Eating and Drinking with The Growler's Joe Alton: Cider

Sapsucker Farm in Mora, Minn.
Sapsucker Farm in Mora, Minn. (Louis Garcia/Growler Mag)
Eating and Drinking: Joe Alton - Cider
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Joe Alton is editor-in-chief of The Growler and project director of the Beer Dabbler. He joins The Current's Morning Show to talk about some underrated breweries in Minnesota.

Joe Alton stops by The Current's Morning Show to talk to Jill Riley and Sean McPherson (in for Steve Seel) about Minnesota's booming cider industry.

It might seem early to taste a bit of cider, but Alton cites historic precedent for it. "They say John Adams used to wake up in the morning and drink a tankard of cider to start the day to settle his belly," he says.

Cider is huge in Minnesota. "The University of Minnesota has been at the forefront of apple research and agriculture for the long time," Alton says. "Nationally, cider is actually — technically — growing faster than craft beer. Between 2013 and 2014, I think there was a 75 percent increase in the amount of cider being produced in the United States."

The popularity of cider may be attributable to its drinkability. "The lower ABV and some of the more delicate flavors make it a good outdoor drink, a good long drinker," Alton says. "You can have a few."

Here is a list of cider makers Alton mentions in today's segment:

Sociable Cider Werks, Minneapolis

Leidel's Cider, La Crescent, Minn. (since 1917)

Keepsake Cidery, opening this weekend in Dundas, Minn.

Wyndfall Ciders at Hoch Orchards, La Crescent, Minn.

Number 12 Cider House, Buffalo, Minn.

Milk & Honey Ciders, Cold Spring, Minn.

Loon Juice Hard Cider, Spring Valley, Minn.

Vine Park Brewing Company, St. Paul, Minn. (Make your own)

Tin Shed Cider Company, Faribault, Minn.

Sweetland Orchard Apples & Cider, Webster, Minn.

Sapsucker Farms, Mora, Minn.

Harbo Cider, Welsh Heritage Farm, Lake Crystal, Minn.

Urban Forage Winery & Cider House, Minneapolis

Listen to the complete interview to hear more about these cider houses — and to find out what a "crowler" is.

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