Cider maker Q&A

Here is our cider maker Aaron at beautiful Söderlångvik Gård, where we purchase big part of our apples. They also have restaurant and shop in Kemiö island, check it out here.


Aaron is crafting all the Lepola ciders and meads. He is passionate to bring new ideas alive and developing the skills as cider maker. We wanted to do a little interview with him now when the apple season is on. Meaning for us that the fermenting of cider is happening!

How did you end up making cider in Finland?

“I initially came to Finland for 1 year to see what it was like, that was 10 years ago. I started off working at Korkeasaari, taught high school Science for a few years, then moved to the countryside to work for Meritalo.

Meritalo had most of the equipment needed for making cider including a apple press. The idea of working for myself has always appealed to me and to combine something I love (cider) with work sounded great.  I have been making home brew wines and cider for many years with varying degrees of success. Its this trial and error approach that’s helped me to refine my skills in cider making.”

The apple season is on – what is your favourite apple variety to use in cider?

“Winter apples are the best for cider, Lobo, Amorosa, Kanel, are a few of my favourites. I would like to see some real cider apples grown in Finland!”


Which part of cider making you find the most challenging?

“Working with apples that are not traditionally used for making cider and turning them into something great to drink.”


What are the main steps in cider making?

“Basics are, start with clean good quality fruit, select a yeast strain that produces a fresh fruity aroma, ferment within the favourable temperature range for that yeast, monitor yeast nutrition, rack the cider off the lees within a few weeks after fermentation has completed, and finally mature the cider for a minimum of 5 months.”


Do you have any cider dreams that you’re dying to make a reality?

“Have our own orchard full of true apple cider trees. This would give us possibility to widen the taste profile of our ciders towards the real, traditional English style cider. With real cider apples we could also do more experiments with naturally wild fermented cider.”

What is your favourite Lepola cider?

“Hoppy Apple cider – dry hopped with Galaxy. The hops gives the cider more complex flavour profile, and tropical fruitiness that I quite like.”


If there is not cider in your glass, what is it?

“Mead, there’s something quite special about making wine from your own honey. We have made many different mead experiments at home, and some very interesting ones too. Maybe one day they will be launched to our Meads ;)”