ARMADA, Mich. – The Midwest’s most visited Orchard and Cider Mill turned hard cider company, is expanding its footprint yet again. Blake’s Hard Cider Co., located on an 800-acre farm an hour north of Detroit, has announced the launch of its 13th state – Alabama.
Founder and co-owner, Andrew Blake explains, “The move into Alabama is part of a larger strategy to utilize our strong chain sales and relationships we have developed with companies like Kroger, Whole Foods and Harris Teeter in the Southeast part of the country and effectively introduce the South to “proper” hard cider.” Blake adds, “As we see it there is a unique opportunity in capturing the drinkers of Angry Orchard in the South because it is one of the only cider options available; we want to be the more natural and real hard cider that drinkers can rely on for truly handcrafted liquid at a competitive price point.”
The third generation, family owned and operated farm will see its 71st year in business this fall and is one of the few orchards that can grow enough apples to source its hard cider company with all of its own juice.
The hard cider company launches Alabama on October 16th in Huntsville and will spend the week hitting retailers across the state. “We decided that if we were going to entertain the idea of taking our ciders over 1,000 miles south, it needed to be with the support of the right distribution network,” says Director of Sales, Aaron Lanctot. “After hearing from a number of retailers in the South, combined with the minimal number of craft cideries in Alabama, we felt this was a natural progression through our strategic growth model. Gulf Distributing and Supreme Beverage Co. are both family owned companies and their culture fits almost identically with ours with a focus on brand building”.
Blake’s Hard Cider was named the fastest growing hard cider company in the nation last year by Neilson Data and over the last 13 weeks has had 3 of the top 12 cider brands in the Midwest according to Armadillo Data.
Blake’s has posted a list of hard cider events around the state on their Facebook and website, www.blakeshardcider.com.