Sutliff Cider Company

Sutliff Cider Company

Sutliff Cider Company

Late in the Fall we stopped by Sutliff Cider Company on Sutliff Road between the towns of Sutliff and Lisbon. Like me, you may ask “Well, where is Lisbon?” it is east of Cedar Rapids on US Highway 30. They have a very nice rustic tasting room in the basement of an old barn, with plenty of room for a fair number of people to sit down plus a tasting bar. Sutliff Cider Company offers pure cider, which is fresh-pressed and only available for a short period of time, soft cider, and finally, what I was eager to try: Sutliff Hard Cider. The Cider is fermented in old french oak wine barrels, a number of which are stacked in the tasting room. All of the ciders are crisp, fresh and clear, unlike some other types of ciders made elsewhere, including overseas. I found their hard cider to be extremely easy to drink. In fact, hard cider was why apple trees were grown all over the Ohio Valley and the upper Midwest during the 1800s. Think about it. All of those apples that salesmen like Johnny Appleseed were selling were not going into pies, and they certainly were not just to make apples, which would have quickly gone bad. No, those early settlers were making hard cider, which would keep all year around. I’m actually not making this up. This is the truth behind the Johnny Appleseed story.

Sutliff Cider Barrels

Sutliff Cider Barrels

But back to Sutliff Hard Cider. Yes, this is a very nice drink and goes well with a lot of holiday meals. So, if you are out and about in that part of the state when Sutliff Cider Company reopens, drop by. I did not know it, but according to a recent article in the Des Moines Register, Sutliff Cider Company sells nearly ten times as many gallons as the next largest brewery in Iowa — Millstream Brewery in Amana. This calculation is based on tax revenue. True, it is easier to make hard cider than beer, but I had no idea that people were swilling that much hard cider. And I have to say that the drive along Sutliff Road is worth the diversion. It is one of those old roads that “fits” the surrounding countryside, unlike the checkerboard one-mile roads that slice through the terrain with no thought to the terrain.


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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Sutliff Cider Company « Distilled Opinion --

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