The Best Cider Mills in Metro Detroit
By: Mark H. Stowers
Fall in Michigan – the Lions are undefeated lol, foliage is beginning to turn and area Cider Mills are gearing up. In Metro Detroit and all across Michigan, a trip to the local cider mill is a rite of passage from generation to generation. Apples are pressed and cider flows, donuts and pies and other fall treats fill up trays and shelves. Trying to find a favorite is like picking a favorite child or sports team – each one is unique and loved and committed to by its patrons. So, in no particular order here are the 10 best cider mills in Metro Detroit to check out.
Blakes Cider Mill and Farm in Armada has plenty of family fun as well as all things apples. A 3D maze, zombie paintball and more is spread out over 500 acres with three facilities. They also offer a Fall Harvest Tour and Michigan Lavender Festival. Growing apples since 1946, Blake’s Cider Mill Store is open year round from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. With u-pick seasonal fruits and vegetables, a tasting room and restaurant, plan for a full day. The Christmas season also offers a snowy wagon ride to cut down your very own Christmas tree each December. They are located at 17985 Armada Center Road in Armada.
In Rochester, Goodison Cider Mill is open during cider mill season beginning every September through November from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. then close an hour earlier until Christmas Eve. They open in the off-season on day each month to sell their “World Famous Pistachio Nut Bread.” Goodison offers a variety of pies, donuts, jams, apples, caramel apples, old fashioned candies, handmade caramel, honey and other incredible treats. The cider mill is located at 4295 Orion Road in Rochester just a quarter mile North of the Paint Creek Cider Mill which is now a restaurant.
The Rochester Cider Mill was established in 1981 is located at 5125 Rochester Road and offers sweet apple cider, specialty cider, donuts, apples and caramel apples with or without nuts. There’s also pies, Michigan Honey, Michigan Maple Syrup, squash, popcorn, cinnamon sticks and even farm fresh eggs. They even carry fall items to decorate your yard such as corn stalks, Indian corn, straw, mums, pumpkins and more. You can also purchase cords of firewood.
In Romeo, all things cider mill can be found at the Stony Creek Orchard & Cider Mill. Family owned and operated since 1939, the cider mill opens this season on September 17and runs through December. Cider is pressed on site and served with hot homemade donuts made in their Donut House. Kids are encouraged to play on the straw bales and there is the u-pick option for apples, pumpkins and raspberries on the weekends. The cider mill is located at 2961 32 Mile Road in Romeo.
The Franklin Cider Mill was first a grist mill dating back to 1837 and after different owners and then a flood in the early 1900s shut it down until Robert McKee bought it all in 1918 but re-established it as a cider mill that ran during cider season from mid-August to the new year. The Pelz Family was next in the ownership line and suffered through a second flood. The family continues to thrive at the 7450 Franklin Road location making fresh cider from Michigan only apples. Visitor can watch the cider press at work and take home gallons of the pure apple juice with no preservatives. Their donut recipe stretches back 80 plus years. With cider, donuts, pies, other sweet treats as well as hot dogs, cider dogs (marinated in apple cider) and much more, The Franklin Cider Mill is open from September through November from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.
The Rochester area seems to be a rich apple cider area. During the Civil War, William Henry Yates brought his family to the area and bought 80 acres. He first established a lumber and grist mill then decided 13 years later to start pressing cider at Yates Cider Mill. He even won a second place ribbon for “Best Refined Cider” back in 1877. The award winning cider is still pressed today. The cider mill was handed down and they continue using the same donut-making machine that was brought in 1939. The Yates sold to the Posey family and they are into the third generation of their family running the business. Yates Cider Mill has plenty to offer with cider and donuts, honey, jams, jellies and preserves as well as pies and even ice cream in the spring and summer. A hot dog truck and even roasted corn are on the premises drawing in generation after generation of cider mill fans. They offer a weekend petting zoo as well. The cider mill is located at 1990 East Avon Road in Rochester Hills and is open 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily during cider season.
Time for cider and donuts in Metro Detroit. If you’re traveling around Michigan, here’s a list of all 63 cider mills to satisfy your craving.
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