When the August 2 storm blew through Northern Michigan nearly eight years ago, it knocked down blocks of trees at Townline Ciderworks Orchard.
But the cidery took the mess left behind and turned it into a gold medal award winning cider.
For this week’s BrewVine, David Lyden and chief photojournalist Jeremy Erickson take us to Townline Ciderworks in Williamsburg.
One of the apple varieties Townline planted in the aftermath of the storm just wont hem a gold medal at an international cider competition.
“It’s our Esopus Spitzenburg. It’s quite a mouthful, but it is a single varietals cider made with the Esopus Spitzenburg apple. We entered it into Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. And we were able to get a gold medal with that one. That’s our first after entering that competition for five years now,” Kristie Altonen, Co-Owner and Tasting Room Manager at Townline Ciderworks said.
You can try the award winner or some of their upcoming offerings along side their “family” of flagship ciders.
“We’re working on some other heirloom, single varietal ones coming up. Not quite ready yet, but we’re going to bring back this summer a fun one that we call disco shoes. It’s made actually with pomegranate concentrate. We don’t grow pomegranates here in northern Michigan we don’t grow pomegranates here in northern Michigan. So that’s one cider that we go off our planned course a little bit. People really liked that one last year. And of course we’ll have our wine slushies,” Altonen said.
With the exception of the pomegranates, the apples and most of the other fruit used to make Townline Ciders can be found just outside the tasting room or sourced from neighbors.
“When we decided to do this, our main goal was to use our fruit in the cider. So that is still the main goal. We just dabble here and there with things that we can’t grow enough of, for instance, blueberries, that it takes a lot to get enough juice from fresh blueberries to make a cider that has blueberry in it. So sometimes you have to supplement with concentrates. We try to stay local with places like Brownwood for things like that when we need it,” Altonen said.
With a food truck, events, live music and drinks “fresh from the family tree,” Townline Ciderworks is ready for another fun summer season.