University alumni open cider taproom in Marcy-Holmes

Minneapolis Cider Co. aims to give customers a curated experience with cider.

Roxy Krietzman pours a flight of ciders at Minneapolis Cider Co. on Thursday, June 6.

Tony Saunders

Roxy Krietzman pours a flight of ciders at Minneapolis Cider Co. on Thursday, June 6.

Caitlin Anderson

A Minneapolis-based cider company is bringing some more zest to the Marcy-Holmes area with its new taproom.

Founders of Minneapolis Cider Co., which opened early May, designed the taproom to give consumers a refined yet educational experience.Throughout the summer, the taproom will roll out new food and host cider tours, classes and tastings leading up to a grand opening celebration in late July.

“We’re not just a taproom, we are a cider house, and our guiding ethos and everything we do is: welcome to cider,” said Jason Dayton, Minneapolis Cider Co. brand manager.

Co-founders and University of Minnesota alumni Dayton and David O’Neill both gained a passion for cider while studying abroad in the United Kingdom. They later teamed up for a senior entrepreneurship capstone project at the University to create Lionheart Cider Company in 2015.

The two founders rebranded to Minneapolis Cider Co. two years ago. They also brought on Rob Fisk, former owner of Wyndfall Cyder and another University alumnus, as co-owner and head cidermaker.

“We eventually decided that it made the most sense to combine those two businesses and go at this new project together,” Dayton said.

The taproom aims to introduce new customers to cider in a comfortable and educational environment. 

“We want to be approachable,” Fisk said. “[Cider] may seem out of reach for some people and we want to bridge that gap.”

Ciders include orchard blend, raspberry, citrus hop and peach varieties. Minneapolis Cider Co. also offers food options paired to match the ciders, like charcuterie boards with local meats and cheeses.

Located in the north end of Marcy-Holmes, the cider company is at the “epicenter of craft companies,” Dayton said.

The trio started looking at warehouses for the taproom 18 months ago, ultimately settling on an area that community members expect will see a boom of new developments in the next few years. 

The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association supported the repurposing of the warehouse, said Chris Lautenschlager, MHNA executive director.  

“[That area] has been a historically underutilized part of our neighborhood … most people don’t even know it exists,” he said. “We applauded any recent development that had moved in there and are encouraging more.”

The neighborhood association’s master plan laid out a vision for this area in 2014. This plan recommended businesses and developments reuse existing buildings to preserve the industrial history, something Minneapolis Cider Co. did by moving into an old steel manufacturing plant.

“It’s exciting to see a lot people from the neighborhood and University alums,” Dayton said. “I think that when school starts up again, we will see a lot more of that.”

The July grand opening celebration will feature new releases, seminars, food trucks and giveaways.

“All of that is really centered around making other people passionate and excited about cider,” Dayton said. “That’s where we found our love and that’s why we want to share that.”