Milk and Honey Ciders' New Home
We've spent our past days tucked away in the Stearns County wilderness, We'd tell people venturing to meet us, "If you think you're lost, you're probably going the right way." Our reclusive ways have come to an end, however, a new facility with room to stretch, white walls, and a place for visitors awaits us just north; St. Joseph, Minnesota. Our new home will give us what we need to be creative cider makers, but most importantly, being together with the community. Please stop by and see us.
At the cidery we have really cold winters and sandy loam soils. There is not a single piece of flat ground on the place. The land will soon produce cider apples which we'll blend with the absolutely outstanding supply we get from select growers. Producing high-quality cider apples, many of which are uncommon or heirloom varieties with unruly growing habits, inconsistent yields and marginal hardiness, is very difficult. It is, however, where we believe good cider starts and ends.
NEW TASTING ROOM Opening August 25, 2017
11738 County Rd 51
St. Joseph, MN 56374
Starting August 25th
Our cider starts with long-forgotten and uncommon apples such as Newtown Pippen, Northern Spy, Winesap, and a variety of Russets and Crabs. The apples are cold-stored until pressing time, then double washed and ground into pomace. The pomace is immediately pressed with a traditional rack and cloth press. Although this method is more labor intensive, it produces a ‘cleaner’ filtered juice while retaining a high yield.
Before fermentation, we measure sugar levels and acid concentration, among other parameters, to ensure the proper conditions for a clean fermentation.
We strive for a cooler, gently-rolling fermentation. This helps protect the aromatics and other delicate esters of our particular apple varieties. Within a few weeks, the fermentation is complete and the cider is dry. We rapidly cool the cider to allow the yeast to drop out and rack off the good stuff for cellaring.
We cellar our cider for 4-9 months, patiently waiting, allowing it to mature and clear naturally without filtration. Throughout this process the cider changes, sometimes noticeably within a few days time, and tasting is very important. When we're happy with the results, we'll blend to find a balance of acidity, body, and 'interesting'. We serve our cider lightly carbonated and dry to semi-dry.
Our cider is best served at a cellar temp of 50° F. We encourage our cider to be served in a bulbed glass to promote aromatics
CURRENTLY IN TRADE
FAUNA | 2016 Harvest
Within Fauna you will find and an elite group of apples capable of truly great cider. Tannic apples for depth and body. Sharps for bright fruity-vinous character. Interesting heirlooms for aromatics. Every year the apples may change depending upon the whims of the orchard, but they will always impress. Let the apples shine.
HEIRLOOM | 2015 Harvest
2015 was a ‘garden year’ for our apple orchards. The 2015 Heirloom best exemplifies the growing season with tropical fruit aromas and a big mouthfeel. The usual Heirloom suspects, including Newtown Pippin, Winesap, and Chestnut, were blended with some new characters including Dabinett, Northern Spy and Wickson.
Single-varietal ice cider made from Minnesota’s own Chestnut Crab. Sweet and strong, this elixir is mellowed in bourbon barrels and best served after a nice dinner or on a cool spring night.
DEEPCUTS: Cider Rosé
A base blend of winesap apples from 3 different harvests create notes of citrus, port, and candied grape skins. This is combined with hibiscus flowers, rose hips, and orange peel for a beautiful color and interesting aromatics. Lightly effervescent and semi-dry available now until the end of September.
DEEPCUTS: Rite of Spring
The Rite of Spring is a limited release blend of three distinct meant to celebrate the end of our long, gray un-winter. The backbone of the blend is the mellow, clean Northern Spy applevariety from our 2014 harvest. We layered in ice cider from our2015 harvest to bring in a touch of sweetness, heat and floral aroma. To round out the experience Dabinett bittersweet apples provides a tannic bite. Rite of Spring is a lot of everything: aroma, sweetness and heat. Enjoy on sunny spring days and let the apples shine.
KINGSTON CUVÉE | 2015 Harvest
The famous prima donna bittersharp, Kingston Black, coupled with Dabinett and Wickson, produces a highly interesting, off dry, tannic cider. Expect deep straw colors, lasting bitterness and notes of anise and wormwood.
GRAND CRU | 2015 Harvest
English cider standbys Yarlington Mill and Dabinett, are blended with the sharp Wickson crab, to produce a quaffable cider with deep herbal notes and a satisfying mouth feel. Served lightly effervescent.
CIDER OF THE WOODS | 2014 Harvest
Cellared nearly 18 months, Ashton Bitter, Major and Crimson Gold form the backbone of this blend. A ripe apple nose compliment by hints of apricot, black tea and cream. Served bone dry.
HEIRLOOM | 2014 Harvest
A semi-dry cider made from American Heirloom and Cider Apples. Our cider from the 2014 harvest is a menagerie of long-forgotten and uncommon apples such as Calville Blanc d’ Hiver, Arkansas Black, Winesap, Russet Beauty, Crimson Gold and Ashton Bitter to name a few. It’s a highly aromatic cider. Expect floral, herbal, fruity esters, honey, and spices. It balances sharpness with subtle tannin and a mellow sweetness for a pleasant finish.
HEIRLOOM | 2013 Harvest
Our cider from the 2013 harvest was a blend of nearly 80 different cultivars with an emphasis Arkansas Black, Winesap, Newtown Pippin, Crimson Gold, and Chestnut Crab. The strong floral aromatics and sharpness made it an unforgettable inaugural release for Milk and Honey.
THE GOOD OLD DAYS...not in trade
Future events coming soon
check back for details
Who we are...
Milk and Honey is Aaron Klocker, Adam Theis and Peter Gillitzer.
Aaron is the press hound and engineer of the group. Straight from the aviation world, he flies the hydraulic pumps and keeps us calm. Aaron has attended cider and perry making classes in Washington State, and holds a certificate from the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) on the appreciation of cider and perry.
Adam is our beverage process and control specialist and resident craftsman. He graduated from the Siebel Institute of Technology & World Brewing Academy with loads of experience in the brewery world and meticulously cleans all of our stainless. And then re-cleans it.
Peter does the paperwork and business stuff and then unwinds on the grinder. He comes from the agricultural industry and manages the physical plant. Peter has also received training in the cider and perry world. He attended classes taught by the renowned Peter Mitchell and is well versed in all cider and perry making practices.
If you visit us, you will meet the family, as this is truly a collective venture. Watch for dogs and children underfoot.
A Special Thanks:
We all strive to be great, working as hard as we can with the expectation of creating something for ourselves, inevitably facing an uncertain future while hoping to realize a young and foolish dream. We've tried and failed, and tried with success. To say we've achieved our successes alone would not be humble.
We three would be nothing without the support from our wives, families, and friends who are the actual heart of Milk & Honey. The help and support we've experienced is beyond anything we ever thought possible. From pressing to grafting, the people we've encountered along the way have all been a part in the growth of our venture. To friends and loved ones, colleagues and teachers, here or lost, you know who you are. We hope one day a favor is returned worthy enough to compliment your support.
For inquiries about products and sales, please contact our Account Manager - Kirstin Westby.
Kirstin - 952.215.1010
For any other inquiries please contact us morning, noon, or night; call, text, or email.
Aaron - 320.492.1788
Adam - 320.309.2324
Peter - 320.774.8739