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Virtue Cider Expands Distribution to Western Michigan

Thursday, May 2, 2013

FENNVILLE, Michigan (May 2, 2013)Virtue Cider is pleased to announce the appointment of Kent Beverage as their distributor in Western Michigan.  Since debuting RedStreak Cider in April 2012, Virtue has been available exclusively in the Chicago Market.  “We are excited to launch Virtue Cider with Kent in Western Michigan, they do a great job with Michigan Craft beers and we expect they’ll do well with our Michigan Cider,” said Virtue founder Gregory Hall.  Kent will cover 29 counties in an area that includes Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and much of the Lake Michigan coast.
Virtue is the craft cider venture, launched in June 2011 by Gregory Hall, former Brewmaster at Goose Island Brewing Company, and co-founder Stephen Schmakel. Virtue’s mission is to make authentic English, French and Spanish style ciders using the heirloom apple varieties sourced from local farmers.

Virtue Cider is now available at The Green Well in Grand Rapids, 8th Street Grille in Holland, Crunchy’s in Lansing, Wally’s in Saugatuck, The Buck Burger in St. Joe and Salt of the Earth in Fennville, with more locations coming soon.

“The U.S. cider market is projected to take a 3% market share in the next five years and is a category that we’ve been paying close attention to,” says Brendan Gary, Craft Brands Manager at Kent Beverages. “The addition of Virtue Cider to our portfolio positions us to be the leader of this burgeoning category in West Michigan. We’ve worked with Greg Hall in the industry for many years. When you combine his knowledge, his name recognition and the quality of the products, we’re confident that the Virtue brand will be a major player in our markets.”

“We’re thrilled that our ciders are now available in Western Michigan,” said Hall. “Fennville is our home, as much as Chicago, and we can’t wait to share our ciders with our local community as well as visitors to this beautiful area.”

Virtue purchased a 48-acre farm in Fennville, Michigan in March 2012 with the vision of creating a sustainable, authentic cider house experience where guests could tour the farm and taste locally made ciders. Cider House No. 1 was unveiled in December 2012. The building houses the apple press, fermentation tanks and a small bottle shop and tasting room that celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday May 1.

Guests will now be able to see first-hand the process of pressing apples, taste a truly authentic cider, and purchase growlers of Virtue Cider to take home. The bottle shop also sells beautifully crafted Virtue Cider ceramic mugs made by local artists at the Khnemu Studio on Fernwood Farm as well as assorted Virtue apparel.

Tasting Room Hours
Starting Saturday May 3, the cider house and bottle shop will be open to visitors Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Memorial Day Weekend hours will be Saturday 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Monday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

And thereafter, it will be open Thursday through Saturday, 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sundays and Mondays, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. And closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Virtue Farms is located at 2170 62nd Street, Fennville, MI 49408.