Guild Members Working Together

The Guild is patterned after the craft guilds of the Middle Ages. It restricts membership to those who meet its stringent quality standards, and it has a vigorous program to keep its members up to date on improvements in cider-making practices. Michigan's leading cider mills have joined the Guild.

"Mills must work hard for membership," states past president of the Guild, Bill Erwin of Erwin Orchards & Cider Mill in South Lyon. "We have tough standards. We want consumers to realize that membership in the Guild is a badge of trust - that they can have confidence in us and our cider."

Prerequisites for Guild membership include attendance at a cider school conducted by Michigan State University food scientists to teach the latest concepts in sanitation and other quality-assurance techniques, and the development of each cider mill's own standard operating procedures. "Our goal is to have our own regulations that are even more strict than those of the Michigan Department of Agriculture," Erwin said.


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