Craftsmen Interviews are designed to introduce you to dedicated, hard-working local makers that are cultivating local culture. Short, easy reads that impart valuable knowledge and inspire you to explore and support authentic endeavors. Stay ahead of upcoming trends and get recommendations from those helping to build their community. (-Learn more)
Tucked away on an unsuspecting side street in the north loop, with a great little patio and a killer permanent pizza truck, sits Number 12 Cider. You might feel like it’s easy to miss amongst the flashy signs of its north loop brewery neighbors (and there are plenty) but that would be a real loss, because Steve and his team know what they are doing, and it shows!
“We’re knowledgeable for sure, but we are not snobby! We want people to have fun and we strive to have something for everyone here! …
We know our apples and use a lot of them… we’ll find an apple we like and make a really small batch just to try it!”Steve Hance – Founder, Number 12 Cider
Steve Hance – The Mini-Interview
We got a minute to sit down with Number 12 Cider frounder Steve Hance over a few rounds of drinks.
We decided to try both the dry and sweet flight (the only way to give you the best recommendations, dear reader) and our knowledgeable bartender was more than happy to go through each and every cider with us.
FYI: They recommended the Voyage cider as your starting place for dry drinkers and Union cider for those that prefer sweeter. After a thorough tasting of all eight ciders, I’ll also tell you not to sleep on the Black Market. I can tell you; we’ll be back to try those not in the flight as well.
You have so many ciders on your menu! What makes you stand out in the cider scene?
“We know our apples and we use a lot of them. We know what apples go into every product. Where most cideries just have their standard ‘dry’ cider we have about 8 on tap right now because we are using a variety of apples to create different types of dry ciders.
We are also using different fruit combinations and other ingredients to get great ciders as well. We’re not afraid to make something in a small batch either, we’ll find an apple we like and make a really small batch just to try it. We’ve often got more ciders than we have taps available!”
Your bartender was great at giving us a rundown of the ciders, does it get hard to showcase your products to people given how different they can be?
“Not really. We used to put the apple varieties on the menu but found that was really tripping people up and slowing people down when ordering. People are really starting to know grapes in their wines, but they don’t have the same understanding of apples in cider yet, so it doesn’t really mean the same thing to them and was just confusing. Instead, we’ve got all the tasting notes so that they understand what they’re getting in a glass and we’re more than happy to answer questions and discuss anything they want to know!
We’re knowledgeable for sure, but we are not snobby! We want people to have fun and we strive to have something for everyone here! We have green cider today (it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend) because I’ve never seen anyone with something green in their hand without a smile on their face. That’s the kind of place we want to be!”
The North Loop is a great location! What should people be doing around here other than coming for your cider?
“The north loop is a destination, and we are a destination cidery! It’s a great place to come and be able to eat, drink, stay and play. There are lots of well know spots and some hidden gems as well, but you can certainly get a group of friends together and have a day, night or weekend of it. It’s super accessible, you can drive, train or bike in and there’s so much to do in such a great little neighborhood!”
A Map to Steve’s North Loop Recommendations
Don’t forget to check out the adventure Steve sent us on in the North Loop! A full review of the day can be found here: MN Adventures: The best of the Best of Minneapolis’ North Loop…
(click map layers and select Steve @Number 12)
Number 12 Cider, Minneapolis, MN
The Number 12 Cider taproom is modern and inviting. Ample seating space indoors and outdoors alike. There are darts, bags boards (I’m told there is quite the league) and the most beautifully stocked game shelf. As we were heading out, we saw a musical duo setting up for the night, so there is clearly never a shortage of entertainment to go with your beverages here, but they don’t need to be bolstered up, the cider here truly stands on its own.
Passport to Number 12 Cider
Number 12 Cider is featured on our 1st All Cider passport and Mobile App. Purchase directly supports MN Cider and the MN Cider Guild and is the easiest, best way for you to directly support local cideries (other than going there of course, which is what you’ll be doing:)
Additional photos and video tour on instagram.