Cider Mill Closes

By: Damon Dillman
By: Damon Dillman

The Sheets Cider Mill has brewed its final gallon. After 75 years, the Sheets family is getting out of the cider business.

"I am sad to see it go," said Rosemary Eyler, Weyers Cave, a frequent customer and former employee at the mill. "But I know it's awful hard, a lot of hard work for the Sheets'."

"It is hard to close it down," admitted Curtis Sheets. "You know, it's a third generation business, fourth if you count Lauren, who capped the last bottle today.

"So it's been a long time, a long run."

The Department of Agriculture requires the pasteurization of apple cider.

"We just have a few customers over the years that we were still making cider for," said Sheets. "We didn't really have enough business to justify the expense of going to pasteurization."

The family also disapproved of the taste of the pasteurized cider.

"We think the taste is pretty good when it comes straight off the apple like this," Sheets said. "And that's something that everybody has always liked about our product, and we didn't want to change that.

"We've always been 100 percent pure, and we chose not to comply with that."

So now customers will have to find a new place to get their cider. But Eyler, who stocked up on several gallons, says she'll worry about that next year.

"It freezes really well," she laughed, "so I'll have cider right up until springtime."

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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