Sticking to old-fashioned methods, Tandem uses the physically taxing rack-and-cloth press (apple pulp is forced through a press cloth with a vise) to make small-batch hard ciders in Michigan’s Leelanau County.
Dan Young was an out-of-work brewer; his wife, Nikki Rothwell, did horticultural research on an experimental farm that grew cider apples. “I wanted to stay local, and you can’t always do that here in Michigan with beer ingredients,” says Young. “Making cider is a great way to utilize the apple crop.” The name Tandem comes from a bike trip the couple took across England on a two-seater, during which they cycled and drank cider. “British Airways let us check the bike, and we rode it straight out of Heathrow,” says Young.