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Schilling Hard Cider: Traditional brewing, innovative packaging

Three years ago, Colin Schilling quit his day job and started making hard cider.

“I really wanted to take a passion of mine and turn it into a business,” Schilling said.

Schilling and his co-founder Mark Kornei, started by making batches of hard cider in a Seattle garage.

The company quickly outgrew the space and today Schilling Hard Cider is on the leading edge of the fast-growing hard cider industry thanks to its emphasis on innovation and sustainability while maintaining the core business values of Colin’s Great-Great-Grandfather August Schilling, founder of the Schilling Spice Company.

They only use 100 percent fresh-pressed apples from Eastern Washington and never back sweeten their products. This means patrons can enjoy a hard cider without artificial sweeteners, colors, or ingredients.

They source nearly all of their other ingredients from Washington, too.

Schilling Cider is the first craft cider maker on the West Coast to package its beverage in cans — a move that is setting a trend in the industry for sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Customers who prefer bottles can still find them, but Schilling knows that many prefer the portability and environmental benefit of cans, which weigh less — resulting in a decreased carbon footprint during shipping — and have a 95 percent recycle rate.

“One of the core ideas for starting Schilling Hard Cider was to integrate sustainability into the business, rather than make it an add-on,” Schilling said.

Schilling is also a strong supporter of other craft cideries and craft cider industry growth. Schilling Cider House in Seattle’s Fremont District has 32 rotating taps of craft hard ciders from various cideries around the nation. As long as their ingredient list follows Schilling’s strict ingredient policies, Schilling is happy to support them.

For Schilling Hard Cider, the business is more than just a company. It’s a community of employees who love cider, love food and love — and want to protect — the great outdoors.

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