Have you ever looked at an apple tree and thought ” Wow! That’s a lot of apples.”? We did. In 2013, two friends looked at a lone apple tree in what is now the main production orchard of Sweet Donkey Cider and wondered how much cider one tree could produce. Turns out, not much – when you don’t know what you’re doing. A modest yield and poor product left us striving for better equipment, process, and more intense lobbying of friends for free labor with the promise of free cider the following spring. It worked, and we now produce over 250 gallons a year with a special place in our product line for the apples that lone tree that inspired us years ago.
6.9% ABV | Semi-Sweet
This recipe was perfected for the masses- literally. Each year to ensure we could convince enough people to help harvest, we set aside kegs of this delicious, easy to drink cider. Fermented with a clean Champagne yeast, golden raisins and honey, this cider is naturally sweet, holds body, and gets the job done, so you can too.
8.2% ABV | Semi-Dry
Our Sweet Donkey Standard with a kick. Aged in Tequila barrels with agave nectar this cider has a higher ABV and is sure to be an appropriate drink and any Cinco De Mayo fiesta.
This wild fermented cider is made from apples harvested from 6 properties on Sweeney Street in North Tonawanda. The natural yeast on these apples do all the fermentation. It then ages on ten pounds of tart cherries for 4 months with an additional 6 months aged on Cascade hops both grown in our orchard. This extremely complex high ABV cider is drank in celebration, with neighbors of course.
We use 28 different varieties of apple for a growing number of cider styles ensuring something for everyone to enjoy. Our extremely small batches allow us the luxury of trying new and exciting cider every year while continuing to perfect our standards. You can always find an up to date listing of where to find our cider as well as whats on tap in the Cider Barn at our twitter page @SpiritofSweetDJ.
Look, you can go buy cider from anyone, so why buy it from us? Because to us, it isn’t about making money, its about making cider. We have fun making Sweet Donkey, using our own apples, and trying things that people have never seen. Its a thrill for us to see someone surprised at the taste of something they’ve never had yet thoroughly enjoy. Maybe that stems from our humble beginnings and the fact the majority of what we produced we gave back directly to our friends for their hard work in helping make it. With our cider you can take comfort in knowing each glass we pour was made in an effort to please you.