Cider Corner: How This New Adjunct is Boosting a New Sales Avenue for Minneapolis Cider

When Minneapolis Cider co-founder Jason Dayton heard that starting July 1 the state of Minnesota would allow THC products to be legal for sale, his team jumped into action. Now, debuting next week, the cidery is releasing “Trail Magic,” a non-alcoholic sparkling cider with 3 mg of THC added.

In the short term, he told Brewer that they are excited about the possibility of opening up new sales channels and reaching consumers who, before now, may not have tried the brand’s ciders. “We are looking into selling Trail Magic at farmers’ markets and sampling for customers in places previously off-limits to alcohol,” he explained. “Long term, we don’t know yet. The law in Minnesota changed without the usual regulatory framework you see in other states.

“We don’t know how or when the State will implement that framework and what impact it will have on our business.”

Distribution is still a bit of an unknown as well. For now, the cidery will debut the sale in its tasting room beginning Friday, July 29. Trail Magic THC Cider will be available in pineapple and mixed berry come launch day. Dayton said that alcohol distributors in Minnesota haven’t decided yet if they’re willing to carry products like this.

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“Currently, no legal restrictions or licenses are required to sell these products,” he said. “The only limits are certain packaging and label requirements.

“Our early conversations with retailers have been overwhelmingly positive. Several retailers have already started carrying products from out of state, and we expect Minnesota-made THC products to be a hit with consumers.”

Compared to the cidery’s past N/A products, the flavor profile is pretty much unchanged with the addition of THC. MCC has been working on non-alcoholic ciders for quite some time, Dayton said, so they already had a pretty good idea of what they wanted the flavor profile of these beverages to be. The THC emulsions used don’t have an impact on the flavor so going from N/A to THC infused was straightforward. THC dosing is done post filtration right before carbonation.

“Without fermentation, we rely on the blend of apples, fresh fruit, and carbonation to create something light and refreshing,” Dayton said. “While you don’t get the flavor notes from fermentation, what does stand out is fresh fruit. These taste great and are still made with the same ingredients we make our alcoholic ciders.”

Dayton and fellow co-founder David O’Neill consider THC to be an alternative to alcohol (3mg per serving is about the equivalent of 5% ABV) and simply another way for consumers to relax, unwind and spend time with friends.

“​We saw it as an opportunity to create a new type of social experience for our guests​,” Dayton said.​

Sourcing the THC was relatively easy as well. Dayton said Minnesota has several suppliers who are already processing hemp and have products available.

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