Fri, Oct 23, 2015

Starting a DIY Cidery

How and why we started Dominion Cider Co., and why we chose to do almost everything ourselves.

Mike, Robin, and I started Dominion Cider Co. over a year ago, and finally sold our first bottle this fall!

For me, starting Dominion Cider Co. with my two friends was motivated by a desire to learn a bunch of new skills, work with my hands, and spend time on the farm, all in the name of creating a finished cider that people enjoy. I love cider, but I’m perhaps even more passionate about all the intricate details of producing it and building the business that supports it, from the nuts and bolts of manufacturing to the creative thrill of sales. I don’t even mind dutifully completing the regulatory paperwork each month.

Dominion Cider Co. is very much a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) operation, in the same way that both my grandfathers’ farms were DIY operations. Something breaks? You fix it. Need something? You make it. We launched this company with our own meagre personal savings, and have bolstered that with hard work and ingenuity at every turn. I guess in many respects we’ve done things the hard way, trying to it all ourselves: from picking to juicing to chemistry to construction to finance to websites to sales. On many of these steps we failed a few times before getting it right. It’s rewarding though and I wouldn’t do it any other way.

This blog will be an assortment of projects that have gone into Dominion Cider Co. Maybe by reading about our experiences you’ll get some ideas for your own commercial cidery, hobby homebrewery, or some other farm-based business. I hope you enjoy it!

Posted on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 by Luke Cyca