This is our first cider tasting in Ann Arbor! To celebrate the release of Starcut Ciders in bottles, Short’s Brewing Company Liberator, Pauline will taste out Octorock and Pulsar at Lucky’s market. This is a free tasting and a great way to enjoy Short’s newest brand, Starcut.
The day has finally arrived – Starcut Ciders is now available on Michigan store shelves! Originally introduced at Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, MI in the fall of 2014, you’ve been able to enjoy our ciders on tap across the state throughout the summer. Now you can enjoy one straight from the bottle!
This week we will begin the distribution of two flagship varieties; Octorock, a semi-sweet cider and Pulsar, a semi-dry cider. Our first seasonal release, Squishy, a semi-sweet cider made from a late season blend of apples, Balaton, and Montmorency cherries, will also be available on store shelves following the flagship release. Our ciders will be packaged in 12-ounce bottles in six-pack carriers.
The label illustrations for both Starcut Ciders flagships and Squishy were completed by artist and designer, Don Pendleton. Most widely recognized for his portfolio of skateboard graphics and for the album artwork for Pearl Jam’s tenth studio album, Lightning Bolt, Pendleton was approached by Starcut this past winter. According to Short’s Art Director, Jesse Den Herder, “It was important to create a memorable icon for each of these ciders. Don’s work is so unique and was a perfect vehicle to express the personality of each cider.”
When asked about working with Starcut Ciders, Don explained “It’s exciting to see what is being done with craft cider and to witness this swell of independent companies who are focusing on creativity and injecting their own personal taste and style into the product. Having been a part of skateboarding since the ‘80s and seeing that industry being driven by smaller brands and unique perspectives, it’s very reminiscent of the DIY spirit I grew up with. It’s always great to see people who are passionate about something doing what they love and putting so much into every detail, whether it’s the taste, the quality, or the packaging.”
Our friend’s at Food Dance are celebrating 20 years as part of a growing and vibrant local food community. Food Dance is hosting two give-back events to celebrate and honor the farmers, producers, staff and community that have been essential to their success and growth. Join us in their main parking lot on the corner of Pitcher St. and Water St- from 12-4p we’ll be pouring Starcut Cider’s for you to sample and enjoy.
Join us at the First Annual Cider Dayze Festival in Armada for craft beer and cider, live music, local cuisine, and many fun games and activities. We will be setting up camp at Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill for the weekend, so don’t forget to stop by the Short’s and Starcut Ciders booths and enjoy a cold one with us! We will see you there.
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.
We’re thrilled to be participating in the inaugural Traverse City Cider Week taking place at various Traverse City locations August 16th – 23rd, 2015. In addition to Traverse City bars and restaurants that currently pour our ciders on tap, you’ll be able to find Starcut Ciders at these TC Cider Week events:
Cider and Sausage Salon
Wednesday, August 19th, 2015, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Historic Barns Park (1500 Red Drive, Traverse City, MI), at the newly renovated Cathedral Barn.
7 Monks Cider Tap Feature
Thursday, August 20th, 2015, 5:00 pm
7 Monks Taproom, 128 S Union St. Traverse City, MI