Yellow Belly 4-Packs Have Arrived.

We are pleased to announce that our Yellow Belly Hard Cider is now available in convenient 12 oz./4-packs. Enjoy a single-serve bottle on your deck, in your yard, boat, picnic basket, back pack, and especially in your favorite can cozy. But don’t forget your bottle opener!

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Yellow Belly Wins GLINTCAP Gold, Silver, Bronze Medals.

Our Yellow Belly Hard Cider has added three more medals to our trophy case. We are delighted to announce that all three of our hard ciders earned a medal at the 2017 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP) held in Michigan. This is the 12th year of this esteemed competition and there were over 1200 entries from all over the world. Here are the complete results of the competition; here are the results for the commercial division in which we competed, and here is a quick look at our own results.

 

 

GOLD MEDAL

Category: Wood Aged Cider

Yellow Belly Barrel Aged Cider

 

 

 

SILVER MEDAL

Category: Modern Cider – Sweet

Yellow Belly Semi-Sweet

 

 

 

 

BRONZE MEDAL

Category: Spiced Cider

Yellow Belly Ginger

 

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Minnesota Cider Guild

Minnesota cider makers have come together to form the Minnesota Cider Guild. We are still a very tiny guild, since there are currently only 16 cider makers in Minnesota. Our first order of business is to organize Minnesota Cider Week, a week-long celebration of cider at multiple venues throughout the Twin Cities. The grand finale is the Minnesota Cider Festival on Saturday June 10, 12pm – 4pm at Red River Kitchen at City House in St. Paul. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased via the Minnesota Cider Guild website. Hope to see you there!

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A Bit of Hawaii in Minnesota.

This week I’m pretending that I’m living in Hawaii. Even though it’s February, and here in Minnesota it’s cold and gloomy outside, inside the greenhouse it’s like being on a farm on the Hawaiian Islands.

It’s time to start the ginger crop for the 2017 growing season. This year I am planting 100 lbs of ginger which should yield anywhere from 300 to 500 lbs by the end of the season.

Yes, ginger can be grown here in Minnesota. It just takes time, patience, and of course, a bit of knowledge on how to grow it. But the biggest need is having the right kind of growing environment for it to thrive.

Here at Sapsucker Farms, I purchase new, certified organic ginger root every year. I don’t replant any ginger from my previous year’s harvest for three main reasons 1.) I don’t know how to store it properly from November to February in order to assure that it is viable for the next season 2.) Every single piece that I grow is used in our Yellow Belly ginger hard cider. 3.) just like potatoes, by replanting your own stock you can perpetuate disease.

So here is how I grow ginger. In February, I start the ginger roots in my greenhouse. It takes about six weeks for them to sprout. By this time, the weather outside is warming up, and in particular, the soil inside the hoop house is warming up, so the sprouts are transplanted in hoop house sometime the end of April and early May.

The sprouts look a lot like bamboo. Tender green shoots with skinny leaves. Once it’s planted in the hoop house, then it needs to be nurtured throughout the summer…weeding…watering…feeding… By being sure it has all of its basic needs met, then it’ll happily grow until fall.

By November, the hoop house is a forest of ginger. Even though it’s cold outside, the warm soil and all of the greenery inside have a large enough mass to keep the environment warm and humid, well into the cold season.

Then the fun begins. Time to harvest. And nothing is more rewarding than to dig up a nice big ginger root like this one. Grown right here in the great state of Minnesota.

 

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Seed Starting Begins.

It may still be February, but it is prime time to start seeds in the green house. Digging in the dirt makes my hands as happy as a pig wallowing in mud. Ahhhhh….

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Yellow Belly Wins 2017 People’s Choice Award.

For the consecutive second year, Yellow Belly has won the “People’s Choice” award for best cider at the 2017 St. Cloud Craft Beer Tour held at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. Huge thanks to our friends Davey and Rachel Johnston who helped pour samples and enthusiastically told our story to the crowd of 3,500 who attended the event. It was a very fun day for all.

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Yellow Belly Barrel Aged Wins Gold Medal, and Judges Choice Award.

barrel-gold-medal

We are thrilled to announce that Yellow Belly Barrel Aged hard cider won the gold medal in the category of “Wood Aged Cider” at the 2016 U.S. Open Cider Championship. In addition, the branding was recognized by the judges in a special Judges Choice award for one of the top ten most creative names.

The competition was held in October in Oxford, Ohio, with over 160 entries from across the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. 15 categories of cider were judged. Complete details of all of the results can be found on the U.S. Open Cider Championship website.

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