Craft Hard Cider Making its Way to Twin Ports with Duluth Cider

by Felicity Bosk

An inside look at the Duluth Cider taproom. Photo credit: Felicity Bosk
An inside look at the Duluth Cider taproom. Photo credit: Felicity Bosk
From left to right, Christian Fraser, Valerie Scott and Jake Scott Photo credit: Felicity Bosk
From left to right, Christian Fraser, Valerie Scott and Jake Scott Photo credit: Felicity Bosk

You may see Angry Orchid, Redds, or Sociable Cider Works on taps around town but a new edition is soon to make its way to Lincoln Park. Duluth Cider is opening at 2307 W Superior Street later this summer.
“We are going to have a cider for everyone,” said co-founder Jake Scott. “Most people have only had really sweet cider and thought they don’t like cider they’ll just stick with beer or whiskey but we are passionate about having a cider for everyone because we think there really is a cider for everyone.” 

Jake and his wife and co-founder Valerie Scott have loved cider for years. Valerie worked at a cidery in Mass. for three years before they returned to Duluth. One day not too long after Valerie began working there, Jake visited her at work and asked her why Duluth doesn’t have a cidery. From there they looked into if anyone else was planning to open one. When no one else was, they started working toward opening one of their own. 

Their biggest focus is to create a product Minnesotans can be proud to call their own, Jake said. They are going to use 100 percent Minnesotan apples, “which is not the easy way to do it but its important to us to contribute to the global cider culture with our own unique local product.”
Their head of production, Christian Fraser, said he is passionate about cider, and it is a fun medium to ferment with.
“It takes best elements of wine and beer” said Fraser. “You can make a cider taste very similar to a nice beer, you can make cider that tastes like a white wine, there’s pretty much unlimited possibilities when it comes to making it.”
Their taproom is expected to open later this summer. They will have three ciders on tap initially but will be pouring more in time. The taproom will also be a music venue with a stage to embrace Duluth’s music scene. In the future they plan to have their cider on taps in bars around Duluth and around Minnesota. Further into the future, they want to put their cider in cans, available around the Midwest. 

“Step one definitely inviting people in to have cider with us in our taproom,” Valerie said. “I’d like to be seen as a destination cidery, one that people will come up from the cities to visit.” 
Their building was constructed in the early 20th century. Valerie said it was originally built as a stable for the horses used by Duluth’s postal service. They said the building was perfect for opening a cidery in, with their biggest issue being the “terrible yellow color.” Jake said part of why they chose to open in this building was because it was a “blank slate.” 

They kept quiet about their business for a while but are now moving fast to open up and welcome guests. They are currently hiring bartenders, fixing up the space and making it their own.