At the start of 2020, Wild State Cider CEO Adam Ruhland had big plans. It was set to be a year of expansion, distribution, new flavors, and representation at the Minnesota State Fair. COVID-19 took a major toll on many businesses, but the Duluth cidery is getting back to as close to “normal” as possible.
Now that some of that activity has been pushed to 2021-2022, the excitement remains. “We’re still hoping to be served at the Minnesota State fair, fingers crossed,” Ruhland says.
Ruhland and Andrew Price opened the Wild State Cidery location in Duluth in 2019, and have been growing the brand’s product line and reach ever since. In addition to four flagship ciders—Classic Dry, Semi Dry, Rasberry Hibiscus, and Pear—they’ve developed more than a dozen seasonal and limited-release flavors.
For Pride month, there’s a new Dragon Fruit, Mango, and Pineapple cider at the taproom and in limited stores across Minnesota. Wild State will donate 1% of all sales this month to help fund local camper scholarships for Camp Brave Trails, a leadership summer camp for LGBTQ+ youth & allies.
“We’re now being sold in Fargo, all of Minnesota, and all of Wisconsin, with a few more markets hopefully this fall or in 2022,” Ruhland says. There are plans to introduce a new Craft Tea this month in a variety six-pack, two different canned wines under the brand Heyday, and several special variety packs this fall.
With state restrictions being loosened, Wild State Cider has been able to open up its in-person operations. “We’ve just been following state and CDC guidelines and adjusting as quickly as things change, which has been a lot,” he says. “People are happy to get out after a year inside, but events always help and we are full speed ahead for the summer.”
Other aspects of reopening include new events and growth. “We slowed down a lot of new product ideas and territory expansions in the pandemic,” he says, “however since the spring we’ve resumed our growth plan and have continued to add local and statewide events.”
Some of these events include weekly trivia nights (which I had the pleasure of attending and highly recommend), comedy shows, live music, and an upcoming Sunday Market that will be held on three different Sundays starting July 20.
Wild State Cider
2515 West Superior Street, Duluth