Cider is a rare beverage that’s perfect for any weather; the crisp apple taste puts you in mind of fall, the fizz makes it a great champagne substitute, and it’s refreshing for warmer months. Wisconsin has been experiencing a cider production boom. Here are 10 great places to get your cider fix.
The family behind Maiden Rock Wintery & Cidery started small, with just a winemaking starter kit and a large orchard, which they first put to use as a place where people could come to pick their own apples. Things developed, though, and before too long the family had started making award-winning, non-alcoholic cider. Once they really had that going, though, they finally made the jump into real cider and fruit wines, and they’ve been building up their repertoire ever since. You can feel great about imbibing Maiden Rock’s products, because it keeps everything Wisconsin-based, local, and delicious.
The Malt House is first and foremost a beer snob’s heaven, but as is almost always the case with places that keep 15+ drafts and rotating brews, with that beer comes a great selection of cider. It’s the oldest bar in the city, which means that it’s got pretty much everything down perfectly. If you’re looking for cider, expect to find as good a list of local Wisconsin products as you will anywhere. If you know the world of cider like the back of your hand and are looking to push your boundaries a little, the Malt House also has some great sour beers and meads on hand as well.
The good folks at Island Orchard Cider fostered their love of cider in Wisconsin and then learned the craft of making it in the Normandy region of France. Once they went abroad, they realized that the types of cider they were enjoying there had not yet made their way across the Atlantic, so they decided to do something new for the country and bring them back. It’s open year-round, and it’s always a good time to come, have some cider, and learn about the process that goes into making it.
ÆppelTreow Winery & Distillery doesn’t just want you to try its cider when you come by the tasting room in Burlington. It wants you to spend some time there and really soak everything in, because cider is more than just a refreshing drink to enjoy on a crisp day. ÆppelTreow also makes Perry, which is the pear version of hard cider, and a number of whiskeys and brandies, all distilled from Wisconsin products.
What you’ll find at White Winter Winery isn’t technically cider, but instead cyser; the resulting product when you make mead and add apple juice. Cider and mead are similar in that they were widely popular before being overtaken by other beverages, but they’re now both stepping back into the spotlight. At White Winter Winery, the cyser isn’t the only drink worth taking a sip of; the range of meads are all beautifully packaged and excellent to boot. Swing by for a tour and tasting, and you’ll leave with a new appreciation for the drinks White Winter offers.
Bayfield Winery actually started out as a farm that produced jam. Within a decade, though, it was ready to move on to something a bit more ambitious, so it started making delicious apple wines. Bayfield uses all sorts of apple varieties to make a range of ciders and apple wines, and you can try them all at the tasting room.
You might come to Orchard Country for the products of the cider mill, but that’s not all you’ll find. It also has a winery where all sorts of fruit wine are made and a market that sells everything from specialty foods to locally made soaps. If you’d like a snack, try the local favorite Montmorency cherry tart. This is still a small, family run business, and you can trust that the utmost care goes into all of the beverages.
Captain’s Walk Winery made a name for itself offering wine in the most laid-back of atmospheres. It first made the jump into cider production in January 2015, and the result quickly became a favorite. Captain’s Walk takes great pride in the crisp quality of its cider and doesn’t bottle it, so you can have it as fresh as possible. You can either enjoy it at the winery or take it home in a half-gallon pack.
Maybe you want a great cider, but you don’t want to go all the way to the place where it’s made. In that case, head to Nomad World Pub in Milwaukee for the best kind of pub experience and an excellent selection of ciders along with that. Whether you want to watch an important game or you’re in the mood for some live music, Nomad World Pub is the perfect place to come and just enjoy the good mood that the atmosphere will give you.
Final Approach is another great Milwaukee pub with a menu that always keeps a number of ciders on hand. If you’d like to mix and match, you can always get a beer flight and try four at a time. It’s always a very welcoming place, and it likes to have a little fun with the food on the menu, so even if you’ve just come for a drink, you don’t have to leave hungry.