As Minnesota Craft Beer month rolls on, I wanted to highlight another one of Minnesota’s hidden treasures: cider. They have been on a rise in Minnesota the past few years. Now, poised with at least 13 cider makers in the state, cider is beginning to mirror the current craft beer scene.
Some of the ciders that are commercially available tend to be overly sweet and boring. The ciders coming out of Minnesota, on the other hand, have a lot more craftsmanship and creativity put into them. They can be as complex as the best sours, or as elegant and simple as a quality pilsner. With an ever-growing variety coming out of Minnesota, it’s nice to try something that you wouldn’t expect. Heck, we even have a week dedicated specifically to Minnesota cider. I present to you, ciders — A Minnesota Grown, Adult Beverage.
And Now, the Brews
|Milk & Honey | 2015 Heirloom Cider|
|Made with almost 450 different varieties of apples, this cider is medium dry with a nice, slight sweetness right up front that gives way to soft tannins, honey, mild spices and a pleasant dryness. The simple fact that there are nearly 450 different varieties of apples in this cider, let alone in the world, is crazy.|
|330ml | 6.9% ABV|
|Sweetland Orchard | Northern Spy|
|Northern Spy Cider from Sweetland Orchard is made exclusively with Northern Spy apples (betcha didn’t know there’s an apple called Northern Spy, did ya?). It has a nice golden color with aromas of honey and vanilla. This is a nice tart dry cider that reminds you of baked apples. There is a decent amount of acidity, but it isn’t overwhelming. Finishes warm and clean.|
|750ml | 7% ABV|
|Keepsake Cidery | 2016 Wild|
|This unique cider is spontaneously fermented, with no yeast or sulfites added (that’s not to say there isn’t any sulfites in it, simply that they were not added). All the fermentation happens randomly via the wild yeast in the apples, air, and living in the cidery. The result is a dry, very complex, earthy, and sour cider. A touch of honey on the nose, mixed with straw and apples.|
|750ml | 6.3% ABV|