Armada, Michigan — Armada, Michigan’s Blake’s Hard Cider Company is wrapping up its biggest project yet, an expansion that will double capacity at its production facility located on its 70 year old working farm.
“After experiencing 111% sales growth overall in 2016, with plans to take on 6 new markets this year, we knew expanding tank space was our only option to meet demand” says National Sales Director, Aaron Lanctot.
Blake’s is ranked 12th nationally as the largest producing hard cider company in the country and attributes its early success to a focus on quality ingredients sourced from the farm. “Its been most exciting to see about the industry to date is that the consumer base is becoming more interested in apple-focused ciders rather than mass produced concentrate based cider. We are happy to be one of America’s few family owned craft cideries that are still able to change people’s minds about what cider can be” head cider maker, Robert Lauer explains. “We were one of the first to push the boundaries on flavor and our mango habanero and cucumber ginger ciders are great examples of this” Lauer adds.
The hefty expansion included 30 – 4,500 gallon tanks, 7 – 3,000 gallon tanks, and an assortment of small quantity tanks for experimental purposes, along with a brand new building to house everything. In addition to the expansion of production, they have also expanded their refrigeration space to accommodate the increase in demand for the product. Matt McAlpine, head of productions says, “We wanted to find ways to make the new space more efficient with heated floors in an effort to be green; these will easily heat the building and keep the floors dry without heating the tanks” says McAlpine.
Blake’s Hard cider was deemed the fastest growing hard cider company in the nation by Nielson Data last year and is on pace to hit 600,000 gallons by the end of the year. Followers of the brand are anxiously awaiting the much anticipated release of its fall seasonal, Black Phillip, a blood orange + cranberry tart cider most famous for its bizarre artwork of a demonic goat on its packaging.
Visit blakeshardcider.com for more information and check out their eccentric YouTube videos by following their channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/blakeshardcider.