Over the past few years it has been fun to watch and visit the many craft breweries around the city that have opened their doors and tap rooms to the public. And it’s been even more fun if you are a beer lover.
So if you are a wine, hard cider and/or mead lover, imagine how much fun it will be when the first urban winery and cider house opens in Minneapolis next year.
Yes, you read that right.
That’s the goal for Jeff Zeitler and his wife, Gita, of St. Paul, who plan on opening Urban Forage Winery & Cider House in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis in the spring of 2015.
You see, Jeff has been making wine and hard cider for over 20 years, starting when he was a college student at the University of Minnesota. It became a hobby he never let go of, and now he wants to make a go of it as a business.
But it’s not just any winery and cider house. It’s an urban forage winery and cider house.
We already know it will be located in Minneapolis, housed in the building Jeff and Gita purchased at 30th Ave. E. and Lake St. last winter. That’s the “Urban.” So what about the “Forage”?
As he has been doing for the past 20 years, Jeff plans on continuing to use “crowd sourced” local ingredients that otherwise would go to waste.
From unwanted apples on the neighbor’s tree to dandelions on an open field, the ingredients for the wine can be found anywhere.
Jeff has been all over the metro area gathering fruits and flowers for his wines and he plans on continuing to do so but on a larger level.
And despite the many different laws that impact the opening of an urban winery, Jeff and Gita have spent the past year establishing relationships with their representatives at the local and state level, and now they are ready to forge ahead.
But they need your help.
They started a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds needed to purchase the equipment essential for a winery.
For instance, their list of essential items includes fermenting tanks, a bladder press, an apple grinder, a rapid floor corker and more. It all costs money that they are hoping their supporters will help them raise.
In all, they hope to have $19,800 by November 22.
If all goes according to plan, they will waste no time and begin buying the equipment in December, take delivery in January and set up over the winter months. Then, they can start producing their fruit wines in March of next year.
So if you are a fruit wine lover or you love to supporter local businesses, check out what these guys are doing. Then plan on enjoying some unique, flavorful and locally-made wines sometime in 2015.
For more information about Jeff and Gita, their plans for the winery and the Kickstarter campaign, please click here.
And if you want to check out the Urban Forage Winery website, you can do that, too, by clicking here.