To celebrate National Cider Month, we asked Collin Schilling a few questions about his innovative cidery, Schilling Cider! Learn about Schilling’s background and what’s to come from this cider maker.
How did Schilling get its start in the cider making business?
I grew up on an orchard in North Idaho where my parents had been making cider for decades and started making it at a young age. It grew as a hobby for the next decade and bottles and carboys always covered my basement. While I was dying inside at a corporate job I decided to quit and live out my dream of making cider full time. Now I make a lot more cider than my parents ever did.
How did you become a cider maker?
Self-taught through family traditions and trial and error. Myself and staff have since taken numerous cider making and training classes both in the US and abroad.
Since you’re committed to non-GMO cider, where do you get your apples and yeast strains?
All of our apples come from Washington state – primarily Yakima Valley. Yeast strains come from a number of different suppliers including both from the US and abroad and we also implement some wild capturing of yeast for certain ciders. The strains we use have been around for a while and we avoid the newer “designer” strains for wine that are often GMO.
With ciders becoming increasingly more popular, how does Schilling differentiate from other ciders that are on the rise?
Schilling was founded on the principal of making innovative cider and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. We just released the first nitro can of cider in the world and we are always bringing out new and exciting ciders.
How did the idea for the Grumpy Bear Nitro Coffee Cold Brew Cider come to life?
I have always enjoyed nitro products – whether that be beer or coffee. Cider in its normal state will not hold a head so we started looking at other ingredients to solve that problem. The first was chocolate cider, which was tasty and popular –it was a complete mess to make. Next, we did a collaboration with Seattle Cider to bring out something innovated and coffee cider was born. We then took it to the next level by making it nitro on draft and then after 18 months of research and development we brought out the nitro can.