What is the best hard cider in Michigan? Other than the obvious (try Blake’s Campawampus – it’s to DIE for!), there are many ‘best’ hard ciders in the mitten state. We have a tough time choosing amongst ourselves which one of ours we love best, let alone choosing THE best amongst cider makers in the Michigan hard cider association.
Because there are so many ‘bests’ to be had, what’s the ‘best’ to a consumer is whatever’s available to them. For example, one of our most popular hard ciders — flannel mouth – is in Chicago, but another drinker in Florida (where we aren’t currently distributing) has a totally different perspective on what is the best according to what he or she can get their hands on (though we’re confident when they DO get their hands on a flannel mouth, they’ll be salivating at the mouth for more!).
Also, you have to consider that the best is whatever the consumer believes is best. What’s best to one drinker, may taste like lighter fluid to another. What’s ‘best’ may be sitting right in front of them when they reach to grab a can of what they like and what they feel is best at the time while ignoring what could be their ‘new best’.
Those factors above shapes the perspective on what’s the BEST hard cider from Michigan.
There ARE a few Michigan Best’s that are beloved by many Michiganders state-wide, regardless of personal palette, they get a certain level of respect and admiration.
Below are a four *little-known* local Michigan favorites:
~ ~ Crimson Dew ~ ~
Only 25 miles from the heart of downtown Detroit, Northville Winery has been producing quality hard cider for over 20 years. A crowd favorite is “Crimson Dew (6.5% ABV, 750ml). This one is a head turner!
It’s a clever blend of desert cider apples and local Balaton cherry juice. Subtle, yet complex. It’s certainly a cider accented by cherries with a clean flavor and tart, tannic finish. It doesn’t over-shadow the apple, but it isn’t the star of the show. The result is incredibly drinkable down to the very last drop.
One reviewer from ratebeer.com said, “From bottle. Pours clear amber. Cherry aroma with a hint of apple. Juicy tart cherry flavor with apple. Very tart, dry, and drying. Quite good.”
~ ~ Smackintosh ~ ~
Smackintosh (5% ABV, 750ml) is the brainchild of former brewmaster DAn Young and his beautiful wife, Nikki, using local Sutton Baty apples as their primary source of fermentation. And it works! The Smackintosh ‘smacks you right across the face’ with big, red-apple flavors fueled with a distinct, fresh-from-the-orchard character that will make you laugh and cry simultaneously because it’s so darn delicious. Rounded out with Greensings and Northern Spy apples, it’s the perfect cider for cool fall nights or long evenings watching as the leaves turn.
One reviewer from ratebeer.com said, “750ml bottle pours a pale straw yellow with a large quickly fading fizzy head. Mild sweet yet dry Apple fresh aroma. Taste of tart Apple flesh and light skin, sweet but not sugary with a nice tartness. Highly drinkable and tasty! I drank this at room temperature over two days and I was just as good from start to finish.”
~ ~ Apple Hard Cider ~ ~
Uncle John’s hard cider is one of the better known cidery producers in the state, and for good reason. Their flagship cider aptly called, “Apple Hard Cider” (6.5% ABV, 750ml) pays homage to it’s tradition with a rather sharp and tannic earthy character and dry finish. It’s light sparkling body is a tad acidic but perfectly balanced with a fresh green apple taste and subtle spices found naturally in the apples themselves.
This is an easier drinking cider that compliments fattier dishes like friend food or a good ol’ fashion American cheeseburger.
One reviewer from ratebeer.com said, “Pour out of 16 oz can, clear golden pour with white head, aroma brought notes of sweet apple pie, cinnamon, some slight oaky notes with a hint of fruit. Taste was a mix of apple, pear, some slight cinnamon, into apple flesh, touch of earth, finishing fairly sweet, slightly dry.”
J.K’s Farmhouse Cider
~ ~ J.K.’s Scrumpy Orchard Gate Gold Hard Cider ~ ~
Ahhhh. The ol’ scrumpy – an old English term for ‘farmhouse cider’. This certified kosher and organic, gluten-free, sorbate-free, and sulfite-free beverage uses’ J.K.s naturally occurring wild yeast, grown in their own orchards for over 150 years – even surviving the great depression providing relief and a sense of happiness in our state.
One reviewer left this review on ratebeer.com: “Aroma is mostly apple, hints of spice. Pours golden dark-ish. Hints of cinnamon, spice, but mostly fresh apples. Very juicy taste, very fresh. On the sweeter side of things. Overall a very nice cider without too many bells and whistles– just a good, solid apple taste.”
This concludes a few of our favorite hard ciders in the Great Lake state.
Like craft beer before it, hard cider production is being restore to it’s former glory and we are doing everything within our power to make this a reality.
Apples are the largest and most valuable fruit crop in Michigan, with 24,000,000 (that’s Million with a capital “M”), harvested in 2015, Michigan is the 3rd largest apple-producing state and is naturally the new generation of cider-makers. 150+ craft breweries populate the land, and public interest in hard cider is blossomed with a lot of curious taste buds interested in experimenting with different kinds of beverages.
Even with so many great choices to choose from today, we’re just getting warmed up! The industry is still in its infancy and the best has yet to be discovered with so much room for growth and unlimited potential.
Come by and visit us in our neck of the woods and sample a few of Michigan’s best at 17985 Armada Center Rd. Armada, MI 48005, give us a call at 586-784-9463 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or inquiries about the sale of our business assets.
You can also visit us at Blake’s Hard Cider to learn more about our latest products and exciting upcoming events. Lastly, you can find us on Kroger and Meijer’s store shelves in Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, and Wisconsin (so far). We are quickly growing and expanding our distribution to other nearby states so check with your local grocery and liquor store chain to see if we’re in your area.