Michigan Organic Apples Make a Hard Cider that’s Hard to Resist
JK’s Farmhouse Ciders start with apples. But not just any apples. Organically grown, heritage apples (over 50 varieties) from a 5th-generation farm in Flushing, Michigan, just outside of Flint. The land has been in the Koan family since the mid-1800s, and it continues to be a family affair—Jim Koan (…hence JK’s Cider) and his wife Karen work with their son, Zachary, and daughter, Monique.
In the 1980s, Jim began the process of converting the orchard to an organic operation. It’s now one of the largest organic orchards in the U.S. and Jim has since become a leader in the field of organic and sustainable agriculture. One of the integral parts of their successful organic orchard management is an unexpected one—a herd of pasture-raised pigs. The pigs originally served on pest management duty in the orchard, eating fallen apples to reduce the impact of a common apple pest. Now, guinea fowl eat the bugs and the pigs happily eat the apple pulp from the cider mill.
Cider was first pressed on the farm in the 1850s, and not much has changed in the process since then. They grow, harvest, press, and ferment the apples in the same manner that cider-making has been done on the farm for generations. Cider sales are actually thought to have saved the farm during Prohibition and the Great Depression—folks traveled from far and wide for their “Special Farm Cider.” (Luckily, it is now completely legal for them to be producing it and for us—who are of age—to consume it!)
The Apple (Ciders) of Our Eye
We carry three of JK’s hard ciders and one non-alcoholic variety—prepare your tastebuds! All are apple-solutely full of flavor, certified organic, certified kosher, and naturally gluten-free. They’re made with only real, natural ingredients—no sulfites, no preservatives, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors. And, since they use traditional brewing methods and don’t filter their products, the ciders are more substantial in appearance, body, texture, and flavor. Sip sip hooray!
Scrumpy Hard Cider
Their original, classic cider is slowly fermented from a blend of apple varieties and their naturally occurring wild yeast. Like different vintages of wine, there will be slight variations from batch to batch. It’s juicy, refreshing, and easy-drinking. Plus, scrumpy sure is fun to say. Where does the name come from? The Koans explain:
Scrumpy is an old-fashioned, generic term for “rough” farmhouse hard cider made from a multitude of apple varieties. We keep the “farmhouse,” but we lose the “rough” because we use a select blend of apple varieties for each batch we brew. Today, the term Scrumpy is more often used to describe locally-made, handcrafted ciders produced in smaller quantities using traditional methods. Our hard ciders are certainly not mass-produced, and our apples come from happy orchards, delighted that their fruit goes into such tasty Scrumpy.
This wonderfully tart single-varietal hard cider is made with organic McIntosh apples—some picked at peak ripeness and some picked when still slightly green to add that lip-smackin’ tartness. Bright and refreshing, this cider goes well with almost anything but shines with cheddars and cheddar-adjacent cheeses. It’s sweet, tangy, and well-balanced.
Get ready to experience the ways of the haze. This hard cider is also made from a single varietal, it’s fermented from fresh Honeycrisp apples and the wild yeast from their skins. The result is a naturally cloudy cider that is bright, farmy, and pleasantly dry on the finish.
Haybaler Original Switchel
Non-alcoholic “switchel”, or haymaker’s punch, has a long American history and is currently undergoing a revival. Taste the tradition with this refreshing blend of apple cider vinegar, honey, and ginger that has enjoyed on American farms for over 200 years. The perfect thirst-quencher after a hard day of baling hay.