CEDAR — Out of the tasting room and onto the beach.
Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery announced its first canned release of a pair of limited-edition ciders. Bel Lago said the summer sipper cans are available in the Cedar tasting room to enjoy on-site or to-go.
“I’m excited to have some new packaging that’s more user-friendly,” Bel Lago Winemaker Blake Lougheed said of the winery’s first foray into canning. “Aluminum is very efficient, in my opinion, for an active lifestyle.”
“It is the way to go,” added Sarah Peschel, director of marketing. “They’re very mobile.”
Serving cider in its tasting room is not new for Bel Lago.
“We’ve been making cider since 2015,” Lougheed said. “They’ve always been well received.”
The two cider varieties come in 12-ounce cans. Both are 6 percent alcohol by volume.
The ciders sell for $3 a can and a six-pack is available for $15. Peschel said the long-term plan is to can more varieties of cider and to get them in distribution channels.
“We did a smaller (run) the first time to see how it went and so far it’s very successful,” Peschel said.
The new canned ciders also serve another purpose. They’re a great way to deliver a product during the COVID-19 pandemic. A single-serve can is also important with Bel Lago’s tasting room at 6530 S. Lake Shore Drive undergoing renovations.
“This keeps things simple and we don’t have to wash the glassware,” Lougheed said. “It’s also excellent beach and boat stuff. You eliminate the glass and the need for glassware.”
The Bel Lago Cherry is a blend of apple and Bel Lago’s cherry wine. The wine is a mix of Montmorency, Balaton and Danube cherries. Lougheed said Lakeside is straight apple cider derived from a mixture of locally-grown varieties.
Lougheed said cider is often a great alternative to other traditional adult beverages.
“It’s like a beer for someone who doesn’t like wine and a wine for someone who doesn’t like beer,” he said.
According to the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition website, Bel Lago’s Hard Apple Cider won a gold medal in 2016 and a silver in 2015 in the modern cider category. Bel Lago also won a silver medal for its Oak Aged Hard Apple Cider at the 2016 GLINTCAP in the wood aged cider and perry category.
Bel Lago’s tasting room in Cedar is open from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Social distancing practices are in effect. Tables accommodate 4-5 people and reservations are required for parties of six or more.
To promote social distancing, Bel Lago is exploring making deliveries within a 20-mile radius of the tasting room for an additional fee.
For more information or to make a reservation, call (231) 228-4800.