Two K Farms: The Koskela Brothers Creating Craft Ciders
They say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away…” but what if that apple comes in the form of hard cider? Does that count? Two K Farms in Suttons Bay is creating craft ciders— paving the way for a new industry here in Northern Michigan.
Max Koskela, the owner and one of the K’s in Two K Farms says, “We’re doing something very different than most cideries I would say in this region if not the Midwest. Our job really here is to educate people on what true cider is that there is another option other than the mass-produced ciders.”
Both George and Max Koskela see parallels between the wine industry and the industry they are now creating. “Look at the region now. We have over 20 different wineries,” explains Max Koskela. Northern Michigan is the perfect place to grow unique varieties of apples and grapes because of our many micro-climates.
Everything they make at Two K is estate— meaning what they grow on the property ends up in your glass. They choose to grow several varieties that are not native or typically grown here in America. Some examples include Cox’s Orange Pippin, Golden Russet, Wickson, Hudson Golden Gem, and Kingston Black— that’s what they’re picking today. Kingston Black is a temperamental variety that no has really taken a risk on growing here in America, that was until now… “Kingston black is known as the champagne of ciders. Traditionally it’s made really great single varietals,” explains George Koskela.
Each of these varieties are packed with tannin, high acid, and sugar to give us the complex flavors we love! Two K Farms is part of every step of the process— graft to glass. “We propagate our own trees. That’s what grafting is. We use a rootstock and graft the variety that we want onto the rootstalk and the becomes a tree,” explains Max.
Once the apples are picked and pressed they are stored in stainless steel tanks and the fermentation process begins. For this step you better pack your patience. It can take anywhere from 3-6 months to be ready to be canned and bottled.
For more information on Two K Farms, click here.