By Chris Cornwall
Producing “value-added products” like turning apples into apple cider is key to the continued success of Beasley’s Orchard, 2304 E. Main St, Danville. And, for the tenth time, the orchard was judged to have the best apple cider in the state by the Indiana Horticultural Congress (IHC). The announcement came yesterday at the Indiana Horticultural Congress and Trade Show in Indianapolis.
Head of operations and third generation owner, Calvin Beasley, said it’s always nice to get that kind of affirmation from a respected organization like IHC. And while the award adds to Beasley’s cider-making prestige, it’s business as usual. In addition to taking the top honor 10 times, the orchard has been named to the top three every year.
“Cider is integral to our identity,” Beasley said. “We are not a large enough grower to sustain ourselves from growing fruit alone, so we try to be a destination. We try to get people here on the farm so they can spend the day with their families. And cider is something that people can enjoy here or take it home.”
So what’s the secret to producing Indiana’s best cider? It’s about taking inventory of what you have at the time and learning how best to utilize it together, according to Beasley.
“A lot of people in the industry would agree that there is a secret recipe and you write it down and do it that way every time. But that is not the case,” Beasley said. “The challenge is to utilize the apples that you have available that year, and blend them together in a way that’s going to give you the best final product.”
The Indiana Horticultural Congress and Trade Show was held Feb.13 and 14. For more information, visit inhortcongress.org. For more about Beasley’s Orchard, visit beasleys-orchard.com.