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Uncle John's Cider Mill Wins Cider Contest

Contact: Denise Yockey
(517) 336-4680

Grand Rapids, Mich. – The apple cider at Uncle John's Cider Mill of St. Johns was deemed the best cider in Michigan at the 8th Annual Cider Contest held at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo last week.

Mike Beck, cider maker and owner of Uncle John's, has placed second or third in other years of the contest, and this year marks his first win. The cider mill is located north of Lansing in St. Johns.

Second place in the cider contest went to Hill Brother's Orchard in Grand Rapids. Jim Hill and his family have racked up several wins in past contests.

The third place winner was Verellen Orchards of Romeo. Bill Verellen is the owner and cider maker.

The cider contest is a blind taste test with nine judges from the apple industry. Each judge savors each cider sample not knowing its origin, and then assigns it points based on eight criteria – appearance and color, aroma and bouquet, acidity and sweetness, sugar/acid balance, body, flavor, finish, and overall quality. A top ranking in each category earns the cider a perfect 20 points. There were 29 entries in this year's contest.

Bob Tritten, Michigan State University Extension's Southeast Michigan District Agent based in Flint, organized the cider contest in 1997. The contest is sponsored by the Michigan Apple Committee.

MAC also helps to promote the cider contest through the web site and newsletter, and provides trophies for the winners. The Michigan Apple Committee Chair announces the winners at the Expo banquet.

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