During this time of year, you can’t talk about Bayfield without talking about apples. From Mid-September to Mid-October the orchards are blooming with apples in all forms. Talk about all the freshly made apple jams, jellies, pies, sundaes, doughnuts, and cider.
In Bayfield, pumpkin spice is NOT the fall beverage of choice. The beverage of choice this season is Bayfield apple cider. And at Seagull Bay, we couldn’t agree more.
But when it comes to cider there are many questions about what is real apple cider as compared to apple juice. Recently, a few of the orchards have started to brew hard apple cider.
If you’re wondering…
But how is this different from beer?
Or is it just apple-flavored beer?
And what about apple wine?
Do you drink your cider hot or cold?
What about adding spices or adding a splash of rum?
The questions are real. But we got you.
In today’s blog, we'll answer these questions for you and share the local farms that make the best Bayfield apple cider and hard cider.
What Is the Difference Between Apple Juice and Apple Cider?
The answer is a pretty simple one. Apple cider is the unfiltered juice from pressed apples. Apple Juice is the filtered juice from pressed apples.
Although the difference between the two is small they have many different characteristics. Apple cider is darker in color and often contains brown sediment. It is raw and unsweetened.
You can buy apple cider raw (unpasteurized) or pasteurized to help kill harmful bacteria. We prefer the unpasteurized cider ourselves.
Apple cider is also less shelf stable and will start to ferment giving it a fizzy or boozy taste. If left too long it will turn into apple cider vinegar. Outside of the US apple cider usually refers to hard cider. This was the most common form of cider found in the US before prohibition.
During prohibition, there was a push to create a non-alcoholic form of cider. This is where apple juice became popular. Apple juice is filtered to remove the brown sediment from the apples.
It's usually pasteurized and undergoes more processing and sometimes contains added sugar. Because of this, it's more shelf-stable than apple cider.
Is Hard Cider Beer?
The short answer is no. Cider is cider and beer is beer. The difference comes from the types of yeasts used. Cider uses “cider yeasts” like yeasts found in wine or champagne and is more closely related to wine and champagne than beer. Beer uses malts or hops in addition to yeast.
Hard cider can be made from a variety of fruit juices but is most commonly made from apples. It's light in color, has a thinner consistency, and has low carbonation. Another difference is hard cider is gluten-free and usually contains sulfates.
Beer comes in a variety of colors, is thicker, and is very carbonated. Although there are gluten-free beers, beer most often contains gluten and does not contain sulfates.
But there's a recent trend of crafting hopped hard cider blurring the lines between the two. Or brewing apple beer where apple juice is mixed with malt and hops during the brewing process.
No matter what you like best there are a few places in Bayfield where you can find authentic apple cider and hard cider. Each farm or brewery features Bayfield apples and puts its unique twist to make this beverage the one you'll want to sip this fall.
Where to Find the Best Bayfield Apple Cider?
You don’t need to travel far when staying at Seagull Bay to find apple cider or hard cider. Here are the places you should go.
Adventure Club Brewery
Brewmaster Matthew Gerdts finds inspiration for brewing beers and ciders from the Bayfield area. We recently sampled his take on a hopped hard cider using apples from Hauser’s Superior View Farm and Apfelhaus Cidery.
It’s crisp, clean, and light. Just like the perfect fall day. He frequently rotates his selections of beer and cider depending on what’s local and what is in season.
Hauser's Superior View Farm and Apfelhaus Cidery
Hard cider crafted by fifth-generation apple growers. That’s over 100 years crafted into every batch. This summer Apfelhaus Cidery introduced Apple Pie Cider. Classic hard cider blended with apple pie spices. Why not drink your dessert?
Bayfield Winery and Blue Ox Cider
This family-owned winery features estate-grown apples and grapes. These are handcrafted into unique blends of wine and cider. Apples, cherries, and ginger what else can we say except you have to try some?
Better yet listen to live music and nibble on one of their charcuterie boards while sipping your cider overlooking the orchards.
Bayfield Apple Company
Sustainably grown apples and UV cold pasteurized apple cider. In other words, high-quality pure apple cider pressed in small batches. This is our go-to place for apple cider. Trust us when we say that you need to buy more than one jug. Also, try their blends of apple-cherry or apple-raspberry ciders. This is where tart and sweet are the perfect combinations.
Erickson’s Orchards and County Store
We can’t write an entire blog about Bayfield apple cider without mentioning Muriel Erickson’s famous apple cider doughnuts. Made daily, rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and served warm. These old-fashion cake doughnuts are legendary and don’t last long so it’s best to visit early. They’re the perfect pairing with Erickson’s pasteurized apple cider that is pressed right on the farm.
It sounds like you need to plan a trip to Bayfield.
When Staying at Seagull Bay You Can’t Get More Bayfield Than This!
At Seagull Bay, we offer traditional-style motel rooms and cozy cottages. We also offer family ensuites filled with old-school charm and modern touches.
We’re located on the edge of town allowing easy and quick access to the apple orchards. And have access to the Brownstone Trail offering an easy 5-minute walk into town along the shores of Lake Superior.
When you can’t find Isaac and me, and our three boys on the motel property it's probably because we’re picking apples and eating doughnuts this time of year.
We can’t think of anything better than:
Sitting on one of our balconies on a cool fall morning overlooking Lake Superior
Sipping hot Bayfield apple cider from a signature Bayfield Apple Festival Mug from Eckels Pot Shop and...
Nibbling on warm apple cider doughnuts and relaxing
There is nothing that breathes Bayfield more than this.
Come and taste for yourself. BOOK NOW fall is flying by!
Mollie, Isaac, Axel, Ridge, and Banks