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Engelsma’s Apple Barn Wins 19th Annual Cider Contest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Jim and Becky Engelsma and their daughter, Bridget of Engelsma’s Apple Barn in Walker took home first place in the 19th annual Michigan Apple Cider Contest. The cider contest took place at DeVos Convention Center on Wednesday, with 38 cider makers participating in the competition.  This year marks the sixth time Engelsma’s Apple Barn has taken home the trophy.

“This competition started nearly 20 years ago with three goals:  to help promote our fine Michigan apple cider industry, to improve the quality of our cider and to provide additional educational and learning opportunities for our cider makers.  We’ve come a long way over the years,” said Bob Tritten, district fruit educator with Michigan State University Extension, and founder of the contest. “For this year’s contest we had 38 entries from across the state of Michigan.  Judging took place with the help of nine judges that worked hard to choose the best of the best Michigan ciders.” 

Uncle John’s Cider Mill in St. Johns, and their cider makers, Mike and Dede Beck, won second place in the contest. The third place winner is Miller Orchards in Romeo, and cider maker Kenny Miller. 

“Michigan’s cider makers put a lot of hard work into their cider,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, co-sponsor of the contest. “Most of them grow the apples and work for years on just the right mix of varieties. The contestants take this competition very seriously. We are proud that Michigan can boast so many delicious ciders.”

Tritten began the Michigan Apple Cider Contest in 1996 to improve cider making, promote the industry and educate the public. 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.