The Rapidian

Michigan Cider Week aims to spread education, create community

From April 5-11, the Michigan Cider Association is holding events to build education and excitement about Michigan’s craft cider economy.

Michigan Cider Association

For a comprehensive list of events happening throughout Cider Week, visit the Michigan Cider Association’s website.

A dish from Terra's recent Right Brain dinner, where they paired each dish with beers from Right Brain Brewery.

A dish from Terra's recent Right Brain dinner, where they paired each dish with beers from Right Brain Brewery. /Jennifer Kovalcik

This week, Grand Rapids is gearing up for its first Michigan Cider Week - put on by the newly-formed Michigan Cider Association.

The Association is comprised of Tandem Ciders, Sietsema Orchards, VanderMill Ciders, Blake’s Hard Cider Co. and The Peoples Cider Co. They wanted to come together and spread awareness and education about cider and form a community around the drink.

“Obviously cider is growing, but there is still a lot of education that needs to happen with the consumer and the general public,” says Andy Sietsema of Sietsema Orchards. “(We wanted) to build more awareness for hard cider and really showcase Michigan apples and Michigan growers.”

Cider Week, which kicked off on Sunday, April 5, has many events available for community members to attend. 

The Michigan Cider Association will begin their host of events for the week at Terra, with a Cider Dinner on April 7 at 6:30 p.m. Terra will feature ciders from Virtue Cider, Sietsema Orchards and Tandem Ciders, along with dishes specially made to enhance the cider experience. 

The four-course dinner includes soup, salad, a main course and a dessert, all paired with a different cider. They will feature things like a whitefish salad paired with a lemongrass cider and a chocolate mousse paired with the “Sweetheart” cider from Tandem Ciders. The event is now sold out.

The Association teamed up with Grand Rapids Downtown Market to make getting involved with and learning about cider easily accessible. All week, the Downtown Market will feature four specialty ciders on tap

The Market’s events begin on Wednesday, April 8. Community members are invited to join Tandem Ciders at the Market at 7 p.m. that day to take part in their home cider making class

On Thursday, April 9 at 7 p.m., there will be a cider and food pairing session with the Downtown Market vendors as they feature snacks and flights of ciders. 

Friday, April 10 at 7 p.m., there will be a “Meet Spanish cider” event that will introduce attendees to the complexity of different regional Spanish ciders and will include a Spanish food making demonstration. 

HopCat is starting their Orchards Invade tap takeover on Thursday, April 9. They will be hosting 11 different Michigan producers for that weekend. 

Cider Week coincides with the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition, also happening on Saturday

Though the two events are not officially connected, the Michigan Cider Association has been working with the organizers of the event to synchronize the two events to create a more inclusive week. 

The Michigan Cider Association plans to make Cider Week an annual event, along with events throughout the year to keep cider fans connected within the community and up on what’s happening in the growing industry.

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