When the team at Milk & Honey Ciders received an email from USA Today in February notifying them of being chosen as a nominee for their 10 Best Readers’ Choice award for Best Cidery, they were completely floored.
“We had no idea our reach was that far. We’re a small cidery in rural Minnesota, I had to reread that email about five times to comprehend the magnitude and prestige of this contest” noted Kirstin Westby, wholesale director.
In the publication’s 10 Best contests, travel experts select the top 20 nominees in a variety of categories involving food, gear, travel destinations and more. Then, USA Today asked its audience to vote on them. The contest ran from Feb. 16 through March 16, and readers could vote daily for their favorite cidery.
“We had a lot of great support from our dedicated fans,” says Milk & Honey Ciders co-founder Aaron Klocker. “They already believed we’re number one and were determined to solidify our spot.”
Milk & Honey Ciders entered the market in 2014 and opened their taproom and orchard in 2017 in St. Joseph.
“Our taproom guests were always excited to stop in and update us on our standing throughout the contest,” noted co-founder Peter Gillitzer. “They took on voting for us as their daily duty, and solidified this space as belonging to the community when they’d state ‘we’re’ in first!”