How 'about them apples...

Our Story

Our Story


Apple Knocker is an Illinois-based craft cider house that combines our expertise in modern small-lot wine production, and the creativity of craft beer techniques, to produce a new breed of American ciders. We partner with century-old local orchards to grow the highest quality apples for our beverages.


Inspired by the ‘local’ movement, and driven by the desire to create a fresh and unprecedented product for his customers, Brad Genung began his journey into the historical craft of cider making. His products hearken back to the old American tradition of home-grown, hand-crafted cider. Reminiscent of the sipping ciders from our past, Apple Knocker is concocting new and innovative beverages that are blazing the trail for ciders of the future. 

OUR CIDER MASTER

Founder of Apple Knocker, Brad Genung, has served as the innovative Vintner of Owl Creek Vineyard for a decade. Owl Creek is the founding vineyard of the rugged Shawnee Hills region in deep southern Illinois.

Genung first considered creating hard cider during drives past the orchards that fill the hills between the family farm and Owl Creek. Five years ago he began a cider pilgrimage that included intense study under British cider masters. This study culminated with intense study of cider with Peter Mitchell at Cornell University, well known for their innovation with wine and grape research. After copious time in research and study, Genung spent 5 years crafting small-lot batches and began developing what has grown into our current line of small-batch, atrisan ciders. 

Genung’s flair for ‘bending the rules’ of traditional technique, has led to a well-crafted product that is backed by good old fashioned American innovation. 

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