Jim and Becky Engelsma and their daughter, Bridget, of Engelsma’s Apple Barn in Walker, took first place in the 18th annual Michigan Apple Cider Contest. This is the fifth time the Engelsmas have taken home the trophy.
Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill of Armada and their cider makers Pete and Paul Blake won second place in the contest. The third place winner is Klein Cider Mill in Sparta, and cider maker Stephen Klein.
The cider contest took place during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo in December, with 30 cider makers participating.
“This competition started 19 years ago with three goals: to help promote our fine Michigan apple cider industry, to improve the quality of our cider, and to provide additional educational and learning opportunities for our cider makers. We’ve come a long way,” said Bob Tritten, district fruit educator with Michigan State University Extension, and founder of the contest. The Michigan Apple Committee is a co-sponsor.