Reed Jaskula has been brewing beer for years, but lately he’s been on a craft cider kick. A brewer at Ohio City-based Platform Beer since opening day, Jaskula will leave that outfit to launch Urban Apple, a Flats-based cidery and cider house that crafts and serves housemade apple-based brews. His partners in the venture include Paul Benner and Justin Carson of Platform.
“I love brewing beer, but I didn’t want to go out and start another brewery,” Jaskula explains. “I’ve been making cider for five years now and there isn’t much around here. It’s the next big trend in craft drinking.”
Urban Apple will set up shop in the old Tenk Machine & Tool building on Center Street in the Flats. Jaskula currently is in the build-out and licensing phase of the operation. He hopes to begin making cider by this year’s apple season, which runs August through October. Visitors to the cider house will be able to enjoy various styles of housemade cider (and perhaps mead) in the middle of the production facility.
“It will be industrial but nicer,” he says of the cider house. “I want people to see the production side of things, with stacks of barrels everywhere.”
Of the cider-making process, Jaskula says there are similarities and differences to beer brewing.
“There is a lot more post-fermentation work involved,” he says of cider making. “There’s crushing and pressing instead of grinding and boiling. Then there’s the cellaring.”
Each batch of cider is barrel-aged for three to six months. “Like wine, cider only gets better with age.”