Introducing Seek-No-Further, Central Ohio’s Second Cidery
A man named Beers has opened a handsome cidery in the heart of Granville.
In the early 1800s, European Americans seeking fertile land ventured from Granville, Massachusetts, to the new western state of Ohio. They settled in a hilly, forested spot in Central Ohio and named it Granville, too. Now, Trent Beers, a Granville resident and self-described “history nerd,” is paying homage to the village’s history by bringing New England-style hard cider to the area.
In the works since 2018, Seek-No-Further Cidery opened to the public June 12 at 126 E. Elm St. The barn, which houses the cidery, is in the heart of Granville behind the historic Bancroft Cottage, now operating as an Airbnb.
Though Beers is the sole owner of the 1,300-square-foot cidery, he and his friend Chris Crader, the founder of Harvest Pizza, co-own the cidery building and the cottage, which dates back to 1824. The cidery space, most recently used as a garage, was actually added much later, when the house was renovated in 2014.
Not So Sweet
Beers first experienced fermented cider, aka hard cider, during college as a study abroad student in London. Back home, he says it was a challenge to find ciders like the ones he tasted in the UK—those on the drier side and not cloyingly sweet. Later, on trips to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, he encountered small cideries with tasting rooms like the one he’s trying to create in Granville. A trip to tour cideries in the Northeast inspired him even further.
“The big difference with ciders up there was that they were dry ciders, and they’re using these special cider apples, these heirloom cider apples that you don’t really get around here very easily. That kind of stuck in my mind,” he says, noting that he also liked the idea of celebrating Granville’s ties to New England through cider.
According to the American Cider Association, there are more than 1,000 cideries in the United States, compared to almost 9,000 craft beer breweries. Hard cider makes up only 1 percent of the total alcoholic beverage market in the United States, but, as a gluten-free alternative to beer, some research suggests that the cider industry’s market share will only continue to grow.
Seek-No-Further is just the second cidery in Central Ohio, joining Mad Moon Hard Cider. “Columbus has one [cidery], so with the brewery market being so saturated, it’s just something different,” Beers says.
To create its first dry cider blends, Seek-No-Further is sourcing apples from Ricker Hill Orchards, a 218-year-old apple farm in Turner, Maine. “The cider-specific varieties in general have a higher tannin content, and that helps bring depth to the cider that you can’t find by fermenting culinary apples,” says Andy Ricker of Ricker Hill Orchards. “The stuff we grow up here in Maine and in the Northeast can ferment out to be some of the best cider in the world. The stuff I sold [Beers], I haven’t tasted … but it has the potential to be extremely good, high-quality cider.”
Seek-No-Further will also produce a semi-dry cider using predominately Winesap apples, an American heirloom variety, from Utica’s Legend Hills Orchard. “We’re backsweetening with Latshaw honey, which is the local apiary here. It just gives it a little more sweetness, and it’s maybe more in line with what people are accustomed to, whereas the dry [cider] is going to be more of a Champagne style,” Beers says.
The two house ciders will be on tap upon opening, along with several guest ciders and craft beers. Cider-based cocktails and slushies are also in the works, and Beers wants to eventually make his own seltzers.
Seek-No-Further’s on-site fermenting system is small, so its ciders will only be available for consumption on premises at the start. “I imagine we’ll have a phase two, which would be some distribution and possibly bottling and cans, but we’re pretty limited by our space here,” Beers says.
The Lodge Life
The Seek-No-Further barn is an immediate attention-grabber, with a distressed white exterior, green roof and matching hand-painted logo. Beers worked as a retail graphic designer for about 15 years at Abercrombie & Fitch before the opportunity to open the cidery unfolded, and it’s clear he’s put those skills to good use. He designed the cidery’s logo, which features a hunting dog poised at attention as she balances an apple on her head. “I had a springer spaniel named Mitzi that it looks a lot like,” he says.
In fact, there is almost a vintage Abercrombie-esque quality to Seek-No-Further’s interior design and branding—one that harkens back to the clothing brand’s early days as an outdoorsy retailer focused on fishing, camping and hunting (not the oversexualized, music-thumping Abercrombie of the early aughts).
Visitors will be able to enjoy the cidery’s offerings at the ground-floor taproom bar, which receives plenty of fresh air from two large garage doors and features a large antique ice chest as a backdrop. In addition, a quaint patio runs between the cidery and the historic cottage, and there’s a handsome second-floor space, which has a ski lodge feel and old timey wood-burning stove.
What about the odd name? It’s a nod to apples, of course. Seek-No-Further is the name of an heirloom variety that originated near Westfield, Massachusetts, not far from Granville. Beers says he may even plant Seek-No-Further trees on the property.
Beyond its New England ties, the name has another meaning to Beers, as in “seek no further than what’s around you.” To that end, he plans to use as many local apples as he can and to showcase food from local businesses. Expect to find cheese and charcuterie boards from Black Radish Creamery on the taproom menu as well as pretzels and other offerings from Granville Bread Co., a new venture from Chris Crader that is taking over the former Lucky Cat Bakery space.
126 E. Elm St., Granville, instagram.com/seeknofurthercidery
How ’Bout Them Apples?
At Ricker Hill Orchards in Turner, Maine, cider apples account for about 25 out of its 350 planted acres. One of the owners of the family farm, Andy Ricker, says he began incorporating cider apples into the mix in 2014.
Know your cider apple varieties: Dabinett, Harry Masters Jersey, Wickson and Golden Russet are four of the cider varieties grown at Ricker Hill Orchards. “You get a lot of fruit and acid out of Wickson, and Golden Russet would be sugar and fruit,” Ricker says. Meanwhile, Harry Masters and Dabinetts are bittersweet varieties.
Lingo: Some cider apples are commonly known in the industry as “spitters” for their astringent taste. “Especially the Harry Masters and the Dabinetts, those are spitters. You bite into one of those, and it’s coming out,” Ricker says.
How many apples does it take? Cider apples run on the smaller side. “On average you can get about 3.6 gallons of cider per bushel,” Ricker says.