For many Minnesotans, Fall is synonymous with apples. Come September, it’s tradition to pick apples, enjoy warm apple donuts and savor fresh apple juice. Over the last handful of years, an exciting new apple trend has emerged across the state: drinking hard cider.
While producing and drinking hard cider are old traditions across Europe and some parts of New England, Minnesota is wasting no time establishing its cider prominence. With around 20 cideries across the state today, there are plenty of destinations to visit. The Minnesota Cider Guild’s annual Ciderfest will provide an opportunity to sample several of them on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Minneapolis Cider Company. Cideries make great destinations for day trips or, better yet, a whole weekend away. Check out these seven great cideries this fall.
One of the most scenic Fall destinations is Duluth with views overlooking Lake Superior. After exploring places like Chester Bowl, Gooseberry Falls and Jay Cooke State Park, visit both Wild State Cider and Duluth Cider in the Lincoln Park Craft District. They’re within walking distance of each other and near fun local shops, including Free Air Life Co. Don’t miss the soft serve ice cream and pretzels at Wild State.
Cider Recommendations: Duluth Cider’s Las Lajas coffee cider is incredibly popular, or try my favorite: the seasonal Chai cider. At Wild State Cider, sample the Raspberry Hibiscus and enjoy it with a giant pretzel and soft serve ice cream. Both places have great patios to hang out on, too.
Cider Recommendations: At Number 12, enjoy the Black Market or a hot cider with a woodfired pizza alongside a bonfire on the patio. Try the Mango Habanero at Minneapolis Cider Co., the classic Freewheeler at Sociable Cider Werks and the Blackcurrant at Urban Forage.
A quaint town in Southeastern Minnesota, Lanesboro offers a lot including the Root River State Trail, boutiques and restaurants on the main street and is near a unique state park: Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. Also nearby is Four Daughters Winery, reminiscent of gorgeous wine estates in places like Melbourne and South Africa. Check the latest calendar for fun events like movies in the vineyards.
Cider Recommendation: The Grow a Pear cider is the perfect combination of local apples and pears. Try it as part of a sampler with a brick oven pizza on the patio overlooking the vineyards.
In the land of 10,000 lakes, Otter Tail county has the most lakes in the state. There are plenty of water-based activities like fishing or kayaking in addition to land-based activities like hiking at Glendalough State Park and Maplewood State Park and shopping local boutiques. A stop at 1910 Sip House will certainly be memorable as it’s located in a grain bin.
Cider Recommendation: Try the Pickledilly–it’s uniquely made with a homemade dill pickle infusion. Plus, check their calendar for food trucks and live music nights.
Sara Lynch is a Minneapolis based corporate professional and travel content creator. She spends her free time exploring all over Minnesota by biking, paddling, hiking, skiing, attending local events and trying new cideries and restaurants. After traveling the world and living abroad, she knows there’s no place like Minnesota. Read her blog at www.PlanetwithSara.com for more adventure ideas.
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