Hard Cider IN Grand Rapids

Best Locations for Hard Cider in greater Grand Rapids, Mi

Sip and Savor: Best Locations for Hard Cider in Grand Rapids, Michigan Area

Introduction: Grand Rapids – Beyond Beer City USA

Grand Rapids, Michigan, famously known as “Beer City USA,” has another fermented secret up its sleeve – a thriving hard cider scene. As the apple capital of the Midwest, it’s no surprise that Grand Rapids and its surrounding areas have become a hub for craft cider production. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best locations to enjoy hard cider in and around Grand Rapids, from urban tasting rooms to picturesque orchards.

Urban Cideries: Downtown Delights

Grand Rapids’ downtown area offers several excellent options for cider enthusiasts looking to explore the local scene without venturing too far from the city center.

1. The Peoples Cider Co.

Located in the heart of Grand Rapids, The Peoples Cider Co. is a must-visit for any cider aficionado.

What to Try:

– Ginger Adams: A spicy-sweet cider with a ginger kick – Farmer’s Tan: A semi-dry cider made with Michigan apples – Raspberry Vanilla: A fruity, dessert-like cider perfect for summer

Why It’s Special:

The Peoples Cider Co. focuses on using 100% Michigan apples and traditional cider-making techniques. Their small-batch approach allows for unique and experimental flavors alongside classic offerings.

2. Vander Mill Grand Rapids

While the original Vander Mill is located in Spring Lake, their Grand Rapids location offers a full restaurant and taproom experience.

What to Try:

– Totally Roasted: A cider infused with cinnamon and pecans – Blue Gold: A blueberry cider that showcases Michigan’s other famous fruit – Vandy: Their flagship dry cider, perfect for cider newcomers

Why It’s Special:

Vander Mill’s Grand Rapids location features a full kitchen, allowing visitors to pair their ciders with delicious food. The spacious taproom and outdoor seating area make it a great spot for groups.

Orchard Experiences: Cider in Its Natural Habitat

For those willing to venture outside the city limits, the surrounding orchards offer a more immersive cider experience.

1. Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery

Just a short drive from downtown Grand Rapids, Robinette’s offers a complete orchard experience along with their hard ciders.

What to Try:

– Barzilla’s Brew: A semi-sweet cider named after the orchard’s founder – Cherry Wine: While not a cider, this fruit wine is a must-try – Seasonal offerings: Look for special releases using fruit grown on-site

Why It’s Special:

Robinette’s allows visitors to experience the entire cider-making process, from orchard to glass. Their on-site activities, including U-pick apples and a corn maze, make it a great family destination.

2. Sietsema Orchards & Cider Mill

Located in Ada, just east of Grand Rapids, Sietsema Orchards offers a picturesque setting for cider tasting.

What to Try:

– Traditional Hard Cider: A classic, crisp cider that lets the apples shine – Hopped Cider: For those who enjoy a bit of beer influence in their cider – Red Label: A sweeter option for those with a less dry palate

Why It’s Special:

Sietsema’s focus on traditional cider-making techniques and their commitment to using only apples grown on their farm results in authentic, high-quality ciders. The beautiful orchard setting adds to the experience.

Cider-Focused Bars and Restaurants

While not exclusively cideries, these Grand Rapids establishments offer excellent cider selections alongside their other offerings.

1. Hancock

This Wealthy Street hotspot is known for its impressive selection of ciders, beers, and wines on tap.

What to Try:

– Rotating cider taps: Hancock regularly features ciders from Michigan and beyond – Cider cocktails: Try one of their unique cider-based mixed drinks – Cider flights: Sample a variety of styles to find your favorite

Why It’s Special:

Hancock’s knowledgeable staff can guide you through their extensive cider list, helping you discover new favorites. Their food menu is designed to pair well with their drink offerings.

2. Arktos Meadery

While primarily focused on mead, Arktos also offers a selection of hard ciders.

What to Try:

– Arktos Hard Cider: Their house cider, often with rotating flavor variations – Cider and mead blends: Unique combinations that showcase the best of both worlds – Seasonal specialties: Look for limited-time offerings that incorporate local ingredients

Why It’s Special:

Arktos provides a unique opportunity to explore the intersection of cider and mead. Their experimental approach often results in exciting and unusual flavor combinations.

Cider Festivals and Events

Grand Rapids and the surrounding area host several cider-centric events throughout the year, allowing visitors to sample a wide variety of local and national ciders.

1. Grand Rapids Cider Week

Typically held in May, this week-long celebration showcases the best of Michigan’s cider scene.


– Cider tastings at various locations around the city – Educational seminars on cider production and history – Food and cider pairing events

2. Cider Week GR

A separate event from Grand Rapids Cider Week, Cider Week GR takes place in the fall and focuses on the harvest season.


– Orchard tours and apple-picking experiences – Cider-making demonstrations – Special releases from local cideries

3. Michigan Cider Festival

This annual event, typically held in the fall, brings together cideries from across the state.


– Samples from dozens of Michigan cideries – Live music and entertainment – Local food vendors

Cider and Food Pairings

To fully appreciate the complexity of hard cider, consider pairing it with complementary foods. Many Grand Rapids restaurants offer excellent pairing options:

The Green Well: Their farm-to-table cuisine pairs beautifully with local ciders
Grove: Known for innovative dishes that work well with complex cider flavors
Butcher’s Union: Their charcuterie boards are perfect for cider pairing

Cider Trails and Tours

For those looking to explore multiple cider locations in one trip, consider these options:

1. West Michigan Cider Trail

This self-guided trail includes several cideries in the Grand Rapids area and beyond.

Stops include:

– Vander Mill (Spring Lake) – Farmhaus Cider Co. (Hudsonville) – Pux Cider (Conklin)

2. Grand Rapids Beer Tours

While primarily focused on beer, these tours often include cider stops as well.


– Transportation provided – Knowledgeable guides – Behind-the-scenes access at some locations

Tips for Enjoying Grand Rapids’ Cider Scene

Try a variety: Don’t be afraid to sample different styles and flavors
Ask questions: Most cideries are happy to explain their process and ingredients
Visit orchards during harvest season (September-October) for the full experience
Look for special releases and seasonal offerings
Consider joining a cider club for exclusive access to limited-edition ciders

The Future of Grand Rapids Cider

As the craft cider industry continues to grow, Grand Rapids is poised to become a major player on the national scene. Keep an eye out for:

New cidery openings
Increased distribution of local ciders
Innovative flavor combinations and production techniques
Collaboration between cideries and other local producers (breweries, distilleries, etc.)

Conclusion: Grand Rapids – A Cider Lover’s Paradise

Grand Rapids, Michigan, offers a rich and diverse cider scene that rivals its famous beer culture. From urban tasting rooms to scenic orchards, the area provides numerous opportunities to explore the world of craft cider. Whether you’re a seasoned cider enthusiast or new to the beverage, Grand Rapids has something to offer.

As you explore the cideries, bars, and events mentioned in this guide, you’ll discover the passion and craftsmanship that goes into every glass of Michigan cider. The unique terroir of the region, combined with the creativity of local cider makers, results in a drinking experience that’s truly one-of-a-kind.

So raise a glass to Grand Rapids’ cider scene – a perfect blend of tradition, innovation, and pure Michigan flavor. Cheers!

Remember to drink responsibly and always have a designated driver when exploring Grand Rapids’ cider offerings. Enjoy your cider adventure in Beer (and Cider) City USA!