ST. JOSEPH - A new cider sampling room will be opening later this week just outside of St. Joseph. Milk and Honey Ciders will have the grand opening on Friday.

Co-owner Peter Gillitzer says they'll have eight varieties of ciders on tap. A few of their flagships will always be available, but he says they'll also be changing some varieties.

This is great testing ground for new varieties.  We'll test it out and see what people are enjoying.

Gillitzer says the new sampling room allows the business to shift gears a bit from being just wholesale to also retail. And, he says they can teach you about the process of making cider.

Now we're adding the ability for people to come out, give them tours, show them the orchard, the cellar, and the pressing operation.

Gillitzer says they're on 10 acres of land on County Road 51.

Which is going to be about 4,000 trees.  We're going to start planting those next spring, which will be about 2 to 3 years before they start producing.  We'll supplement these with what we already have in Cold Spring and our partner growers.

Gillitzer says there are two or three other rural cider sampling rooms in southern Minnesota, but they are still pretty unique.

I think this is the first full fledged built for the public to come out and learn about cider and apples.

Milk and Honey Ciders was started by Gillitzer, Adam Theis, and Aaron Klocker with an orchard just south of Cold Spring.

Milk and Honey Ciders is on County Road 51 just southwest of St. Joseph.

They'll be open this Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon until about 10:00 p.m.