Wisconsin Apple 
Growers Association

All About Cider

Cider - A History

Apple cider has quite a history in the United States. The first apple trees made it to Boston in 1623 and they were widely planted by the early 1800’s. Cider, hard cider in those days, was a drink from the old country which quickly established itself here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Before the development of preservative techniques, fresh cider rapidly and naturally fermented into hard cider. This was considered a way to “store” your apples after season being thought of as a safe and family drink. In fact, cider was regarded as safer than drinking water, due to the lack of effective water treatment. Presidents like John Adams popularized the health benefits of cider as it became the drink of choice for early Americans.
In the mid-1800’s, cider production began to decline due in part to urbanization, the introduction of beer and the temperance movement. In 1899, 55 million gallons were produced which by 1915 or so was down to 13 million gallons; and then in 1919, production declined even further as prohibition was the law of the land.
               Since the apple varieties used to make “hard” cider were not suitable for making a “fresh” cider, many orchards converted to sweeter cultivars, actually taking out or burning their cider trees. When prohibition ended, the damage was irreversible to the hard cider industry, as the trees were gone and new plantings would take years to establish.             
During the mid-1900’s, many Wisconsin apple growers produced “fresh” cider. Most orchards and many homeowners had cidermills that would turn out raw cider in the Fall of the year.  
             In the 1990’s, new FDA rules called for the pasteurization of any cider not sold directly from the orchard that pressed it to the final consumer. Plus, any cider sold direct had to carry a warning label that the product may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in those with a compromised immune system. This was another hit to the apple cider industry, causing many producers – including Wisconsin apple growers -- to get out of the cider business.  
             But, this is not the end of the story! Nationally, in the last 10 years, cider has begun making a comeback. In 2004, national hard cider production was reported at 4.25 million gallons and by 2011, that had more than doubled to 9.2 million gallons! Euromonitor expects U.S. cider sales to grow 10.6 percent on average, or 65 percent overall, from 2011 to 2016, with beer as a whole down 1 percent.            
  In 2013, it was reported that the United States had 202 cideries, coming second after the United Kingdom with 300. 
 Wisconsin has seen similar trends. In the last ten years, nine cideries have been established producing hard cider in Wisconsin and more are starting up. They crisscross the state being located in Bayfield, Burlington, Stockholm and Ellison Bay as well as places in between. It is evident that hard cider is a developing industry in the state.
            On the fresh cider front, the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association represents 170 commercial apple growers from across the state. In 2012, of those reporting, 53 indicated that they sold cider. Of that, 50% indicated they sold “natural” (raw) cider and 50% indicated they sold pasteurized cider. Some sold both.

Orchards with Fresh Cider in Wisconsin (includes unpasteurized and pasteurized)

Apple Barn Orchard & Winery, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Apple Holler, Sturtevant, Wisconsin
Apple Valley Orchard, DePere, Wisconsin
Appleberry Farm, Cross Plains, Wisconsin
Appleland, Fredonia, Wisconsin
Armstrong Apples Orchard & Winery, Campbellsport, Wisconsin
AVEnue Orchard/Apple Valley Enterprises, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Awe's Apple Orchard, Franklin, Wisconsin
Barthel fruit Farm, Mequon, Wisconsin
Basse's Country Delight Farm Market, Muskego, Wisconsin
Basse's Taste of Country Farm Market, Colgate, Wisconsin
Brightonwoods Orchard, Burlington, Wisconsin
Bushel and A Peck, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Choice Orchards, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Christensen's Orchard, Waupaca, Wisconsin
Class Apple, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Door Creek Orchard, Cottage Grove, Wisconsin
Dutter's Gibbsville Orchard, Sheboygan Falls, Wiscosnin
Ecker's Apple Farm, Trempealeau, Wisconsin
Ela Orchard, Rochester, Wisconsin
Eplegaarden LLC, Fitchburg, Wisconsin
Eugster's Farm Market Inc., Stoughton, Wisconsin
Everflow Farm and Orchard, Bonduel, Wisconsin
Ferguson's Orchards, Galesville & Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Glenwood Orchard, Glenwood City, Wisconsin
Green's Pleasant Springs Orchard, Stoughton, Wisconsin
Hauser's Superior View Farm, Bayfield, Wisconsin 
Hawk's Orchard, Milton, Wisconsin
Heritage Orchard, Chilton, Wisconsin
Hillside Apples, Casco, Wisconsin
Hillview Farm Orchard, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Hoch Orchard and Gardens, LaCrescent, Minnesota
Hofacker's Hillside Orchard, Appleton, Wisconsin
Jacobson Orchards, Waterford, Wisconsin
Jasper Apples, Wonewoc, Wisconsin
Jelli's Apple Orchard, Helenville, Wisconsin
Kickapoo Orchard, Gays Mills, Wisconsin
Lapacek's Orchard LLC, Poynette, Wisconsin
Log Cabin Orchard, Plymouth, Wisconsin  
Maiden Rock Apples, Stockholm Wisconsin
Maple Leaf Orchard, Spring Valley, Wisconsin
Maple Ridge Orchard, Cashton, Wisconsin
Nesbitts Nursery and Orchard, Prescott, Wisconsin
Northwoods Orchard and Farm Market, Mauston, Wisconsin
Oakwood Fruit Farm Inc., Richland Center, Wisconsin
Old Homestead Orchard, Franksville, Wisconsin
Oneida Nation Apple Orchard, Oneida, Wisconsin
Orchard Country Winery & Market, Fish Creek, Wisconsin
Patterson Orchards and Farm Market, New Berlin, Wisconsin
Pieper's Fruit Farm LLC, Brownsville, Wisconsin
Pigeon River Apple Orchard, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Quednow's Heirloom Apple Orchard, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Rim's Edge Orchard, Germantown, Wisconsin
Rush River Orchard and Bakery, Ellsworth, Wisconsin
Sacia Orchards, Galesville, Wisconsin
Shihata's Orchard, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
Ski-Hi Fruit Farm, Baraboo, Wisconsin
Star Orchard, Kaukauna, Wisconsin
Sunrise Orchards, Inc., Gays Mills, Wisconsin
Sunset Valley Orchard, Bayfield, Wisconsin
Sutter's Ridge Farm, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
Ten Eyck Orchard, Brodhead, Wisconsin
The Cider Farm
The Elegant Farmer, Mukwanago, Wisconsin
The Little Farmer LLC, Malone, Wisconsin
Theys Orchards, Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Tom Dooley Orchard, Waupun, Wisconsin
Whistling Well Farm, Hastings, Minnesota

Cideries with Hard Cider in Wisconsin

AeppelTreow Winery specializes in hard cider and its kin.  Our inspiration comes from America's forgotten cider heritage and the farmstead ciders of rural England and France.  We add our own creative touch to take cider from its barrel and mug origins and produce a wide range of styles, light to hard and dry to sweet.

Our winery is an extension of our passion for quality, flavor and wholesome ideals.  At Armstrong we are passionate about our fruit.  We endeavor to grow fruit that provides the best flavor and quality in our wines and ciders.

Since 1924 when Grandpa Mac took on this orchard adventure, our family has always taken pride in providing quality produce to our neighbors.  In 2004, Autumn Harvest Winery opened as the Chippewa Valley's first winery and we expanded our offerings to include quality wines and cider.

Bayfield Winery is located high on the hills overlooking the waters of Lake Superior.  The Hausers specialize in making traditional ciders and country wines.  They range from J.D. Hauser's Grand Reserve, a very dry cider that is aged in oak, to Raspberry Farm House Cider and Cranberry Farm House Cider, sweet ciders combined with Wisconsin raspberries and cranberries.

Visit to taste our ice cider wines.  Brances is one of the only winereis in the Midwest producing ice cider wines and has received national awards for its unique and luscious Wisconsin Ice Cider.

Island Orchard Cider began on our farm on Washington Island, just across Death’s Door passage from mainland Door County.  Located on a hill overlooking Lake Michigan, our orchard has expanded with our passion for cider, and we now produce several varieties of Normandy-style, gluten-free cider in our Cider House in the small town of Ellison Bay, WI.

We are Bob and Yannique Purman, sole proprietors of Island Orchard Cider. Our love of cider guides us as we handcraft our product in Door County, Wisconsin. We relish the cyclical, seasonal nature of our work, and we take pride in building a sustainable business in a way that preserves the joy of the cider-making process. We look forward to your visit to our Tasting Room.

Owned by the Lautenbach family since 1955, the property consists of acres of blossoming orchards, lush vineyards, a winery, cider mill and farm market.  Established in 1985, the winery resides in a restored dairy barn built in 1912.  Scenic tours offer a visit to the orchard, vineyard, cider mill and wine production area as well as include a commemorative wine glass.

Maiden Rock's signature offerings are classic hard ciders crafted in the farmhouse tradition of southwestern England like their Scrumpy, Somerset Cider, Bitter Love, Lake Pepin, Kingston Black, and their most recent release, Honeycrisp Hard™ apple cider. They also craft a number of apple table wines – including their award-winning Dolgo Crabapple, Eau Claire, and Harvest Apple wines. Their grape wines include Stockholm Red, Stockholm White, and Frontenac Nouveau – as well as a grape-apple blend, Apfelwein. 

They take pride in their products being flavored by Wisconsin. This is more than a theme; it is central to their business model. All of their wines and ciders use juice from fruits that are locally produced in Wisconsin. Even the honey they use in some of their products is produced by the same bees they bring in to pollinate their apple blossoms. 

Rushford Meadery and Winery was founded in 2012.  With 18 varieties of cider apples and 6 varieties of grapes, we take pride in producing fine wine, mead (honey wine) and cider from local products whenever possible.

Vines & Rushes Winery was established in 2012 and is located on the Prellwitz family farm in Ripon, Wisconsin.  We are focused on using Wisconsin grown cold hardy grape varieties and apples.  We produce delicious hard apple ciders.  Our focus is on fruti-forward flavors and achieving the perfect balance for each wine and cider.

White Winter Winery is located amid the beautiful northwoods in the bustling town of Iron River.  Our mission is to produce high quality Mead, Cider and Spirits using locally produced fruits and honey.  We invite you to our tasting room to try a sample of Mead - the nectar of the gods, Spirits and Hard Cider.

Orchards Growing Cider Varieties

Marie & Matt Raboin
American Pippen, Black Oxford, Bramtot, Chisel Jersey, Claypot, Dabinett, Ellis B itter, Gilpin, Golden Noble, Hadlock's Reinnette, Harrison, Iron Bridge, Kingston Black, Linsey Russet, Medaille d'Ore, Merton's Russet, Milwaukee, Pink Delight, Pink Old Lady, Prink Princess, Redfield, Sherry, St. Edmund's Russet, Swaar, Sweet Alford, Theilen, Wickson Crab, Yarlington Mill
Albion Prairie Farm
Stoughton, Wis
Lisa & Dale Reeves
Adam's Pearmain, Bancroft, Barland, Bietigheimer, Billy Bound, Binet Violet,
Black Amish, Black Gilliflower, Blenheim Orange, Blushing Gold, Bonnie's Best, Bramley's Seedling, Bramtot, Brillion
Bulmer's Norman, Calville Rouge, Canada Reinette, Cap of Liberty, Caroll, Chisel Jersey
Christmas Pearman, Cinnamon Spice,  Claygate Pearmain, Color Spice, Columbia Russet, Connet Red, Cooper's Market, Court Pender Plat, Cox Orange Pippin, Davey
Detroit Red, Dr. Matthews Golden Sweet
Dudley, Dufflin, Dutch Mignon, Dymock Red
Early Harvest, EGlemernt Russet, Ellis Bitter, Emperor Alexander, Fayette, Feuillard
Forest Winter, Foxwhelp, Gala, Garfield
Geeveston Fanny, Gideon, Gilpin, Gloria Mundi, Gloster, Golden Pearmain, Golden Sweet, Granniwinkle, Greenlane, Grimes Golden, Gros Bois, Grushovka of Moscow
Haas, Hauer Pippin, Herefordshire Redstreak, Herrings Pippin, Hightop Sweet, Hornburger Pancake, Hubbardston Nonesuch, Hyde King, Hyslop Crab, Iowa Blush, Irish Bough? Silver Bough, Jeidy Russet
Kandil Sinap, Karmijn de Sonneville, Kavanaugh, Keith's Graft, 
Kerry Pippin, Keystone Red, King Cole, Kingston Black, Lady, Lady Sweet
Lake Koshkonong, Laxton's Superb, Lehigh Greening, London Pippin, Lowland Raspberry, Maglemer, Magnum , Monum, Magog RedStreak,  Major,Malinda, Mann, Mantet, Marin Oufroy,  McLemore, Medaille d'or,Minkler, Minnesota 1734, Morning Star, Mott's Sweet,  Muskmelon Sweet, New   
Northern Sweet,  Northwood's Nursery #150, November Peach, Oaken Pin, Old Nonpareil, Oliver, Ontario, Orenco, Orleans , Peinette, Palouse, Parentine, Parmer, Peace Garden, Perkins, Perry Russet, Pierce Pasture, Pigeonette de Rouen, Pink Sugar, Plumb Cider, Progressive, Pumpkin Sweet, Quebec Belle, Racetrack, Ralph's Red, Raven, Razor Russet, Red Esther, Red Pear, Redstreak, Reinette Gros Aussur, Reinette Simerenko, Ribston Pippin, Roman Stem, Rosemary Russet, Rouselet de Reims, Russet Cow, Russet King, Rusty Coat, Santa Claus Pear, Secor, Shawano, Shepherd Sweet, Shiwasa Beauty, Sierra Beauty, Slippery Cider, Smith's Cider, Smokehouse, Sops of Wine, Spigold, St. Francis, Steele Red, Stump, Stump M-7, Sturmer Pippin, Sumac, Summer Pearmain, Sutton Beauty, Sweitzer Orange, Swiss Limbertwig, Thorn Pear, Thornberry, Titus Pippin, Tom Putt, Tom's Apple, Toynton Squash, Tremblett's Bitter, Twistbody Jersey, Viking, Washed Russet, White Astrachan, William Crump, Williams Early Red, Windsor, Winter Nelis Pear, Winter St. Lawrence, Wodarz, Yarlington Mill
Brightonwoods Orchard Burlington, Wis
Bill Stone
Chisel Jersey, Coat Jersey,  Crimson King, Dabinett, Domaine, Fairhaven Crab,  Fennouilett de Ribours, Foxwhelp,  Frequin Rouge, Frequin Tardive,  Geneva Crab, Grise Dieppoise,  Hewes Virginia Crab, Kingston Black, Major,  Medaille d'or, Mettais, Michelin,  Muscadet d'Dieppe, Muscedet deLense, Saint Martin, Sweet Alford,  Twistbody Jersey, White Jersey
Door Creek Orchard Cottage Grove, Wis
Tom Griffith
Fox Whelp, Kingston Black,  Medaille d'or, Sups of Wine
Ecker's Apple Farm Trempealeau, Wis
Mary Ecker
Brown's Apple, Brown Snout,Dabinett, Kingston Black, Vilberie 
Ferro Family Farm
Lake Geneva, Wis
Jackie Ferro
Bramley's Seedling, Brown's Apple,  Herefordshire Redstreak, Kingston Black,  Michelin
Licks Orchard 
Rice Lake, Wis
Sherry & Jim Goodpaster
Golden Russet
Maiden Rock Apples Stockholm, Wis
Herdie Baisden
Brown's Apple, Brown Snout, Chisel Jersey,  Dabinett, Ellis Bitter, Kingston Black, Kronebusch, Major,  Medaille d'or, Michelin, Somerset Restreak,  Tremlett's (Geneva) Bitter, Yarlington Mill
The Cider Farm 
Mineral Point, Wis
Deirdre Birmingham
Chisel Jersey,  Dabinett, Ellis Bitter, Kingston Black,Major,  Somerset Restreak,  Tremlett's Bitter
Theys Orchard Luxemburg, Wis
Jim & Judy Theys

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