Blake’s Hard Cider Arrives in South Dakota

Global Distributing, Inc. recently announced that Blake’s Hard Cider is coming to South Dakota. We thought we’d learn more about what they bring to the scene. Above: Owners Andrew, Paul and Pete Blake.

blakes hard cider micigan
 
Official Cidery Name: Blake’s Hard Cider Co.
Ownership: Peter Blake, Paul Blake, Andrew Blake
Cider Makers: Robert Lauer and Fred Flame
Year Founded: 2014
Address: 17985 Armada Center Rd. in Armada, Michigan.
 
Flagship Cider: Flannel Mouth
Year-round Ciders: Flannel Mouth, El Chavo, Wakefire, Beard Bender, Grizzly Pear
Notable Seasonals/Features: The Tonic and Black Phillip
 
blake's hard cider bottles 
 
Briefly describe the size / capabilities of your brewing equipment:
We recently added 30 – 145 barrel tanks during our $2 million expansion, which is an addition to our 18 – 100 barrel tanks.
 
What ciders will be available in cans / bottles / drafts in South Dakota at launch and the near future?
At our launch, we’ll have 5 of our year round brands available in both cans and draft: Flannel Mouth, El Chavo, Wakefire, Beard Bender, & Grizzly Pear.  We also will have one of our three seasonals available.  Our best selling seasonal, The Tonic, is a refreshing Cucumber & Ginger cider that is sure to appeal to South Dakota consumers.
 
What is the cider market looking like in the next few years? Is it growing?
The next few years for craft cider look great! Especially for true craft options and estate grown ciders such as Blake’s. We were fortunate enough to experience triple digit growth last year and are one of the fastest growing cider companies in the country right now.
 
Are you products all gluten-free? Is the gluten-free market a big segment of your customers?
Our product line is 100% gluten free and we take a lot of pride in this. We’re major advocates for Celiac Awareness and although many of our followers aren’t effected by gluten intolerance, we still think everyone should have the opportunity to drink great craft liquid, celiac or not.
 
What states are you currently available in?
MI, IL, OH, WI, MN, IN, PA, KS, NC, KY, ND
 
If one of the big guys came to you with a big check, are you open to selling a portion or all of your company?
My grandparents started this company in 1946 with little money, no idea how to grow apples, and 13 kids to take care of……….fuck No. This company has helped make our family who we are today and means much more to us than a paycheck.
 
What’s unique about your cidery?
It seems like a simple concept, but the reality is, many consumers don’t know where the products in the beverages come from; we grow our apples, right here in our back yard, it doesn’t get any more local than that. Our ciders aren’t overly sweet and keeping the natural fruit taste was what we set out for. Our eccentric flavor profiles played a key role in getting us on the map too, Mango Habanero hard cider was a risk that obviously paid off for us. Before we were cider makers, we were farmers, and still are to this day.
 
What local ingredients (if any) do you use?
We grow our own apples, fresh pressed juice from the orchard right outside our office window is the most important ingredient. We also grow habaneros, cherries, lavender, and other ingredients that we use to infuse some of our core products.
 
blake's hard cider logo