Mar 12, 2015
Michigan Cider Association holding weeklong event

The newly formed Michigan Cider Association (MCA) and Michigan State University Extension are pleased to announce one of Michigan’s first cider weeks to be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 6-12. This weeklong event includes a series of educational workshops, cider tastings, cider pairings, and cider dinners that feature cider producers, cideries, and apple growers from all around Michigan; all workshops and cider-related activities are open to the public. Many of the cider and winery operations from across Michigan will be in attendance.

As the Michigan cider industry has been continuing to grow at an exciting and rapid pace, the time was right to establish an organization that supports education, research and promotion of this emerging industry. In December 2014, MCA was formed by a core group of Michigan cider makers through a state-recognized 501(c)6 program. Although MCA is a new organization, its intention is to provide short- and long-term significance and value to all members through the promotion and support of Michigan cider.

MCA support of this growing industry is evident at the Grand Rapids Cider Week. MCA is hosting three sessions slated to take place at the Grand Rapids DownTown Market: home cider making, cider and food pairing and an introduction to Spanish food and cider. First, the home cider-making course will be held on Wednesday, April 8 from 7-9 p.m. Participants will learn to make small batches of cider for individual consumption. Participants will have the opportunity to explore different methods of cider making, the equipment needed to start producing hard cider, and a list of resources to get them started.

The second and third workshops will highlight cider’s versatility to be consumed with many types of foods. A cider and food pairing will take place on Thursday, April 9. From 7-9 p.m., participants will join Michigan cidermakers and DownTown Market purveyors for an evening of cider and food. MCA will pair Michigan ciders with a selection of meats, cheeses and desserts.

On Friday, April 10, MCA offers a glimpse into Asturias, a beautiful and unique region of Spain that is world-renown for its ciders. The evening will include a traditional espiche – a delicious and hearty spread that is typically served with cider – as well as a Spanish cooking demonstration, a chance to talk shop with Michigan cidermakers about their Spanish experiences and most importantly how to “throw”Spanish cider. MCA is pleased to bring in Chef Pablo Balbona of Gigon, Asturias, Spain. Chef Balbona is a famous chef in his hometown, and his family owns a highly regarded patisserie, Balbona Gastronomia, in Gijon. He also cooks at Aventura, the 2014 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award-Winning restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Chef Balbona will be cooking up Tortilla de Patata (traditional Spanish potato omelet), empanada de bonito (traditional pastry stuffed with tomato, peppers and bonito), and a series of tapas made with cider.

On Friday, April 10, MCA will join with the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP) for an educational session on cider judging. This event will offer the opportunity for participants to learn more about cider styles and flavors. GLINTCAP is looking for judges to help judge this year’s cider entries, which has grown to be the biggest cider competition in the world outside of the Bath and West Show in England! Participants can sign up to volunteer by clicking here.

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