Stunning views and unique booze
Suttons Bay Ciders a popular destination in a region known for wines.

By Megan Westers
Photography by Coreene Kreiser

Although Leelanau Peninsula is known for its wineries, Suttons Bay Ciders has a prominent position. Found on 10 acres of rolling land nestled atop of a hill overlooking west Grand Traverse Bay, it opened in 2015 as a hidden gem with a killer view. But today, its reputation for tasty ciders takes center stage.

In 2017 and 2018, Suttons Bay Ciders competed in the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP). Its ciders won bronze, silver and, as of last year, a gold medal in varying divisions. Its I Spy Ginger received a gold medal in the 2018 spiced cider category.

“Our ciders are not commercial, in the way that there are no additives and flavorings and God knows what is in it,” said Madelynn Korzon, who owns the cidery with her husband Mark. 


Top right: Mark & Madelynn Korzon, owners of Suttons Bay Ciders with their dog Gordie. Above: Samples of Suttons Bay Ciders

 

The Korzons’ less sweet, more English cider-making style has become their signature. The cidery offers eight or nine types at any given time and the offerings are varied. Some ciders are made exclusively from the apples that grow in their 2-acre orchard on the property, like Power Island, Smitten, and Korzon Orchard. The rest may contain creative ingredients like Michigan cherries (Cherry Fest!), Michigan berries (Saskatoon), hops (Mosaic), jalapeño and habanero peppers (Sidra-LaPeno), lavender and other mixed varieties of apples.

Although wine, beer and spirits have dominated the alcoholic beverage industry for years, hard cider is coming into its own in Michigan, the third largest hard cider producing state in the country. Cideries like Suttons Bay are diversifying the market on a national and local level. — See the current issue for the full story.