Blog : Starcut Blog

Careers at Short’s and Starcut Ciders

Careers at Short’s and Starcut Ciders

New year, new career! Short’s Brewing Company and Starcut Ciders are looking to fill multiple positions at their Elk Rapids Production Facility. Apply now at: http://shortsbrew.com/careersatshorts.

NOW HIRING IN ELK RAPIDS: PACK LINE WORKER

Have you always wanted to be part of the packaging and shipping process for Short’s Brew and Starcut Ciders? You’re in luck! We now have an opening at our Elk Rapids Production Facility for a Pack Line worker! This is an at-will, full-time, hourly position.

Our Pack Line workers are responsible for setting up and breaking down each bottling, kegging, and canning run; loading glass; prepping the bottle labeler; building and staging packaging; and packing full cases. Pack Line workers also shrink wrap finished product on pallets, move product into the cooler or warehouse, and fill and clean draft kegs. In other words, no job is too big or too small – if it needs to be done, our Pack Line Workers will find a way to ensure that the bottle, can and keg run needs are met!

If you’re looking for a career where you can put your superhero strength, packaging skills, and love of beer to good use in Northern Michigan, submit your cover letter/resume and apply here!

Applicants must be 21 years of age. Applications must be submitted by Thursday, January 5, 2017.

Apply now at: http://shortsbrew.com/careersatshorts

 

NOW HIRING IN ELK RAPIDS: PRODUCTION BREWER/CELLAR WORKER!

Calling all self-motivated, detail-oriented, tank-cleaning, beer-making night owls! We are now hiring in Elk Rapids for a Production Brewer/Cellar Worker. This is a hybrid position that involves cellaring and third-shift, weekend brewing at our Production Facility in Elk Rapids. This position is an at-will, full-time, hourly position.

The Production Brewer/Cellar Worker’s daily work includes all steps of the brewing and cellaring process, as well as administrative work to keep the brewhouse and cellar organized and consistent. Cellar duties include cleaning and sanitizing fermentation and conditioning tanks, transferring beer from tank to tank, monitoring the fermentation of beer, carbonating beer to the correct level, as well as cleaning and sanitizing product lines, other equipment and the cellar in general. Brewing duties include following monitoring, organizing, and storing raw ingredients;  following the brew schedule; following recipes and established brewing methods; monitoring fermentation; and handling yeast management and pitching.

Ready to put your amazing mash-paddling and zahm’ing skills to use in Northern Michigan? Submit your resume and apply today!  Applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Applications must be submitted no later than Thursday, January 5, 2017.

Apply now at: http://shortsbrew.com/careersatshorts

Take The Edge Off Holiday Cooking with Starcut Ciders

Take The Edge Off Holiday Cooking with Starcut Ciders

Don’t let your Turkey Day menu throw you for a loop. We’ve got five Starcut Ciders recipes lovingly crafted by former Short’s Liberator, Brian Talpos and Liberation Specialist, Jon “Woj” Wojtowicz to take the edge off this holiday season. From Starcut Ciders Cranberry Sauce to a Pulsar Turkey Brine, we’ve got your Thanksgiving shopping and cooking mapped out below. Please your holiday crowd this season by cooking and toasting with Starcut Ciders!

 

Starcut Cranberry Cider Sauce
Ingredients:

  • 16 oz cranberries
  • 1 cup Starcut Ciders, Pulsar
  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat dissolve the sugar in the Pulsar and orange juice.
  2. Stir in the cranberries and cinnamon stick.
  3. Cook until the cranberries start to pop and the sauce begins to thicken, around 10-15 min.
  4. Transfer Starcut Cranberry Cider Sauce from saucepan to a serving bowl, allowing it to continue thickening as it cools.  Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

 

Starcut Apple Sausage Cider Stuffing
Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cubed white bread (around 7 slices)
  • 5 cups cubed wheat bread (around 8 slices)
  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 2 cups diced white onion
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and diced (Gala)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup Starcut Ciders, Octorock (room temp with as little carbonation as possible)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring once as bread bakes, until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up into smaller crumbles until evenly browned.
  4. Remove sausage using a slotted spoon and add it to the large mixing bowl with the toasted bread cubes.  Empty pan of grease.
  5. In the same skillet, melt the  2 tablespoons of butter and add the celery, apples, dried cranberries, pecans, sage, rosemary, parsley and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes to blend flavors.  Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.
  6. Add celery, apples, cranberries, pecans and seasoning mixture to the large mixing bowl with the toasted bread cubes and sausage. Drizzle with cider and melted butter and mix lightly until bread cubes have absorbed all the liquid.
  7. Allow stuffing to cool completely before loosely stuffing into a turkey (around 4 cups for a 12 lb turkey).  Remaining stuffing can be baked in a buttered 9″ x 13″ covered casserole dish at 350 degrees Farenheit for 30-40 minutes.  Uncover, stir stuffing, and return to oven for 10-15 more minutes until golden brown.

 

Starcut Ciders Gravy
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Octorock
  • 4 cups turkey stock
  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a skilled and add the onions, sweat until soft (about 5 minutes).
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the butter/onion mixture and cook on medium for 5 more minutes, stirring every minute or so.
  3. Add the Octorock and turkey stock and bring the mixture to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cook for another 20 minutes (gravy will thicken).
  4. Finally, add the chopped sage and season with salt and pepper.

 

Cider Brine for Turkey
Ingredients:

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 4 cups Pulsar
  • 2 cups coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 gallon ice water

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients, except the last five, to a large stock pot and bring to a boil
  2. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10-15 minutes
  3. Add remaining ingredients, including ice water, and cool
  4. Strain mixture, and it’s ready to go

 

Octorock Braised Kale
Ingredients:

  • 8 quarts of dinosaur kale that has been de-stemmed and cleaned
  • 2 large yellow onions (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 quart of Octorock
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large dutch oven, melt the butter, then add the onions and garlic and cook on low heat until they are soft.
  2. Start adding in the kale, by the handful, until it all fits in the pot
  3. Add the Octorock and chicken stock and cover with a lid, cook on low heat for 45 minutes to an hour, then season with salt and pepper
Share your photo for a chance to win a Starcut Ciders tacker!

Share your photo for a chance to win a Starcut Ciders tacker!

Share your photo for a chance to win a Starcut Ciders tacker!

 

We’re looking for the prettiest, goofiest, coolest, most bestest photos of Starcut Ciders in all the land. Take a photo with a glass or a bottle, by yourself or with friends, in Michigan or wherever you happen to enjoy sipping on Starcut Ciders, and share it with us on Instagram using #MIcider and #StarcutCiders.

 

We’ll announce the three winners and post the winning photos to our social media channels on June 2nd, 2016.

 

Here’s how to win:
*Take a photo of your Starcut Ciders bottle or glass showing us where you most enjoy a cider.
*Upload the image to Instagram and use #MIcider and #StarcutCiders by 5/31/2016.
*Entrant profile must be public. Three winners will be chosen and their photos shared on 6/1/2016.
Per Instagram rules, this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram Inc. By entering, enterants confirm that they are 21+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.
Flamingo Juice and Otterson Apples

Flamingo Juice and Otterson Apples

Ok, before you ask, the name of this cider may be a teeny tiny bit misleading. No, no flamingos were harmed in the making of our newest cider, Flamingo Juice. That being said, we totally pulverized the sh*t out of some special apples for the base of this cider, and we think you’ll know why as soon as you get a glimpse of its awesome color. World, we give you Flamingo Juice.

So, let’s start at the beginning. Flamingo Juice is one of our newest cider varieties made from a combination of Otterson and crab apples. If the variety “Otterson” is not familiar to you, it’s no surprise! Otterson apples are a variety of red juiced apples that have been rediscovered and cultivated at Michigan State University (can I get a “GO GREEN”), by plant geneticist, Dr. Steve van Nocker and botanist Chris Gottschalk. Why cultivate this variety? To put it simply, Dr. van Nocker and Mr. Gottschalk have been seeking to find an apple with a high concentration of anthocyanins in the fruit’s flesh. Without getting too sciency, anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid. Beside making things red, anthocyanins are thought to have a positive impact on human health and in turn, many applications in the food and supplement industry. You can read more about the sciency stuff here.

So to make a long story even shorter, late last summer we were contacted by Dr. van Nocker and Mr. Gottschalk about pressing Otterson apples to use in an experimental cider. With the promise of an awesome color and fantastic flavor, we charged forward with pressing the apples and fermenting the cider. And thus, Flamingo Juice was born.

While we hope you’ve already had a chance to try Squishy, a dark red, semi-sweet hard cider we make from local, Northern Michigan cherries. We doubt you’ve seen a cider of this color made strictly from apples. Otterson apples are bred for the purpose of extracting the juice, priming them for cider making. They are acidic and have a tannin content that is beneficial for the production of cider. In addition to Otterson apples, Dr. van Nocker and team are working to develop new varieties of red juiced apples.

Flamingo Juice is a semi-dry hard cider made with red fleshed Otterson and crab apples. Try it on tap at our Starcut Ciders Celebration tomorrow, Saturday February 20th, at Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, MI.

Thanksgiving Made Fresh with Starcut Ciders

Thanksgiving Made Fresh with Starcut Ciders

Thanksgiving Shopping List
Cranberries
Corn
Ham
Turkey
Onions
Potatoes
Green Beans
Butter
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Cider !

That’s right, this year we’re adding cider to our Thanksgiving shopping list, and you should too! According to Short’s Brewing Company Head Chef,  Luke Meredith (and satisfied bellies everywhere), hard ciders like Octorock and Pulsar are prime for cooking. And not just sipping while prepping, we’re talking replacing or adding cider into to cooking liquids and incorporating its fresh apple taste into sauces and marinades.

Luke took a moment to share three cider Thanksgiving recipes that are ready for the big time. Add a couple six packs of your favorite Starcut Ciders varieties to your shopping list and let the cooking (and sipping) begin!

 

Cider Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Octorock
  • 4 cups turkey stock
  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a skilled and add the onions, sweat until soft (about 5 minutes).
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the butter/onion mixture and cook on medium for 5 more minutes, stirring every minute or so.
  3. Add the Octorock and turkey stock and bring the mixture to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cook for another 20 minutes (gravy will thicken).
  4. Finally, add the chopped sage and season with salt and pepper.

 

Cider Brine for Turkey

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 4 cups Pulsar
  • 2 cups coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 gallon ice water

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients, except the last five, to a large stock pot and bring to a boil
  2. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10-15 minutes
  3. Add remaining ingredients, including ice water, and cool
  4. Strain mixture, and it’s ready to go

 

Hard Cider Braised Kale

Ingredients:

  • 8 quarts of dinosaur kale that has been de-stemmed and cleaned
  • 2 large yellow onions (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 quart of Octorock
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large dutch oven, melt the butter, then add the onions and garlic and cook on low heat until they are soft.
  2. Start adding in the kale, by the handful, until it all fits in the pot
  3. Add the Octorock and chicken stock and cover with a lid, cook on low heat for 45 minutes to an hour, then season with salt and pepper

 

Cherry pickin’ for Squishy at King Orchards

Cherry pickin’ for Squishy at King Orchards

Squishy, our first ever seasonal bottle release (a semi-sweet cider made with Michigan cherries) is making its way to stores in the coming weeks alongside our flagship ciders, Pulsar and Octorock. Made with cherries from our own backyard (no seriously, these cherries are grown at King Orchards, just a short bike ride), Squishy will be reppin’ Antrim county flavors state-wide. So it only seems fitting that we talk a little more about the fruit behind the flavors right? Right!

Made with two varieties of tart cherries, Squishy’s signature flavor comes from the use of Montmorency (a traditional cooking cherry, most likely you’ll recognize this cherry from your Great Aunt Sue’s famous cherry pie) and Balaton (a Hungarian cherry that is relatively new to the Northern Michigan cherry scene) cherry juice.

We source the juice for Squishy from King Orchards, a first generation orchard and farm with its roots in Central Lake, MI. Pioneered by Jim and John King and their families, their operation includes u-pick orchards, two farm markets, and commercial fruit and cherry concentrate sales. Jack and Courtney King, members of the next generation of the King Orchards family, took us on a tour of their original M-88 orchard just outside of Central Lake on a busy Saturday at the end of cherry season where we had the opportunity to talk all things fruit and cider.

Outside of cherries, King Orchards also grows apples, apricots, pears, peaches, nectarines, and vegetables in Antrim county. Their location in the northern portion of Michigan’s famed cherry growing region is beautiful (you can see Lake Michigan from portions of their M-88 market), beneficial (the rolling hills, climate, and soil of Antrim county lend themselves to growing cherries and other stone fruit), and at times, trying. In particular the threat of late frosts and the cold and bitter winters of late have tested not only King Orchards, but many throughout the region. But when you walk up the hill at their M-88 orchard past rows of apricot, peach, and seemingly limitless lines of cherry trees and you turn around to breathtaking views of rolling hills and Lake Michigan, you really understand why it is this family chose this path.   

We think King Orchards is pretty cool. And if you’ve had a squishy, you know that they mean business when it comes to growing the juiciest, tastiest cherries. When asked for the secret to their cherry juice concentrate, Jack King answered that simply leaving the fruit to ripen on the branch for as long as possible is the most important aspect. While it might not be much of a “secret,” it really speaks to the care and attention that the King family imparts in all they do. Jack’s sentiments and the goals of King Orchards really echo the commitment we’ve made to crafting a beverage we believe in that showcases the beauty of our home.

So the next time you enjoy a Squishy on tap or in our brand spankin’ new bottles, take pride in knowing that this ruby red, semi-sweet cider is made with only the choicest of cherries from our Antrim county neighbors.