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The Orchard

We planted our orchard in the Spring of 2016! We’ve started with over 400 cider apple trees and a mix of nineteen varieties. We will continue to grow our orchard grafting the varieties most tolerant to our climate.

Many of our trees are on semi-standard rootstocks, meaning that they will grow to be big, beautiful trees that are reminiscent of past orchards. These rootstocks also ensure that our trees are hardy enough to withstand cold Montana winters. But, because our trees are larger, they won’t start producing apples for several years. So we've also planted apples trees on dwarfing rootstocks. This will allow us to have production much sooner. Until the orchard is in full production, we are crafting our ciders with fruit from other Montana and Washington Orchards.

All about 'dem Apples

Farm to Glass

Cider apples are different than culinary or dessert apples in a few distinct ways. Firstly, cider apples may not be very palatable eaten fresh. They tend to have a bitter quality that mellows into delicious complexities after fermentation and maturation. They also have some tannins that other apples don’t necessarily have. These tannins are what we are after. Cider varieties also tend to have higher sugar levels, which gives more body and higher alcohol levels in cider. With a lack of availability currently in the US, we decided to plant some of our own. We are also still discovering what cider varieties grow well in our climate. betterRoot, along with other cider producers and orchards in Montana will be trialling many varieties.


Our business is young, but we are here for the long run. The Bitterroot Valley has a long history of growing some of the best apples, so we are excited to use these to make our spirits, and let the flavor develop in our aging brandies.

Apples Varieties we currently Grow:

  • Baldwin

  • Dabinett

  • Domaines

  • Geneva Crab

  • Grimes Golden

  • Golden Russet

  • Herefordshire Redstreak

  • Harrison

  • Hewe’s Virginia Crab

  • Kind David

  • Major

  • Mettais

  • Muscadet de Dieppe

  • Noel de Champs

  • Porter’s Perfection

  • Puget Spice

  • Redfield

  • St. Martin

  • Wickson

Pear Varieties:

  • Butt

  • Hendre Huffcap

  • Yellow Huffcap

  • Normanischen

We also use holistic orcharding practices.

This incorporates Soay sheep to help manage the land and clean up any apple waste.

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