Four Daughters Winery releases Loon Juice hard cider
Straight from southern Minnesota comes the newest addition to our ever growing roster of locally produced alcoholic beverages. This week, Four Daughters Winery, located in Spring Valley (just south of Rochester), launched a hard apple cider called Loon Juice. While initial distribution will likely stay close to Spring Valley, the company says that it expects Loon Juice to start hitting more liquor stores across the state later this fall.
Photo courtesy of Four Daughters Winery A new line of local hard cider, Loon Juice
See also: Are cocktail rooms the next taprooms?
Loon Juice is made with locally grown honeycrisp apples. The first batches will be sold in five-liter mini-kegs, each containing approximately 10 pints' worth of cider. It will also come in half-barrels available for sale in bars and restaurants, and will eventually be sold in 22-ounce bomber bottles.
Photo courtesy of Four Daughters Winery Loon Juice will initially be sold in five-liter mini-kegs, a first for Minnesota hard cider
Four Daughters isn't currently growing the apples they use; instead they largely source from an orchard located less than 25 miles from their winery. The idea behind the cider is to keep as true to the apple as possible. The original cider is fermented to about 8% ABV and is then diluted with unfermented cider to about 6%. No additional sugar gets added to the mix to assist with fermentation or sweetness.
"I'm a winemaker, but the reason that I got into cider is because I took a look at how ciders were traditionally made and noticed that nobody was really doing a traditional cider," says Justin Osborne. "If you look at a lot of ciders out there, they're amber in color and if you look at ours, it's almost crystal clear because we let the apples speak for themselves."
In addition to the cider roll-out, Four Daughters will be hosting a special Chopped-style event this weekend, where their kitchen staff will have to create a multiple course dinner based on ingredients of the diners' choosing. For more information on this event or Four Daughters Winery, visit fourdaughtersvineyard.com.
Send your story tips to Hot Dish.