About 1,300 acres of Indiana’s landscape is devoted to growing apples, a number that hardly gives it rank among top producing states. While the industry may not recognize the state as a significant contributor just yet, small orchards have been around for decades and continue to produce the finest fruits, making up for any lack of apple volume with quality and variety. As the state makes its mark on the craft beverage industry, all eyes are turning to cider and producers throughout Indiana are using these local apples to produce a broad range of craft sippers.
McClure’s Orchard in Peru, Indiana, grows 130 varieties of apples along with other fruits and hops in its orchards, which are now used to produce handcrafted ciders. A true “farm to bottle” venture focused on allowing the fruit and ciders to mature naturally, the orchard also sells to other regional makers. The Spy Candy is an English-American hybrid cider, it’s made with a blend of three apple varieties grown onsite: Northern Spy, Hyslop and Rusty Coat. The cider is fruit-forward, with a good tannin structure and a hint of smoke flavor.