We're back with another edition of our Cidermaker Series where you can meet who makes your proper farmhouse cider. Cidermaker Matt Holley comes to us from Chicago's Half Acre Brewing Co. where he was a brewer and lead cellarman. He's been at Virtue since October 2017.
"Making beer is very controlled and methodical," Matt says. "Our way of making cider is less recipe driven and relies more on your palate and blending ability. Instead of controlling every variable, we try to steer the cider in the right direction and then use our palates to decide how to blend from multiple tanks in order to make a cider. Having that much pressure on your ability to know and understand what you are tasting is intimidating and exciting at the same time."
What's his favorite cider? "Percheron, but this year’s Maple Mitten is pretty killer."
He grew up on the Southeast side of Michigan, went to college at Michigan State and moved to Chicago after college.
"My wife and I have been working on a complete renovation of the home we live in for the past couple of years," he says. "It started off as a weekend thing, but we fell in love with Southwest Michigan and decided to move out here full-time. I love coffee, and my favorite thing to make for breakfast is cottage cheese pancakes."
Thanks for bringing your brewing experience and Michigan roots to Virtue, Matt! We are inspired to make these cottage cheese pancakes, which would probably be amazing paired with Maple Mitten. For those equally intrigued by his breakfast choices, you can find the original recipe in the Joy of Cooking, or an adapted version here: https://smittenkitchen.com/2008/11/cottage-cheese-pancakes//