In 1985, Scott and Pia Ervin set down roots in rural Lisbon, IA. Populating their 40-acre farm on Sutliff Road with row crops like corn and soybeans. They also established a small orchard of 600 English cider apple trees, as early advocates of cider and apple cider vinegar had done on midwestern farms for generations before.
An avid home-brewer, Scott originally had planned to establish a craft brewery on the property. But he quickly turned his attention to pressing and fermenting cider. The juice from the apples he grew was tart and packed with tannins. When blended with table apples, like Jonathan, Gala, Cortland, and others, he found a perfectly balanced hard cider at 6% ABV that would soon become Iowa's first commercially-successful, homegrown hard cider.
Over the years, Sutliff Cider Company would collect several well-deserved accolades. Including ranking among the World’s 30 Best ciders on Ratebeer.com alongside hard ciders from France, England, Quebec and beyond.
In 2006, the Ervins began the process of restoring the large, historic barn on the property. Dreaming of building a home for their brew and a venue where people could celebrate both cider and community.
In 2008, Scott and Pia opened the Sutliff Cider tasting room from the ground level of the 130 year-old structure. Welcoming local musicians to perform on Sunday afternoons, and renting the upstairs event space to families hosting weddings and celebrating life’s milestones.
Over the years, the tasting room has become a popular destination for those of an adventurous disposition who endeavor to find an oasis of sorts among the expansive fields of rural southeast Iowa.
When Sutliff was founded in 2002, it was only one of approximately 25 cideries in the entire United States. It was also the first cidery in the great-state of Iowa!
"This beverage became popular alternative to water in 13th century Europe because it was safer to drink and touted for its health benefits to aid digestion and prevent gout!..."
"Terrior, the French word for "earth" or "land," is the distillation of a place into a product. Terrior is the sum total of the environmental, geologic, and cultural conditions of a product. "