The Cider Making Process

What is Hard Cider?
Vala’s hard cider is an alcoholic beverage made from fresh-pressed apple cider that has gone through the fermentation process, converting sugars into alcohol. It is typically served chilled and bubbly.

What is Sweet Cider?
Sweet cider is simply the unfiltered juice from apples. At Vala’s, whole apples are crushed and pressed to extract the juice, and then the juice is UV treated.

After Vala’s planted the 30+ acre apple orchard on their land, we also built a 7000 sq. ft production facility for producing sweet and hard ciders. In 2020, Vala’s began making both sweet and hard cider in this production facility known as the Cider Mill. We continue to plant more and more apple trees every year to support the growing demand for sweet and hard ciders, and we are excited to have a number of cider-specific varieties of apples.

We like to say we make cider the hard way, because it’s true, and it’s the most honest way to showcase our farm’s harvest. Our orchard crew maintains the health and production of over 40,000 apple trees that get pruned each winter and harvested each fall. Each one of those apples gets stored in a 20 bushel bin and then brought to the Cider Mill cold storage. The bins of apples get pressed into cider throughout the whole fall season.

From there, the cider is either packaged for sweet cider that we sell exclusively at Vala’s; or it goes into a fermentation tank, where we add yeast that will transform all the sugars in the cider into alcohol. We then filter our ciders, flavor with fruits and organic cane sugar, and then finally package into a bottle or keg.

This long process begins with the bees, sun, water, and warm temps of Spring that bring about the apple blossoms; and it ends with the fall harvest, pressing, and a slow fermentation, resulting in the ciders you can drink at Vala’s today.

Visit the Cider Mill this season to watch as we press our apples into cider!




12102 S. 180th Street
Gretna, NE 68028

Hours, 9am to 6:30pm daily!
Vala's Pumpkin Patch