From caring for and harvesting the fruits to meeting the many individuals who visit to try their creations to working day-to-day to build a business and experience that they can be proud of, it might be an understatement to say that these owners have enjoyed their crazy ride in opening their cidery.
A family affair, Cottonwood Cider House (est. 2018), run by Stacy, Dan and Heather Heising, was created as a way to utilize the apple orchard that the Heising family started in 2012.
“At first, my family didn’t have a definite idea of what we were going to do with our apple harvest,” Stacy said. “We considered a u-pick apple orchard or making some sort of pastry or apple food product at first. It wasn’t until Dan and I were reminiscing about the one time, years ago, when we made a batch of hard cider together, we then had the idea to consider building a cidery. Dan had always been a home brewer and with my training in culinary arts, the idea of making cider just felt like something we could both get behind. Becoming cider makers really felt like it matched our personalities and skill sets. We had a feasibility study done on whether or not a cidery business would be fruitful. After determining that it could be profitable, all our energy went towards making it happen. Even though Dan and I came up with the idea of building a cidery, many family members and friends supported the vision of a North Dakota Cidery. We couldn’t have actualized it without their help.”
What They Serve
A majority of their cider is made from apples grown by them or from apples that they harvest in the community.
“We try to showcase the ND apple flavor in all of our ciders,” Stacy said. “Sometimes we will use other fruits blended with ND apple juice. An example of this is our Strawberry Rhubarb cider which is one of our biggest sellers.”
Where and When to Find Their Products
Their cider is available for sale via their website, at the taproom in Ayr, ND, the Red River Market and at special events like Pride of Dakota.
Using Their Space
Cottonwood Cider House has hosted weddings, bridal showers, corporate parties, family events and everything in between. They also host their own festival in late summer called Wassail Festival.
“It is our way to kick off the upcoming harvest,” Stacy said. “This festival is attended by many and is a great time to come together with your friends, family and neighbors. Cottonwood Cider House can host an event year round and we also can provide food, given that we have our own kitchen and chef who specializes in creating menus perfect for your group. We do not charge for use of our space and you can reserve it by calling or emailing us.”
(Left to Right)
A must-try at Cottonwood, The Action (1) is a semi-sweet cider. With a tangy green apple flavor at the end, you’ll find yourself continuing to go back for more
Another semi-sweet sipper, The Birdie (2) differs in that it has a hidden sour cherry punch between the tastes of spices. Not only does this taste like the cherries it’s made from, but it smells and looks it too!
When The Tasting Room is Open
From May through the end of October, Cottonwood Cider House’s taproom is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Cottonwood Cider House also has brunches in the wintertime.
Cottonwood Cider House
14481 25th St SE Ayr, ND 58007