Nestled along a scenic country road in Michigan’s “little pinkie” is a simple barnlike building with a tandem bike displayed over the doorway. Inside, there is a surprise waiting for visitors to Leelanau Peninsula wine country: a tasting room featuring something different — Michigan hard cider.
Tandem Ciders founders Dan Young and Nikki Rothwell, a married couple, began selling cider in Suttons Bay in 2008. Nikki, the agricultural expert, is also coordinator of Michigan State University’s Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station. Dan is the blendmaster who came to the hard-apple-cider world by way of beer brewing in Massachusetts. Together, they are helping to popularize something old and something new — hard cider, which is undergoing a renaissance in Northern Michigan.