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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, July 05, 2017 1:00 am

New cider house's rule: Make it naturally

Kimberly Dupps Truesdell | For The Journal Gazette

Logan Barger has worked in the alcohol and wine industry since he was 21 and tried his hand at home brewing. It seemed fitting then that when his friend approached him about making cider with home-grown apples, Barger said yes.

But the end product was not quite what either was bargaining for.

Calling it terrible, “the first ciders we ever made were a fine line between apple cider vinegar and apple cider.”

Things did get better, though, Barger says, and family friends stopped making sour faces when they drank the cider and started complimenting it.

“From there, it kind of snowballed.”

Now, Barger is the head cider maker and one of five co-owners at the Kekionga Cider Co., which opened just more than a week ago at 7328 Maysville Road. The building, which was a cider mill in the 1920s, is across the street from the Goeglein Homestead.

Kekionga Cider Co., is one of a handful of cider houses in the state but unlike many of the others, it is devoted to making the drink as natural as possible.

“We work with a single family-run orchard in Michigan. They are really supportive with us,” Barger says.

Kekionga just tapped a jalapeņo-infused cider (you either love it or you hate it, Barger says) but the other varieties get their flavors from apple juice. Just like wine, different apples produce different flavors.

“We try to keep it to what cider really is – fermented apple juice,” he says.

The flagship cider is the Old Bicorn, which gets its name from the type of hat Mad Anthony wore.

With 5.5 percent alcohol, it is made with juice from the Northern Spy apple. It is fermented dry, slightly sweetened and unfiltered.

Hours for the tasting room are 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Art and wine

The Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site is hosting a relaxing evening for friends to create a wall hanging featuring seashells – a favorite of Gene Stratton-Porter.

The event at the Rome City site begins at 6 p.m. July 22. The cost is $25 a person and includes wine, light refreshments and craft supplies. Reservations are required; call 260-854-3790 by Tuesday. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.genestratton-porter.com. Attendees must be 21 or older. Cabin tours are not included for this event. All proceeds from the event go towards educational programming, continued restoration and improvement to the gardens and grounds.

Participants will receive supplies to create each piece and guided instructions on how to assemble. Local wine and light refreshments will be served to generate a fun atmosphere. Future sessions include a fun owl made using river rocks and Gene's favorite puddingstone Oct. 7 then a holiday wreath Nov. 18.

Update

After a weekend of serving rib tips and other barbecue favorites, Brooks BBQ and Chicken announced June 27 that it would be closed until further notice.

A Facebook post says that the decision was a result of unforeseen circumstances.

“Thank you so much to everybody who has supported us this far! Trust me when I say, this is not the end of us!” the post says.

I reported in my June 21 column that the Brooks crew had found a new spot on Winter Street after working out of the gas station at Jefferson Boulevard and Clay Street.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email kdupps@jg.net or call 461-8304.