Beverage association names president
A business owner in the area is the new president of a statewide beverage association.
The Michigan Cider Association is now under the leadership of John Behrens, owner of Farmhaus Cider Co. in Hudsonville.
The association’s co-founder, and the owner of Vander Mill in Grand Rapids, Paul Vander Heide, has stepped down after four years as the association’s first president.
The first item on Behrens’ agenda is the annual Grand Rapids Cider Week, which will run from May 13-18.
“Paul and Amanda Vander Heide have done an excellent job creating the Michigan Cider Association from nothing, and we couldn’t be happier to build on the foundation they have built,” Behrens said.
“We have a lot of new and very exciting plans in store for the association and look forward to getting to work right away, taking Michigan Cider to the next level and giving it the spotlight it deserves.”
Farmhaus Cider Co. has been a member of the Michigan Cider Association since its inception.
The transition to new leadership comes at a time when hard cider sales are taking off in Michigan and the U.S., Vander Heide said.
“Cider was only a niche drink when we began this organization four years ago,” Vander Heide said. “Today, it’s a staple in bars and refrigerators throughout the state, and I am proud of the work the Michigan Cider Association has done to bring the many Michigan producers together.”
Vander Heide will remain on the board and continue to support the nonprofit in various capacities.
The Michigan Cider Association brings cideries and cider enthusiasts together to share knowledge, experiences and promote Michigan-made ciders.