Michigan’s Must Visit Cider Mills
The beginning of fall is a colorful time of year for us in Michigan. A cascade of color falls over our trees and foliage while a different palate of reds, yellows, greens, golds and amber falls upon our markets and weekend trips. Yes we are talking about baskets, bushels, buckets and barrels of apples! See our quick list below of 9 cider mills that are sure to help you get your cider fix.
The sweet nectar of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala and Honey Crisp apples awaits!!
Michigan Cider Mills
-Franklin Cider Mill-
The Franklin Cider Mill in the Franklin Historic District north of downtown Detroit opened in 1837 as a gristmill, and has been pressing apples into cider since 1895. Today, all 21 varieties of apples used are hand-picked, fresh and 100 percent organic. For a special treat, visit in late September for Honey Crisp cider and take home apple pie or a bag full of their signature cinnamon spice donuts.
-Spicer’s Orchard & Cider Mill-
The Spicer family has been growing fruit in southeastern Michigan for five generations. The first farm was near Detroit and fruit was taken by horse and wagon downtown. The first market was located near the corner of Grand River road and Novi road. They have put together a collection of photos taken in the 1950s of their first market in Novi, click the history tab on the website. We hope you enjoy viewing some photos of Spicer’s heritage.
-Yates Cider Mill-
Yates Cider Mill in Rochester Hills is a place where you can experience everything that fall has to offer. Water-powered since 1863, the mill presses 300 gallons of fresh blended apple cider per hour. Visitors can enjoy donuts, apple pies, and other treats as they walk along the creek side trails and feed the variety of animals at the petting zoo.
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-Parshallville Cider Mill-
Historic Parshallville Grist Mill & Cider Mill-Tom Walker’s Grist Mill is a Michigan Historic Site. It is commonly known as the Parshallville Cider Mill, located in Parshallville, a small picturesque community, sitting on the banks of the North Ore Creek in Livingston County. The 136 year old mill is one of the few remaining water-powered mills in Michigan . This mill also has a rich history as a flour mill, known as Success Flour. It eventually became a grist mill, grinding grain for animal feed. These grains are still listed on the mill wall today. This cider mill attracts autumn visitors from all over the state. They make cider, spiced donuts, caramel apples, and homemade apple pies on site. In addition, you can choose from a variety of antique apples for baking and eating and a variety of Michigan made products.
-Uncle John’s Cider Mill-
Back in the early 1900’s, Uncle John’s Cider Mill was used as a Cattle Barn where they raised cattle, sheep and even draft horses. Today, they have gently converted it to a Cider Press, Donut Shop and sitting area. However, the charm still remains.“Good fruit makes good juice,” according to Mike Beck, co-owner and cider maker at Uncle John’s. Year after year, Uncle John’s continues to win awards for both their fresh cider, as well as their fermented Hard Apple Cider.They continue making cider the ol’fashioned way, They do not use preservatives or additives, and do not pasteurize. Stop by in September and October to explore the five-acre corn maze and straw bale maze, take a wagon ride, walk the nature trail, visit the pumpkin patch and enjoy a number of festive fall family events.
-Dexter Cider Mill-
Historic Dexter Cider Mill near Ann Arbor is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in the state. Today the cider mill keeps its more than 120-year old cider making tradition by using an oak rack press and blending three to five different locally grown apple varieties in every pressing. Along with their natural cider, they offer fresh apples and from their own bakery, doughnuts, caramel apples, apple nut bread, home made apple pies and a slew of other locally grown and locally made products.
-Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill-
Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill has been family owned and operated since 1946 and was the first pick-your-own orchard in Michigan. This Macomb County favorite located in Armada is perfect for a family outing with fresh pressed cider and donuts and a full slate of bakery items to choose from. Since its opening, Blake Farms has evolved into a family entertainment farm featuring train rides, pony rides, hayrides, cornfield mazes, several animated attractions and many other family oriented activities. Throughout the years, Blakes has grown and expanded their operation offering Michigan’s #1 nighttime attraction, Blake’s Nighttime Haunted Hayride & Three Story Haunted Barn, for your Halloween excitement. They invite their customers to bring the family to the country to experience an enjoyable day on the farm where friends can be made and memories are created.
-Friske Cider Mill-
Friske Orchard – At Friske’s farm and orchards, they grow and harvest approximately 5.5 million pounds of fresh Michigan fruit and produce annually, which is the weight equivalent to the copper used in about 28 Statues of Liberty! In addition, they also produce about 50,000 gallons of Friske’s premium Apple Cider blends, which is enough
cider to fill an eight-story square office building … unless, of course, the windows are open! Combined, their orchards span over 300 acres, and include a partial historical Michigan centennial farm, a state of the art processing and storage facility, and homes for farm family and staff.
-Robinette’s Apple Haus Cider Mill-
Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery – Jim Robinette built a cider mill on his farm in 1971 when he took his family on a tour of cider mills in south east Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The addition of a cider press to the farm transformed it into a retail destination and from then on, they have constantly added new products and services yearly. They make fresh cider starting the Tuesday after Labor Day, and continue through April or early May. The blend of apples changes as the season progresses, and is always striving for a balance of sweet and tart. You may watch cider being made throughout the fall, and about once a week in the winter. They use no preservatives and no additives, so the cider is 100 percent pure apple! Their cider is also the starting point for their apple-based wines and hard ciders. The UV Light treatment removes almost all natural yeasts from cider, providing an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to make their own apple wine or hard cider.
Stop in for a cup, quart, or gallon!
Honorable Mention (The Doughnut Recommendation)
-Parmenters of Northville-
Parmenters Cider Mill – Since 1873 this has been a destination for so many locals and travelers alike. Even though ownership has changed hands a few times over the past century, the core integrity has never faltered – only gotten better really! The Cider is great, don’t get us wrong, but we wanted to include Parmenters for the donuts…. Trust us, they are the star of the show! In addition to normal Cider Mill fare there’s also a Winery and Brewery nestled on the premises.
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