Tastemakers 2021: Peter & Sally Moon, Owners of Mad Moon Craft Cidery

Nicholas Dekker
Peter and Sally Moon, owners of Mad Moon Craft Cidery

For all the explosive growth surrounding beer in Columbus, there’s been a dearth of local cideries. Until this year, the sole exception was Mad Moon Craft Cidery, Peter and Sally Moon’s pioneering establishment founded in October 2014. (Seek-No-Further became only the second cidery in Central Ohio this year.) The Moons homebrewed cider as a hobby before launching their business, and now Mad Moon is ubiquitous in bars and bottle shops across the region.

Educating About Cider

The Moons craft their cider from local apples, seeing it as a mission to teach customers about the beverage, especially unique dry and semi-dry ciders that are a far cry from the sweeter, mass-produced varieties found across the country. “When we first started this business, a lot of bars and restaurants didn’t even have a cider handle,” Sally says. “I give Peter a lot of credit because he taught them, and a lot of places now have one or two designated handles. I think Peter was instrumental in making that happen.” Peter adds that it can be a challenge to get on tap. “With cider in Columbus, and I’m sure most of the state, usually the bar will have one cider handle if you’re lucky. So we’re fighting [for that with large producers like] Angry Orchard or Ciderboys. But we have, we feel, a superior product.”

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A Cider Destination

In addition to kegging and bottling their hard ciders, the Moons have made their taproom and production facility, tucked into a small industrial park in North Linden, a destination for cider-seekers. “The taproom was a huge afterthought,” Sally says. “We never intended to open one in this location, but everyone kept asking us, ‘Where’s your taproom?’ So we did.”

“What’s nice about the taproom is that you can experiment,” Peter adds. “We’ve put a lot of stuff on tap that you can only get here.” Their customers are a mix of curious newbies and hardcore cider fans who have sought them out online. “We have people that come by and say, ‘We had you on tap,’” Peter says. “It’s gratifying when that happens.”

What’s Next?

The Moons had been poised to sign a lease on a separate taproom outside of their production facility when the COVID-19 outbreak hit. They put it on hold, but they still hope to open a cider house someday. In the meantime, they continue playing with new flavors like pineapple, black currant and peach. Peter talks about testing out a buckeye-themed cider with chocolate and peanut butter. They’re also partnering with High Street CBD to create a nonalcoholic, CBD-based apple cider called Happy Soul.

Find more of Columbus' Rising Culinary Stars:Tastemakers Class of 2021

Mad Mood Craft Cidery

2134 Britains Lane, North Linden

Speed Round

Age: “It’s only a number.” —Sally

Hometowns: Lorain, Ohio (Peter) and Martins Ferry, Ohio (Sally)

What did you learn during the pandemic? “Regardless of how ambitious [you are], the black hole of [TV] streaming will suck you in.” ­—Peter

What’s something you are excited about right now? “Our fall cider lineup! We recently released our Black Currant. On deck is our Hunky Dory Apple Pie and Blueberry Pomegranate.” —Peter

Reading recommendation: “We like to read Cider Craft; it’s truly a well-written magazine that stays current with the industry.” —Sally

This story is from the December 2021 issue of Columbus Monthly.