With an obvious growth in interest in cider (and even craft beer) in the United States, a lot of new cideries and breweries have been opening up. One of these is Blake’s Hard Cider Co. in Armada, Michigan (Facebook Page). Blake Farms open in 1946 with a pick your own orchard. Since then they have expanded to over 500 acres of strawberries, cherries, pumpkins, peaches, assorted vegetables, and you-cut Christmas trees. In addition to the variety of orchards, Blake Farms has train rides, cornfield mazes, hayrides, and many other family-friendly activities. This is only the first year for the cider and wine tasting room, but so far it is living up to the high expectations of Blake Farms.
It is a bit of a drive for me, but well worth it. There is a variety of ciders to choose from, mango, wayward winter, cranberry, golden delicious, and many more. The wine selection is also great. I tried the blueberry wine, which was delightful.
The tasting room is cozy and has a very intimate feeling, which I really enjoyed. Upon entrance you are greeted with a warm fire place surrounded by barrel-like tables and a bar in the very back. Behind the tasting room, you can see the cider process at work. In addition to the lovely atmosphere, cider, and wine, there was even a fútbol (soccer) game playing.
I am glad to see that cider is making a come back in the United States, and I love to support those who are investing their time in this growing tradition. Do you have an favorite cideries and/or breweries?