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Engelsma’s Apple Barn of Walker, Mich. Wins 24th Annual Cider Contest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Engelsma’s Apple Barn of Walker, Mich., won first place at the 24th annual Michigan Apple Cider Contest, marking their seventh first place win in the contest. The competition took place at DeVos Convention Center on December 7, with 22 Michigan cider makers participating. Jim and Becky Engelsma are owners of Engelsma’s Apple Barn, and their daughter Bridget is the cider maker.

“This cider contest was created to help promote the Michigan apple cider industry,” said Bob Tritten, founder of the contest. “This year, we had 22 amazing participants from all over the state of Michigan.”

Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill in Armada, Mich., owned by Pete and Paul Black, won second place in the contest. The third place winner was Farmer Whites Farm Market in Williamsburg, in Northwest Michigan.

“The annual cider contest is a great way for cider makers to connect and learn from one another,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, co-sponsor of the contest. “Cider makers put in a lot of hard work to make their delicious cider, whether it be growing their own apples or changing up their recipe to make the best cider.”

The Michigan Apple Cider Contest began in 1996. Tritten created the contest to help improve cider making, promote the industry and educate the public. This year will mark Tritten’s final cider contest as he has retired. Going forward, the contest will be directed by Dr. Derek Plotkowski, District Fruit Educator for MSU Extension.

The contest is sponsored by the Michigan Apple Committee, the Michigan State Horticultural Society and the Fruit Growers News.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit www.MichiganApples.com.