No doubt wondering what is cyser and why does the world need a cysery?
For us, the road to cyser began with craft beer. Like many of you, we love beer and are thrilled by the craft beer movement. In addition to enjoying new beer styles, we tried our hand at brewing as well. We made some decent stuff, but there are so many people making beers we like, it was hard to feel like we were doing any thing unique. It was still fun to brew and so we kept experimenting. We tried wines, we tried ciders, we even tried straight meads. At some point we stumbled onto the old, but mostly forgotten idea of cyser.
Cyser is a mead variant made with apple juice along with honey. From the start, we enjoyed the possibilities we saw in tinkering with this intriguing base.
Our cysers run a wide range. We aim for a drier taste, using yeasts that take down the sugars and bring the ABV out to a typical wine level of around 12.5. Our bronze winning Cyser Punk has a quirky, refreshing ginger and cinnamon thing going on. Many of our personal favorites, like the HopBerry Red made with raspberries, and its blueberry cousin HopBerry Blue feature a strong berry base layered with centennial hops. Chopped dates round out the honey flavor of our aptly named First Date which took home a gold medal in competition. Of course for now you have to take our word for it.
Cyser also happens to be gluten-free, which has been a boon to a few of our friends who have missed the variety they could taste when they were able to drink beer.
As we went along, we knew we liked what we were making and after we convinced them to try it, we knew that a lot of our friends liked it as well, but we needed some additional validation. In 2013 we entered the Indy International Wine Competition - our first contest of any sort. We were really pleased to walk away with a Bronze for our Cyser Punk and a Gold for our First Date. The First Date was also named Honey Wine Blend of the Year. We went on to enter the Mazer Cup and took home a Silver with HopBerry Red. We entered the Indy International again in 2014 picking up a Silver for Enzy's Gold and a bronze for HopBerry Red.
The problem of course is that our sharing right now is limited to cranking out 5 gallon batches that we can give away to our friends. We think the world needs a good cyser. Our goal now is to get cyser out of our basements and into a store near you.
We've got a space just off the B-Line Trail south of downtown Bloomington that we plan to convert into a small production facility and tasting room. On the production side, we are going to start with equipment that would let us run 50 gallon batches, yielding several hundred commercial-quality gallons a year. For the tasting room, we are aiming at a unique neighborhood space to come for tastings, to buy a bottle, or to sit and enjoy a glass. We've cleared some of the early bureaucratic obstacles and we are at a point where we need to push ahead with our gear and building upgrades to take that next step.
We really appreciate you considering supporting our campaign and hope that we can pour you a glass someday soon!
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk and challenge that comes with this project is clearing the regulation and permitting process. We have cleared our first major hurdle with the federal government and we are in the process of getting our state license as a farm winery. We also have some things we need to do to our production space to be in full compliance with city and county regulations.
All of these feel pretty manageable - though this is again where we need your help. Part of the challenge in getting started in alcohol production is that you need to be fully established before you can get some of the approvals to begin. This makes for some sizable up-front costs to take on before you know you will be approved, let alone before you can begin.
We feel confident that with this Kickstart, we can clear these barriers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)