Suttons Bay Ciders, Leelanau Peninsula
On one of our trips to the Traverse City area last summer we had the chance to visit many of the area’s breweries, including Hop Lot Brewing Co. in Suttons Bay. As we headed back down the Leelanau Peninsula after our stop at Hop Lot, a sign for Suttons Bay Ciders caught our eye. We made the short trip up the hill on the appropriately named E. Hilltop Rd. to check them out, finding great tasting hard cider and an amazing view.
Suttons Bay Ciders is located a half mile west of M-22. We arrived on a moderately busy Saturday afternoon and found a few seats at the taproom bar. The views from here are pretty amazing, as the cidery has a direct sightline to Grand Traverse Bay. In addition to a spacious indoor area with a bar and some seating, there is plenty of outdoor space to explore while enjoying your beverages, as well as an outdoor game area.
We ordered two flights of four ciders, giving us a chance to try just about everything available. With an impressive variety of flavors, there should be something here for everyone. Here’s a look at what we tried:
- Power Island – a sweet cider made with Jonathan and Rhode Island Greening apples
- Saskatoon – a brightly colored cider made with Kilcherman’s Heirloom apples
- Sidra LaPeño – a barrel aged Spanish style cider infused with jalapeno peppers
- Highlander – cider using four different apple varieties and infused with culinary lavender
- Cherry Fest – a blend of apples with a “hint of cherry”
- Mosaic – a semi-dry cider infused with Mosaic hops
- Testamint – cider using Rhode Island Greening and Jonathan apples, infused with mint
- Smitten – a sweet and crisp blend that uses six different varieties of apples
Our favorites here were Sidra LaPeño and Testamint, both nice examples of adding somewhat unexpected flavors to cider. Other popular offerings here include Sapwood (special small-batch, barrel-aged, semi-sweet cider that has pure Leelanau maple syrup added both before and after fermentation), Honey Pie (fermented with local honey, fresh pressed apples,citrus, raisins and a hint of pie spice), and Hawkeye (bourbon aged cider is back sweetened with a medley of foraged wild apples). In addition to being able to grab a growler to go from the taproom, you can also find Suttons Bay Ciders at several Traverse City area restaurants and bars (like Rare Bird Brewpub) and a few select locations in the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas.
Every cider we tried here was fresh and enjoyable, and the service was friendly and attentive. Consider making Suttons Bay Ciders a stop on your next Leelanau County wine/beer/cider tour!
Suttons Bay Ciders contact information:
10530 E Hilltop Rd, Suttons Bay, MI