Tapping into Treehorn Cider
Tapping into Treehorn Cider
This past week our team sat down with Andrew Wheeler, ciderist, co-owner, and co-operator at Treehorn Cider, to find out more about this young company making waves in the craft cider world. Located in Marietta, Treehorn Cider was officially launched in September 2015 by Andrew and a group of friends. Despite opening their doors to the public in 2015, Andrew jokes that Treehorn Cider actually began in 2013, with a conversation. After keeping an eye on the climate of the cider business for years, Andrew and his friends noticed that local hard cider production was beginning to take off around the country. They decided that with Atlanta’s “vibrant farm-to-table restaurant scene and more than 60 farmer’s markets” they would give cider production a shot too.
Despite admitting he was relatively new to the hard cider brewing process – Andrew’s cider background consisted of home-brews and brewing for fun with friends – he was more than on-board after friend and partner Davina Marraccini proposed starting their own craft cider company. Davina, who now acts as Treehorn Cider’s in-house sustainability expert, had just returned home to Atlanta from a trip to North Carolina when she mentioned the idea to Andrew. After visiting several local craft breweries in North Carolina and realizing no one was brewing locally in Atlanta, Davina and Andrew decided to get hands-on. The pair started to tinker with recipes and made more than a few batches of what Andrew fondly calls “basement brews.” Andrew remembers that what started out as “really bad batches” slowly but surely transformed to the ciders consumers enjoy today.
As the cider improved, what had originally been a part-time commitment soon became full-time, pulling Andrew and Davina away from their corporate jobs. Andrew had spent the better part of a decade at Cartoon Network and was eager for a change of pace while Davina had spent her time working for the U.S. government, specializing in environmental protection. Speaking on behalf of all Treehorn Cider consumers, I am thrilled Davina and Andrew shirked corporate life and stuck with their passion project.
From the first brew offered to the public – the original (and tasty) dry cider – they gradually branched out, adding more varietals of cider and even trying their hand at seasonal flavors (I recommend both Ginger Reserve, a ginger-infused brew, and El Treeablo, a chile-infused version!) Now, they offer over nine riffs on their original dry cider, all of which are currently available on draft and in cans throughout Metro Atlanta and surrounding areas.
A gracious host, Andrew took us on a tour throughout Treehorn Cider’s facilities, leading us right up to the giant barrels that ferment all of the cider Treehorn produces. Every bit of the hard cider fermenting process is performed in-house, as manually, naturally, and mindfully as the Treehorn team deems possible. Hundreds of pounds of fresh ginger are ground for every batch of their ginger cider and shiso, a pungent and grassy leaf belonging to the mint family, is macerated to add a floral, herbaceous flavor to their Miyabi cider. Our last stop on the Treehorn Cider tour was the tasting room, where Andrew let us sample the seven different ciders on tap this March.
Treehorn’s tasting room opened this past October and has been a popular spot ever since. There they offer flights, host cider release parties, and soon, will be inviting Atlanta’s cider-loving community to come play trivia. Open Thursdays through Sundays, Andrew encourages cider enthusiasts to come through and sample all of the ciders Treehorn has to offer.
Andrew Wheeler | Ciderist
Andrew spent a decade at Cartoon Network but has a passion for the production process – from charcuterie to cider. In 2011, Andrew started apprenticing at Heywood’s, an Atlanta artisanal butcher shop, learning the craft. He expanded his love for creating things to cider and continues to refine his skills at Treehorn Cider in order to ferment the best cider possible. He is a member of the U.S. Association of Cider Makers.
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