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Grant money will allow cider producers to take educational classes

Xavier Mendoza | WCMU

Cider producers have the opportunity to take an educational class to get new flavors of cider for a cheaper price.

Over six hundred thousand gallons of hard cider are produced in Michigan annually, according to a Grape & Wine Industry Council economic impact study. This includes dozens of different flavors. New grant funding means new flavors could be on the way.

The Michigan Craft Beverage Council announced the recipients of its 2023 research grant program. The ten selected recipients were give $350,000 in funding for research and education, advancing agricultural inputs for craft beer, spirits, wine, and hard cider.

The Michigan State University Extension Service was given more than $100,000 for training purposes. The money will be used to make educational cider classes cheaper for cider makers.

Dr. Nikki Rothwell is a researcher with the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center. She said the grant will improve Michigan’s hard cider.

"So it's going to be a really great win win, I think, for the industry in Michigan, and we grow, we grow great apples in the state, we make great cider and I think this is just gonna be a chance to up our game even more," she said.

Rothwell also said this program will help smaller celeries that are just getting started with their cider production.

She said, "So sometimes the price of the educational program is just, you know, it's been too costly for some, especially some smaller cideries that are just getting started that just don't have that expendable income or cash flow. And so I think it's gonna be a great thing for, you know, all scales."

Rothwell said she’s not sure when the classes will begin or how many participants will be included.

Ella Pierzecki is a freshman at Central Michigan University. She is majoring in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts and minoring in Journalism and Political Science. Ella is from Canton, Michigan where she loves to play with her dog. She is a huge baseball fan and loves cheering on the Detroit Tigers. At WCMU, Ella is excited to meet new people and develop her skills in journalism.