April 24, 2014

Greg Hall Talks About Mateo Kehler and Jasper Hill

Greg Hall mentioned that a high school career aptitude test said that he should become a farmer  So we asked Hall, "Is this new venture more than just about just about cider for you?  I don’t know how they knew with that test in high school, but I’m closer to farmers than I ever thought I’d be. Really, the bigger idea is to add value to other people’s agricultural products. We’re starting … [Read more...]

Greg Hall Sees a Higher Calling For Cider

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Everyone wanted the brewmaster to stay. Greg Hall was 45 and savvy enough to help Goose Island Brewery through the transition after Anheuser Busch purchased the brewery for $38.8 million in 2011. Plus, Goose Island was consistently successful, and with new money and ideas injected, the possibilities were endless. But Hall didn’t stay. He left Goose Island and surprised everyone by becoming a … [Read more...]

Champaign Illinois Takes On Champagne France

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The German poet, Goethe said, “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”  The quote has been prophetic for Illinois Sparkling Company. Illinois Sparkling has embarked on a bold move to create methode champenoise sparkling wines made from Illinois grapes. Even bolder, Illinois Sparkling, based in Peru, Illinois, openly proclaims on the label that it's from Illinois.   But perhaps the boldest … [Read more...]

Craft Beer Craze Opens Doors for Midwest Cider, Sparkling and Wine

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The growing U.S. appetite for regional craft beers is having a positive, knock-on effect for the makers of local cider, sparkling and still wine.  According to the Brewers Association, the craft beer industry grew by more than ten percent last year, continuing nearly a decade of strong expansion.  U.S. cider sales are also up, increasing  23% from 2010, the fourth straight year of double-digit … [Read more...]

Prima Cider Rides the Hard Cider Wave

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Imagine a fermented beverage that was once popular and jovial, then ravaged by prohibition, finally driven to the brink of extinction, only to be kept alive by farmers and locavores for decades.  Years later, the same drink slowly experiences a renaissance. Recognized for its unique and varied taste profile, the beverage makes its way from craft brewers to the mainstream. This is the story of … [Read more...]