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Seven Places to Sample Minnesota-made Cider

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1910 Sip House / Kvidt Creative

Seven Places to Sample Minnesota-made Cider

By Sara Lynch

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.  

  1. Duluth
    Wild State Cider

    Wild State Cider Patio / Sara Lynch

    Duluth

    Wild State Cider and Duluth Cider

    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.

    Where to Stay: Inn on Lake Superior in Canal Park or Oldenburg House in Carlton (closer to Jay Cooke)

  2. Greater St. Cloud
    Milk & Honey Ciders patio

    Milk & Honey Ciders patio / Sara Lynch

    Greater St. Cloud

    Milk & Honey Ciders

    Just ranked the Best Cidery in the U.S. for 2021, Milk & Honey Ciders is set on a relaxing orchard with both indoor and outdoor seating. Milk & Honey frequently hosts outdoor yoga, live music and food trucks. In the surrounding area, check out the Lake Wobegon Biking Trail, Quarry Park and Nature Preserve and Munsinger Clemens Gardens.   

    Cider Recommendation: Try the Alchemy, which is an ice cider aged for seven months in bourbon barrels.

    Where to Stay: Sable Inn B&B  (Bonus: Sapsucker Farms Yellow Belly Cidery is just under 50 minutes from Sable Inn B&B)

  3. Minneapolis
    Minneapolis Cider Patio

    Minneapolis Cider Co. Patio / Sara Lynch

    Minneapolis

    Number 12 Cider, Minneapolis Cider Co., Sociable Cider Werks and Urban Forage Winery and Cider House

    Minneapolis is lucky to have four great cideries that can be grouped together for a fun weekend. In between cider tastings, take a stroll on the Stone Arch Bridge, visit the Minneapolis Farmers Market, and dine at a top rated restaurant: Spoon and Stable, Young Joni and Bar La Grassa are all nearby. 

    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.

    Where to Stay: Hewing Hotel or Hotel Ivy

  4. Lanesboro
    Loon Juice Cider sampler at Four Daughter’s Winery

    Loon Juice Cider sampler at Four Daughters Winery / Sara Lynch

    Lanesboro

    Loon Juice Cider at Four Daughters Winery

    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.

    Where to Stay: Habberstad House B&B. If you’d like to stay closer to Rochester, check out Hotel Indigo.

  5. Faribault
    Keepsake Cidery patio

    Keepsake Cidery Patio / Sara Lynch

    Faribault

    Keepsake Cidery   

    Faribault is a historic town with lots to explore. In addition to visiting Keepsake Cidery, located 15 minutes north of Faribault in Dundas, tour the Faribault Woolen Mill, hike at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, bike the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail and enjoy the bakeries and cafes on Central Avenue.

    Cider Recommendation: Enjoy the Wild cider with a toastie sandwich (made with lots of locally grown ingredients) on the patio. Check their calendar for fun cookout nights, too.

    Where to Stay: The Inn at Shattuck-St. Mary’s

  6. Stillwater
    Thors Hard Cider patio

    Thor's Hard Cider patio / Sara Lynch

    Stillwater

    Thor’s Hard Cider (at Aamodt’s Apple Farm)

    A classic Fall destination along the St. Croix River is Stillwater. There’s plenty to do, from strolling antique shops to axe throwing at The Lumberjack to renting electric bikes for Brown’s Creek State Trail and walking across the newly restored lift bridge. While you can enjoy a classic fall orchard day at Aamodt’s Apple Farm, don’t miss trying Thor’s Hard Cider, available in the barn.

    Cider Recommendation: The Ginger Fizz is a unique and delicious flavor. Sit on the patio and enjoy it alongside apple treats from Aamodt’s.  

    Where to Stay: Lora Hotel or Hotel Crosby

  7. Otter Tail County
    1910 Sip House

    1910 Sip House / Kvidt Creative

    Otter Tail County

    1910 Sip House

    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.

    Where to Stay: Whistle Stop B&B

Sara Lynch

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.