who we are
MillStone Cellars is about the handmade, the rustic, the refined, the traditional and the tasty.
MillStone maintains a dedication to creating honest and innovative ciders, cysers and meads intended to complement the everyday repast. Our ciders, cysers and meads are carefully handcrafted in a centuries-old tradition by dedicated cidermakers using only the highest quality, locally available ingredients, ensuring the ultimate cider experience.
MillStone is about discovery and re-creating. It began in 2003 when Curt Sherrer acquired an old grist mill. In 2011, after careful restoration, the mill was brought back to life to function as a classroom for rediscovering traditional, rustic ciders and sharing that knowledge with the curious at heart.
Just as every local community had its grist mill for transforming a farm’s grain into flour and meal, every small farm had its fruit orchard for making apple pies, sauces, jellies and especially, cider. And like the rebuilding of an old grist mill, rediscovering and restoring cider’s traditions cannot be accomplished overnight.
Our journey of cider rediscovery is well underway. Our single barrel fermenting process has allowed us to essentially create over 1,500 batches of cider to date. That’s a lot of cider and a lot of learning!
We’ve learned to avoid industrial methods often used in making typical contemporary ciders. We’ve learned that additives such as preservatives, fining agents, enzymes and concentrates as well as processing steps such as filtration and pasteurization are neither necessary nor beneficial to producing a healthy and honest cider.
Our goals are to create chemical-free (better than organic), late harvest only, barrel fermented and aged ciders that express the unique and local flavors of orchard apples grown in Pennsylvania, Virginia and, of course, Maryland. Utilizing mostly vintage American apple varieties, our ciders will be true representations of those that were consumed on the farms and in the taverns of America’s younger days. Along the way we hope to live up to a environmentally-friendly and socially conscious ethos whereby we reuse, reduce and give back to our local communities.
Cider is food. Millstone is composed of dedicated people who are, as coined by William Kitchiner in 1822, “rational epicures.” Our sole focus is on quality, not quantity. Our goal, in the slow-crafting of ciders (and meads), is to preserve the purity of nature, rather than bend it to our will.
The pinnacle of quality requires extraordinary control over our ingredients. We hand pick our ingredient suppliers, just like we pick our own apples, carefully and locally. The rustic farm tradition is maintained by keeping our ciders pure and honest; adding nothing to the cider.
And so, MillStone cider is a living product, akin to any other living, fermented product. It changes and evolves. It’s a beverage that requires reflection and is at its best when paired with foods, such as pulled pork, a nicely sautéed trout, and even pizza.
This pinnacle of cider quality is a mountain that takes years to climb. We invite you to come along with us on this journey.
Apples, barrels, yeast, and passion: the essential ingredients behind every MillStone cider.