Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vander Mill Cider Mill Plans Series of February Events in Chicago

Michigan’s largest craft cider producer – Vander Mill Cider & Winery of Spring Lake – will take on the Windy City this February with a series of public events.

Join owner Paul Vander Heide for multi-tap events at each of the below venues – featuring this year’s release of Chapman’s Blend (6.8% ABV) – named after John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed), the American pioneer and nurseryman who is credited with bringing apple trees to the Midwest in the early 1800s, thus starting cider’s early introduction in this country. Also on tap will be Totally Roasted, Blue Gold (formerly Apple Blueberry), Founders Keepers, and “Dirty Jim” – a very limited wild yeast-fermented English-style cider).

Wednesday, February 6 (7:30pm)
3258 N Sheffield Ave.

Thursday, February 7 (7:30pm)
1670 W Division St.

Friday, February 8 (7:30pm)
950 W. Wolfram

At both the Sheffield’s and Bangers & Lace events, the culinary team will be providing a specialty-menu to compliment the ciders featured during the evening.

Featured Ciders

• Chapman’s Blend (6.8% ABV) – Made from a variety of American heritage apples that all come from Michigan and boast over 200 years of history in the U.S., including Winesap, Baldwin, Northern Spy and Jonathan. These apples offer subtleties to cider that are not possible with more dessert-like varieties. They are often more acidic and carry more tannin through to the juice. This is a semi-dry cider with a clean fruit flavor and slight carbonation, pouring a light gold color. The aroma has rich apple notes, slightly tart –, with the flavor of ripe apple front and a bit of tartness on the finish.

• Totally Roasted (6.9% ABV) – Beginning with our traditional hard apple cider we then steep candied pecans. We make our own cinnamon roasted pecans that bring vanilla, cinnamon, and a nuttyness to this product that makes it a truly unique cider. Totally Roasted is semi-sweet with a tart finish.

• Blue Gold (6.9% ABV) – This semi-sweet cider has a very well balance of sweetness and acidity. We use our traditional cider as a base and blend in blueberries. This gives Blue Gold its deep and rich color. A very approachable cider for the novice, and refreshing for all. Made… Formerly known as Apple Blueberry.

• Founders Keepers (8.5% ABV) – Founders Keepers is a cyser which is technically a mead. We ferment Michigan wild flower honey with cider to create a rich and complex product. The cyser then ages in Founders Backwoods Bastard barrels for 8-10 months giving it additional barrel complexity.

• Dirty Jim (6.9% ABV) – True to English style guidelines, this cider was fermented with wild yeast. The nose is unmistakably that of a barnyard, with a more complex mouthfeel than other American ciders. The apples used provide more tannin to the pallet. The funk on this one is an acquired taste. A limited release wild yeast-fermented English-style cider.

Saturday, February 9 (11am-7pm)
Vander Mill will be among more than three dozen companies showcasing more than 60 artisanal ciders at the inaugural Cider Summit Chicago. The day-long event will be held in the Lakeview Terrace Room at Navy Pier and benefits The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association, WBEZ Public radio and Heartland Alliance.

Vander Heide will be among the owners and cidermakers from companies throughout the United States, England, Scotland, France, Spain and New Zealand on hand to inform and guide guests through the samplings, which will be available in 3-ounce and 6-ounce portions. The event will also feature specially-selected food pairings from Fortune Gourmet.

Tickets for Cider Summit Chicago are $20 in advance via Brown Paper tickets ( and at the Hotel Palomar concierge desk or $25 at the door (cash only). Admission includes a tasting glass and 10 drink tickets. Additional drink tickets will be available for sale onsite at $2 per ticket. The event is 21 and over, only.

Thursday, February 21
OAK & IRON II: A Bounty of Barrel-Aged Beer
Held at Jerry’s Sandwiches in Wicker Park, this night features the magic, myth and epic heroism with an array of fantasy-inspired programs, dungeon synth and assorted metals. You’ll also be regaled with tales from forgotten sword-wielding cinema on a ten-foot screen. Costumes are encouraged as you sample brews and ciders from more than a dozen producers – including Vander Mill (featuring Finders Keepers and Sweet 73).

Vander Mill began operation in West Michigan in 2006 and boasts a strong presence in Chicago, with placement in more than 75 bars and 200 retail stores throughout the region.

Vander Mill Cider Mill & Winery
14921 Cleveland Street
Spring Lake, MI 49456

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