Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated Molly Harty makes the cider, when in fact Harty only oversees the sales. It also stated the cider is only sold from September to November, when in fact it is sold from September to December.
At Minnetrista, there is one main ingredient that goes into their apple cider. That ingredient being apples. Fourteen different kinds to be exact.
Minnetrista apple cider has a history dating back to the Ball brothers involvement in Muncie. Even though the years have passed, the recipe has stayed the same.
Katy Maggart, marketing manager of Minnetrista, said a majority of the apples are shipped in from Indiana if not from border states like Ohio and Michigan.
”It’s not spiced at all. Sometimes apple ciders have that spicy taste. It’s not that at all it’s just very clean tasting,” Maggart said.
Retail manager Molly Harty she oversees about 3,000 gallons of apple cider produced each year. The process takes two to three hours from start to cider.
While making cider can sound complicated, Harty said it’s actually simple. The majority of the time spent on the apples is actually in the sorting process. When apples are too small for the store floor, they are used in the cider.
“It has a whole mix of apples, then squish, get the juice out and put in bottles. Then we have apple cider. That is literally all we do to it. Most places pasteurize but we don’t do anything to it,” Harty said.
The apple cider is sold in five different sizes at the Orchard Shop, including half-liters and gallons.
The most popular day for the shop is Saturday mornings. Harty said she will see customers buy a whole gallon of the cider along with a personal size to drink immediately.
The cider is only sold for a month, from September to December.
However, Harty said her favorite thing to do with the apple cider is to freeze it and then warm it up mid-winter when it is not being sold at The Orchard Shop.
“I usually freeze some before the end of the year because somehow it even tastes better in a hot cup of cider in February when you can’t go in [and] buy [it]. That’s usually my thing,” Harty said.
With the season of apple cider coming to a closing soon, Harty is still experiencing the beast that is apple cider at Minnetrista.
“We hear the same thing over and over again, ‘There's no other cider like [your] cider because it’s fresh,’” Harty said.
Contact Pauleina Brunnemer with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @pauleina15.