You’d think that Wilson’s Orchard, an 80-acre farm along Rapid Creek in Iowa City, that first opened in 1985, would be content with its 120 varieties of endlessly edible apples suitable for a full range of palates. They have a robust pick-your-own apple business at the farm, where they also make apple cider (which you can get in slushy form!), apple turnovers, and apple cider donuts, and they grow pumpkins. What more could you ask for?
Enter Paul Rasch, a fourth generation orchardist, and Sarah Goering, who bought the orchard from Joyce and Robert “Chug” Wilson in 2009. With all this raw material in place, why not expand into hard cider, made from 100% apple juice? They bottled their first batch of hard cider—called Goldfinch—in 2015. Today, they produce 4 different hard ciders, and use the leftovers from the cidermaking process (apple skins and bits known as “pomace”) to feed the heritage pigs and sheep raised on their farm.
Rapid Creek Cidery, a year-round event and cider-tasting space built from a 100-year-old barn, owned by their daughter Katie Goering, is set to open in 2017. We can’t wait!
Find Wilson’s Orchard products at all 3 New Pi locations!
In your Co-op's produce department:
Wilson’s family-friendly, nonalcoholic apple cider will be in our refrigerators through the New Year. It has been an awesome year for growing apples—and eating them. Our stores carry the tastiest varieties as they ripen!
In your Co-op's beer aisle:
You’ll find these flavors of Wilson’s Hard Cider in shareable 4-packs: the “slightly sweet” Goldfinch; the “marriage of cider and hops” called Hoppleseed; Spiced Up, a cider enlivened with mulling spices; and the brand new Cherry Crush, which features a happy burst o f Wilson’s tart cherries.
And in your Co-op's grocery aisle:
We also carry Wilson's Cider vinegar so you can acidify your cooking with local flavor too!