Among all the eminently drinkable goods at Elevated, there’s one that’s unique.
Urban Forage Cider, from the local Urban Forage Winery & Cider House, is made in small batches from ingredients that are literally foraged—people bring Jeff and Gita Zeitler the berries that have fallen off their trees, apples, pears and more. Elevated currently has Urban Forage’s semi-sweet apple cider on the shelves, but look out for more. And it’s worth the trip to take a drive to Minneapolis’ Lake Street, where you can enjoy their many varieties on tap and bottled.
Urban Forage is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Jeff and Gita Zeitler. We spoke to vintner/cider-maker Jeff Zeitler to learn more about their offerings.
What are some of your personal favorites?
The cider-based gin botanical. It’s flying off the shelves right now. It’s flavored with juniper, coriander, orris root—it’s flavored like gin, but it’s cider. The black currant cider is also great.
What do you suggest for December festivities?
The ginger cider—it’s also apple-based. And the apple pie-spiced cider. And cyser, which is a type of mead, or honey wine. It’s a mead-cider blend.
Also good for December, we have a Minnesota—we have Minnesota Red red wine, made from Frontenac grapes. For now, it’s on tap only, but you can stop by the taproom and enjoy a glass (or two).
Do you have any suggestions for what might make good holiday gifts?
If you’re a guest at a holiday dinner, the honey mead would make a good gift. It’s rich, sweet and high in alcohol content, so it will warm you down to your toes.
Do you have any non-alcoholic ciders?
Not yet, but we have a non-alcoholic cider in the works.
How did you start making cider?
In my dorm room in college. I wanted wine, and I remember my dad made his own in the 1960s. I got some apple juice and put bread yeast in it, and got some awful cider.
I had my youthful experiments—I’ve made wine from lots of things—mulberries, apples, plums, kiwis. Stuff I got for cheap or free. But don’t try to make kiwi wine. Nope. It’s really—just don’t.