dry and sweet; if you lean drier, you will be able to make a Champagne connection.”
Farmhaus Cider Co.’s Midwest Nice and Daily Dry
“Midwest Nice is a middle-of-the-road, easy drink that is great for those who love lagers, Pinot Gris, and Riesling,” Behrens says, “whereas our Daily Dry is more suitable for dry drinkers as it is a bone-dry cider with great tannin and complexity.”
These two ciders represent just a sampling of what Farmhaus Cider Co. — and other wineries and cideries around the state — produce.
“It’s so fun to see what all can be done with cider,” Behrens says, “and, of course, we put a lot of love into every batch.”