Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Plenty on tap at Vander Mill Cidery this Spring

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Vander Mill Cider Mill in Spring Lake recently hosted the monthly homebrew club meetup of the Muskegon Ottawa Brewers and I thought I would take advantage of the opportunity to get a peek at the latest goings-on at the mill. Product manager Jay Blanchard graciously provided a tour of the facility from apple press to the canning line that currently accounts for approximately 40% of the mill’s sales, including the recently launched Ginger Peach cider in cans.
Vander Mill also features a speciality line of products which can be found in limited quantities both in the bottle and in draft. These include the Chapman’s Blend apple cider; a tribute to John Chapman AKA Johnny Appleseed feature a blend of several Michigan apple varieties and also Bon Chretien Perry which is a hard cider made from all Michigan Bartlet pears.

Vander Mill also features at least on draft beer on tap at all times (currently an IPA,) plus recently has been experimenting with beer barrel-aged Cysers (cider fermented with honey) to great success. Last year saw the debut of Cyser Van Doom aged in Founders Doom barrels, and this year Vander Mill has unveiled Puff the Magic Cyser; a collaboration with New Holland using Michigan wildflower honey and aged in Dragon’s Milk barrels for 8 months. Be on the lookout for these on draft and in a limited edition bottles!

The food menu has been also growing in popularity with items such as donut chips as appetizers, pizzas and sandwiches featuring pork, brisket, chicken and vegetarian options. On Saturday May 3rd Vander Mill will be celebrating SOWco De Mayo in the afternoon and evening with some great food and cider options including live music from the Sanger Brothers Band and J.J. Curtis . The event will include an underground pig roast with a roasted pork taco and sandwich bar. Keep an eye out on the Vander Mill facebook page for more details!

Vander Mill Facebook Page

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.