Apple Knocker Hard Cider

Day after day of driving past apple orchards takes a winemaker in a whole new direction.

| words

Brad Genung, winemaker and owner of Owl Creek Vineyard, is always on the lookout for his next big idea.

One of them happened while driving between the family farm and his winery in Southern Illinois. Brad noticed acre after acre of apple orchards, and an idea was born: Apple Knocker Hard Cider.

Brad spent the next few years studying under cider masters, a pilgrimage that took him to Cornell University and as far away as Great Britain to learn from the best. Back in Southern Illinois, Brad began sourcing apples from the century-old orchards that dot the Shawnee Hills region.

Ask Brad about his cider and he’ll describe it as “a cousin of craft brewing and winemaking.” He uses hops — like a beer brewer — but he brews his hard cider in oak barrels, like wine. The result hearkens back to the sipping ciders from America’s past— not the “sweet stuff” that floods the market today. Taste the difference for yourself. There’s a seasonal lineup of Apple Knocker Hard Cider on tap in the tasting room at Owl Creek Vineyard, located on the scenic Shawnee Hills Wine Trail.

Discover more Illinois artisans at Illinois Made.


Love the Story?
Save to Favorites Remove from Favorites

Related Reads:

Funks Grove Maple Sirup

Funks Grove Maple Sirup
in Eat & DrinkFood & BeveragesIllinois Makers

Savor the sweet goodness of nature’s bounty, served up through a multigeneration...

From North to South: The Best in Illinois BBQ

From North to South: The Best in Illinois BBQ
in Eat & Drink

A rundown of the smokiest ribs and more you can find in Illinois, from the tip o...

10 Neighborhoods to Love in Chicago

10 Neighborhoods to Love in Chicago
in ChicagoArts & Culture

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. Each one has its own history, style and uniq...