posted on September 21, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim Koan, President
Michigan Cider Makers’ Guild
This fall’s early-season cider is particularly yummy, according to Jim Koan, a long-time Flushing, Mich., apple cider maker and President of the Michigan Cider Makers’ Guild. The Guild is a nonprofit association of the state’s cider makers who are devoted to the historic craft of cider pressing.
“What has happened is that with our harvest coming two or more weeks early this year, our cider makers have been able to press a very tasty, high-sugar blend of apples unusually early in the season,” Koan said. “More typically, we have to wait until October to have a blend of apples that balances the acids and sugars in the best and most flavorful combinations.”
“This year we’ve had very sweet blends available since mid-September, and expect we will continue to have them until at least Halloween. Many mills continue pressing cider through November,” Koan added.
Michigan has approximately 113 state-licensed and inspected cider mills, most of which are small, family-operated mills open on a short seasonal basis. Koan recommended visiting your local tried-and-true cider mills, but maybe branching out and trying some new sites. Unlike many other states, or even Canada, Michigan has a rich history of cider making. Some Michigan mills, particularly in Southeast Michigan, are still situated on rivers and have waterwheels that powered the pressing process. While most have converted to other energy sources, historic industry artifacts abound.
Michigan’s award-winning mills rely on top-secret recipes of apple variety combinations and the fine-tuned palates of their cider pressers. There are many forms of cider across Michigan: Some mills make artisan ciders of one specific apple variety, or mix juices such as raspberry or blueberry into apple cider to create new and interesting tastes. Some mills have alcoholic cider, some have no-fat apple cider slushee treats, and most have a hot, spiced cider perfect for chilly fall days.
To learn the location of cider mills in Michigan, visit www.MichiganApples.com and click on “Where to Buy/Go.” All farm markets are listed on the click-able state map, and descriptions identify those that sell or press apple cider.