Though Sietsema Orchard announced its immediate closure last week, Sietsema Cider is in the process of opening a taproom in Cedar Springs.
Andy Sietsema, co-owner of Sietsema Cider, said he hopes to open the taproom in September, but that will depend on several factors.
“We are just waiting on the paperwork and licensing,” he said about when the project will begin in earnest.
The new taproom will serve Sietsema’s hard ciders and potentially a couple of local beers. Sietsema said initially guests will be able to bring in food, potentially from Cedar Springs Brewing Company across the street, and later he hopes to offer appetizers onsite.
“We will ease into the food part,” he explained.
Sietsema Cider produces packaged cider which is distributed throughout Michigan, and Sietsema said there won’t be any disturbance in production levels due to the orchard’s closing. The orchard is owned and operated by Sietsema’s parents, Skip and Diane Sietsema.
Sietsema said for the time being he is still operating out of the orchard’s Ada location but will be shifting production to the taproom and looking for a larger space to house the production operation as it increases.
While there was a taproom at Sietsema Orchard, Sietsema said it was hard to entice people out to the area, especially during the summer months when many people head north to cottages and vacation rentals.
“We needed something more centrally located to be open year round and have people used to the brand year round instead of just in the fall,” he said.
He also said Cedar Springs was a good fit for the taproom because the community is growing substantially, with a lot of investment taking place there. “Cedar Springs is growing. Everyone is going north.”
Sietsema said going forward the focus for him is on building the Sietsema Cider brand and expanding hard cider production.
“The focus is going to be the hard cider and growing that brand,” he said. “It’s growing at a decent clip every year and having a taproom and somewhere to plant our flag regularly, we want to expand the brand. Once that gets up and running maybe we’ll open new markets.”
*Photos courtesy of Sietsema Cider