Better Together

Lockhorn Cider, Bozeman Backyard Blend, Hard Cider, Bozeman

Better Together

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Turning unwanted apples into unmatched cider. 

Backyard apple trees abound in the Gallatin Valley. While some fruit gets eaten, dried, or turned into applesauce, much of it goes to waste, or becomes an attractant for deer or bears. 

This fall, do your part for bear safety by bringing your apples to Bozeman’s Lockhorn Cider House. They’re encouraging folks to donate unwanted apples to be pressed into a specialty hard cider, the Bozeman Backyard Blend. What’s cooler than knowing fruit from your own back yard contributed to your next trailside refreshment?

“We’re thrilled to involve the community and turn those unwanted apples into something very enjoyable… crisp refreshing cider,” says Lockhorn owner Anna Deal. In the last few years, Anna and her husband, Glen, with help from friends and family, have planted over 3,000 cider varietal apple trees at their young orchard. On October 4, they’ll press their second harvest, to craft into an all-local cider that they say “captures the majestic flavor and spirit of the Big Sky.”

Lockhorn Orchard

Most Lockhorn trees are grown on a dwarf rootstock and trellised, similar to a grapevine, and at three to five years old, are between six and eight feet tall. “We haven’t formally pursued organic certification,” says Anna, “but we have made sure to grow our trees without chemicals and in a way that would not jeopardize certification if we decide to go that route.” 

“We’ve also grafted 400 saplings in a haphazard skin-of-our-teeth operation,” adds Glen, “and amazingly, the tiny trees have survived!” Among the grafts are 150-year-old scions taken from some of the first orchards planted in the Gallatin Valley. “These grafts bring lasting and renewed life to these ancient local trees and our shared agricultural heritage,” Glen says.

“Our cider is different from most conventional ciders,” explains Anna. “Our ingredients are simply apples and French wine yeast. We don’t dilute with water or add sugar and don’t use sulfites or any other chemical flavors or stabilizers. It is a difference that you can taste and feel the next day. Every drop of cider originated as an apple.”

To contribute to the Bozeman Backyard Blend, drop your backyard apples at Lockhorn Cider House in downtown Bozeman or the Lockhorn Orchard. For every 25 pounds of apples, you’ll earn one free cider. They’re collecting apples between September 15 and October 3 downtown and on October 4 at the orchard. Anna and her husband Glen will then press the apples in preparation for fermentation. Also on October 4 is a community BBQ, with fresh-pressed cider available, both hard and non-alcoholic.

The Bozeman Backyard Blend will give back to the place that helped make it, with ten percent of sales donated to local nonprofits. Choose from Lockhorn’s favorites: the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Haven, or the Bozeman Symphony. “Lockhorn is proud to partner with our neighbors to give back to our community, one apple and one cider at a time,” says Anna. “We’re committed to a vision of an orchard and local cidery,” adds Glen, “that ranks as a world-class experience for those who love the great outdoors, a splendid view, and a damn fine drink—crafted from the land—to enjoy in the majesty of this captivating landscape.”

 Lockhorn Cider House Logo

Anna and Glen Deal own Lockhorn Cider House in Downtown Bozeman.  

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