I got to experience a true Michigan afternoon with my family yesterday!
Ever since we arrived, more than a few people have mentioned the words “cider mill” to us. Michigan is known for being a leader of growing fruit including blueberries, cherries, apples, grapes, and peaches.
With the gorgeous fall weather on our side, my dad, grandmother and I headed out to Yates Cider Mill to try some of this infamous fresh apple cider for ourselves.
My grandmother is actually from a little town called Lovells, near Grayling, Michigan! She is ninety-five years old and comes down to Florida to stay with my parents for half of the year.
My dad decided to make the drive up with us and spend some time here before flying her back down to Florida later today. I had a great few days with them both! When my dad suggested going to the cider mill while Scott was working, I was all about it.
Welcome to Yates Cider Mill!
Located in Rochester Hills, Yates has been running their mill since 1863.
There is much more to do than drink cider, and it was hard to decide where to venture to first.
While strolling around, we came across these fun and decorative painted pumpkins. Can you tell we are in the heart of Michigan sports? *Go Tigers!*
It was not long before we found ourselves in the fudge shop. All fudge is good in my opinion, but here we found only the finest, straight from Frankenmuth.
Lucky for us it was the weekend, so we were able to see a few flavors being made. I bet you can guess what flavor I chose!
My fall favorite… pumpkin.
It was rich in flavor, and just as savory and pumpkiny as I the fudge I dream of. Gosh, I just love fall. Pumpkin flavored everything!
While enjoying a little sliver, we made our way over to the main entrance. Along the way I stopped to admire such a charming, calming stream.
It very much reminded me of the stream that surrounds my grandmother’s house. I have a lot of fond memories of visiting her, and that gorgeous stream growing up.
There she is… the very large, continuously running water mill that powers the Yates cider business.
The line outside was long, but it was well worth the few minutes of waiting to enter the mill. Right behind the bakery counter lies an impressive, strong and large apple press machine.
Check out those gears and gadgets!
Very slowly, the top of the press lowers towards the apples wrapped in large cloth mesh. Once the press finishes, each layer of apple leftovers (or pomace) is put to the side and taken “out back.”
With our curiosity getting the best of us, my dad asked the workers what happens there. Did they plan on letting it ferment? If so, that is another cider tour I would like to visit!
I have to admit, the cider tasted unbelievably fresh and was sweet enough to enjoy as a dessert. I felt bad that Scott missed out on this experience, so I purchased a half gallon of cider to take back to our hotel.
Apparently we are not the only fans, either. Even when we were wrapping up our visit and getting ready to go, the line to purchase cider and baked goods was longer than ever.
We experienced a lot of what the cider mill had to offer, but I am looking forward to visiting again with Scott. Next time I have to try a caramelized apple and purchase some of their specialty butters. At the top of my list is a tie between apple butter and pumpkin butter. Maybe we will just have to get both.
It was a wonderful fall day in Rochester Hills with my family. As I posted a picture and a post on Facebook about going, I received a few comments from friends who have visited before, reminiscing about their visits while growing up.
Who knows where we will end up in the future, but if it happens to be here I am excited to come back year after year and share this special tradition with our kids.
Loving the fall here already!