Flannels and Blake's Flannelmouth Cider, The Perfect Combo

Blake's Hard Cider Co. & MuskOx Apparel Flannel Flannelmouth

MuskOx was fortunate to get an invitation from Blake’s Hard Cider Co. to come visit their orchard and brewing facility. We can't imagine a better way to spend a fall day than at an apple orchard in your favorite flannel shirt with one of Blake's core hard ciders.

Owner, Andrew Blake was our tour guide for the day, giving us a deep look into the Michigan-made family business. Andrew took us through their farm that grows the best apples, their (soft) cider production facility, the labs where the produce the hard cider that we know and love ... and everywhere in between!

Andrew was one of the earliest members of The MuskOx Herd, and a Mountain Henley loyalist. Since our Burgundy Flannel looks great on top of the Henley, we brought Andrew one and documented the experience.

MuskOx can now say that Blake's Flannelmouth is the official drink of the Burgundy Flannel.

Now, let's walk you through the tour!

Blake's Hard Cider Co. & MuskOx Apparel Flannel Flannelmouth

First stop was the main cider mill (nonalcoholic) where we met Andrew

Andrew walked us through the cider production process including a tutorial on what makes an apple the right choice for this wonderful fall beverage. At Blake’s the apples are hand sorted before heading into the presses. That day they were working with a variety called rustic gold. Although it’s not common in your produce section this apple is definitely worth seeking out!

After graduating from Michigan State University in 2011, Andrew came back to the family business that his grandfather started. Andrew managed this cider mill while launching Blake's hard cider line. 

Blake's Hard Cider Co. & MuskOx Apparel Flannel Flannelmouth

Onto the next stop, the hard cider production

Walking among the giant casks full of the fermenting juice was absolutely amazing they take such care to make sure that each of their unique hard cider varieties ferments to the perfect blend of flavors. 

MuskOx: How has Michigan heritage influence the future of Blake's Hard Cider as you continue to grow nationally?

Andrew: I’m a proud Michigander, I feel we have a unique grit that shapes our character. We have an exhaustive work ethic, we like to create things and still have our unpredictable weather and frustratingly disappointing sports teams to keep us humbled and striving for more. I would like to think Blake’s Hard Cider Co. embodies the essence of that hard work, humility and grit.

Blake's Hard Cider Co. & MuskOx Apparel Flannel Flannelmouth

Andrew walked us through one of Blake's storage facilities where they keep their diverse set of apples fresh. We had way too much fun capturing MuskOx gear within the raw world of apples. 


Blake's Hard Cider Co. & MuskOx Apparel Flannel Flannelmouth

MuskOx:  What are you planning for your next adventure?

Andrew: I’ve been lucky enough to have backpacked and hiked all over the world and I love the ability to disconnect and recharge. I loved it so much I found myself being immediately drawn to the next adventure, after a while I realized that I was just running from the chaos and stress of starting a business and working 24/7. I’ve been challenging myself lately to be present, balanced and content with the adventures I can find myself in, in everyday life. I’m embracing the craziness and enjoying the ride a bit more now. Maybe a boring answer, but definitely the most fulfilling adventure for me yet.

We couldn't agree with Andrew more! Everyday life is an adventure, starting a business is an adventure.

Blake's Hard Cider Co. & MuskOx Apparel Flannel Flannelmouth

No fall season could be complete without a trip to the orchard

Now, remember this is Michigan, so there’s already snow on the ground even in early November. While Andrew tended to some of the trees he talked us through the pruning process. Fun fact, apparently apple trees will only produce fruit on branches that grow horizontally, not vertically.

Blake's Hard Cider Co. & MuskOx Apparel Flannel Flannelmouth

MuskOx: How do you keep connected with the outdoors as your business has continued to grow?

Andrew: Growing up on the orchard all my life, I have always been able to maintain a special relationship with nature. I don’t have an office and work outside as much as possible. When I am working on new business ideas and need a creative muse, walks around the orchard always serve the creative process well.

Blake's Hard Cider Co. & MuskOx Apparel Flannel Flannelmouth

We wrapped up our visit with a trip to Blake’s Tasting Room

If you are in the greater Detroit area it is definitely worth the trip! There are tons of signature ciders to taste and enjoy. Go to Blake's, grab a pint of a single flavor or a flight with 6 flavorful options. 

We are truly grateful for this experience with Andrew, getting a unique look into his family's business. MuskOx got to experience how Andrew lives his every day adventure and for that, we say "cheers."

Now go grab a Flannelmouth and enjoy. You deserve it!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published