Though you can always enjoy a crisp, hard cider around here, Michigan’s apple season is August through October, which makes fall the ideal season for it. After all, it is a lovely combination of our passion for craft beer and our favorite autumn crop.
In this guide, we rounded up some of the state’s best hard cider makers, located near our home in Ann Arbor and farther out. Where available, we added links so you can find these beverages on tap, bottled or canned closer to home, wherever that may be. Happy sipping!
Based in Ferndale
Founded by a fun-loving team in 2006, B. Nektar brings a modern, sub-pop culture-inspired twist to everything they create, from the mead that has made them famous to every cider and craft beer on their tap list. And we’re proud to say this little Michigan operation was the first meadery named to the top 100 best breweries in the world by Ratebeer.com! To find out where you can get bottles closer to home, click here.
Based in Armada
The team behind Blake’s Hard Cider has been growing apple trees for more than 70 years. Today, they have 45,600 apple trees on their property in 42 different varieties and they use those backyard harvests to create more than 60 varieties of hard cider. Their tasting room has been named one of the best bars in America, but if you can’t make it to Armada, click here to locate Blake’s sold near you.
Based in Ann Arbor
Photo courtesy of Bløm Meadworks
Bløm (pronounced bloom) is a hyper-local meadery located in the heart of Ann Arbor. Unlike many other meaderies and cideries, every ingredient is sourced from Michigan and their mead is fermented like a dry craft cider so it’s not as thick or as sweet as other meads you may have tried. On the tap list, you’ll also find straight-up ciders, all carefully crafted with subtle, delicious tasting notes. To shop cans online, click here.
Based in Brooklyn
Nestled in the Irish Hills, this family-owned winery honors over 100 years of winemaking knowledge passed down through four generations. Inside their historic 1870 schoolhouse tasting room and seasonal café, you can sip award-winning grape wines, fruit wines and ciders, sample freshly made butter fudge, taste their Michigan Cherry Preserves, and more! To see their wine and cider list, which has included things like Cinnamon Ginger Cider and Root Beer Cider, click here.
Based in Hudsonville
Photo courtesy of Farmhaus Cider Co.
In 1866, Claus Behrens, an immigrant from Germany, purchased 200 acres in Hudsonville, built a farmhouse and planted an apple orchard. Decades later, two generations of the Behrens family, with the business owners’ family and friends, worked nights and weekends to restore the property and, in March 2015, Farmhaus Cider Co. celebrated their first canning run. Today, they operate the Farmhaus Cidergarten on site at the 150-year-old family farm and distribute throughout the state. Click here to find out where you can get it.
Based in Northville
Photo courtesy of Northville Winery & Brewing Co.
This hometown spot makes all their wine, hard cider and beer on-site and is open year-round with frequent live music events and a delectable calendar of local food trucks stopping by. To see what’s on tap and what events are coming up, check out the website here, and be sure to make a visit during the fall so you can visit Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill, too!
Based in Grand Rapids
Sierra Rose is a program of Grand Rapids’ Cascade Winery. Making everything in small batches, they start with 100% apples and ferment the cider at cold temperatures to maintain distinct, crisp flavors. Then, they use their history of innovation, skill and creativity to create flavors like Peach, Strawberry and Blueberry Hard Ciders.
Based in Beulah
The St. Ambrose story starts with 40 years of beekeeping and a passion for mead. Later, they dabbled in cider, then added beer and pizza, and now they’re one of the best craft beverage makers in the state. On-site, you’ll find a nine-hole disc golf course, a bocce ball court, yard games and a bee garden, but you can also find their beverages in stores across the country and shop their online store here. To track down St. Ambrose near you, click here.
Based in Paw Paw
St. Julian has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations, and through those generations, they’ve become Michigan’s most awarded and longest-running winery. They also use only Michigan fruit to create each distilled spirit, cider and wine in their lineup. To locate these award-winning products, click here.
Based in Bellaire
Starcut Ciders comes from the famous, award-winning team behind Short’s Brewing Company. Founded in 2014, this project was born out of a desire to make unique ciders using Michigan’s abundant apple harvests, including apples from local farmers whose orchards are close to their home in Antrim county. To purchase nearby, click here.
Based in St. Johns
Photo courtesy of Uncle John’s Cider Mill
Historically, Uncle John’s was a wholesale fruit and vegetable farm but has been transformed since the 1970s into a destination for family fun—especially during the fall when the cider mill is running and fresh donuts are being made! From May through December, you can also stop in the Uncle John’s Fruit House Cidery and Winery Tasting Room to taste wines, spirits, premium ciders, and hard cider in cans and on draft. Throughout the year, you can also shop cans in stores throughout the Great Lakes region.
Based in Ypsilanti
Dedicated to health, unity and community, this Ypsi favorite serves up kombucha tea, kombucha beer and a few kombucha cider hybrids. Similar to a Lambic fermented in oak-barrels with hops and whole fruits, Unity kombucha beers are gluten-free, vegan, organic, bottle conditioned and raw. So whether you’re craving a belly-friendly tea or a unique craft beer, visit the taproom to try a small-batch and handmade beverage. To find their creations near you, click here.
Based in Grand Rapids
A founding member of the Michigan Cider Association, Vander Mill started from humble beginnings in 2006 inside a small, 5,000-square-foot building. Today, they’ve grown to distribute their hard cider varieties throughout the Great Lakes region, but they still press only Michigan apples and even work with the Dietrich family apple farm located nearby in West Michigan. To locate their hard ciders closer to your home, click here.
Based in Fennville
Practicing traditional craftsmanship and sustainable methods, using the finest apples grown in orchards with just the right climate, and handpicking their apples and their barrels, the team behind Virtue Cider crafts proper farmhouse cider. Like the art of winemaking, they press local fruit, ferment the juice on site, age it in barrels, and continually taste to develop the perfect blends. You can get more information on finding their beverages locally here.
Do you have a favorite?
Whether it’s on our list or not, tell us about your favorite Michigan hard cider in the comments below!
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