Cider Corner: Factors That Led Wild State Cider to Consider Expanding

Though just two years old, Wild State Cider found itself in a growth pattern with the ability — and need — to expand its footprint.

Ryan Kopperud, Wild State’s Senior Director of Marketing, said the cidery had quadrupled its production capacity since opening its doors. After considering its present and future needs, it secured a new 60,000 square foot facility in West Duluth to meet the surging demand for its natural craft ciders.

“The new facility will allow us to produce up to 500,000 gallons annually, making us one of the Top 20 alcohol producers in Minnesota, and cementing our roots in Duluth for many years to come,” Kopperud said. “It also allows for new and exciting opportunities in our taproom, with the added space vacated by our production equipment.”

The additional space from moving its production facility means more taproom space. 

“We’re currently exploring options for expanding and improving our taproom experience, including adding more seating, more bathrooms, bringing food in-house with the introduction of a kitchen or restaurant space, and a large area for hosting events of all kinds in the rear of our taproom,” he told Brewer Magazine. “Our ultimate goal is to create a welcoming and comfortable environment where people from Duluth and those visiting the Twin Ports can come together to enjoy natural craft cider, great food, good company, fun events, and an overall awesome experience. 

“We’re still in the planning stages, but we look forward to sharing our updated taproom with our customers soon.”

Wild State considered numerous factors when deciding if it needed to acquire space and, after confirming it did, determining how much space it needed.

Kopperud described the decision-making process as “careful,” but said Wild State was really excited about its new space and the distribution opportunities it will provide for the business to grow both in Minnesota, and continue to expand its footprint around the country.

“Expanding Wild State’s production and moving it to a new facility was a decision that we didn’t take lightly, and we pursued the right fit for over a year,” Kopperud said. “Ultimately, our growth in production and sales over the past two years made it clear that we simply needed more space to accommodate our increasing demand. Particularly with the introduction of new chains distributing Wild State, and the interest that’s been shown from additional chains, we knew we needed a way to make more cider, faster than we had the capacity to. 

“We also analyzed our budget and projected revenue growth to determine if it was financially feasible, and we’ve been able to make the math work.” 

The expansion prepares it to open its brand to new products and opportunities to draw in a new audience.

“We’ll be able to produce more of our existing flagships and limited ciders, while also having additional room for creativity and experimentation,” he said. “We’re in the planning stages of a THC product, which will target a new but adjacent audience, and our increased production will offer us opportunities more frequent, creative small-batch ciders, and collaborations. 

“We’re really excited about the opportunities we’ll have to simply try things we weren’t afforded when our production was at maximum capacity solely to meet demand for our main products.”

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