Corey Lake Orchards began producing spirits from estate fruit in 1998, making us one of the first farmer-operated distilleries in Michigan. Our farm’s founder, Rufus Dayton Hubbard, was born in rural Virginia during Prohibition, and perhaps it was a sensibility rooted in his upbringing that encouraged him to pursue his interest of making applejack, brandy, and eaux de vie right here in Michigan. Today, we offer a wide variety of liquors produced annually in small batches with utmost care.
Our trademark Apple Brandy (Oaked) is aged in oak barrels for several years, giving it a rich, incomparable flavor and beautiful coloration. Other brandies – Bosc Pear, Bartlett Pear, Cherry, and Peach – are aged in glass and reflect the true spirit of the fruit from which they’re made. Our Grape Brandies are distilled from our Concord and Niagara grapes, and we offer both single-distilled varieties and a Double-Distilled Niagara Brandy for a clearer, brighter taste, as well as Grappa.
750 mL bottles: Apple Oaked, Apple UnOaked, Concord Grape, Niagara Grape, Niagara Grape Double Distilled, Bosc Pear, and Pear
375 mL bottles: Apple Oaked, Apple UnOaked, Cherry, Concord Grape, Grappa Grape, Niagara Grape, Peach, Bosc Pear, and Pear
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON OUR BRANDY
Do you make your own brandy?
Yes, we imported an alcohol distiller from Germany and make brandy onsite. In 1989, our founder Dayton Hubbard partnered with Michigan State University to begin making brandy from excess and ‘imperfect’ fruit, thus creating our first value-added products at Corey Lake Orchards.
What is the alcohol content in your brandies?
Our alcohol content varies by type of brandy and ranges from 80 to 120 proof or 40 to 60% alcohol.
Why are Corey Lake Orchards’ brandies so potent?
Our brandies are European style brandies and are distilled spirits like whiskey, vodka, rum, etc. with no sweeteners. A serving of our brandy is a shot, intended to be sipped slowly or as part of a mixed drink or cocktail. Some brandy producers add sweeteners and other additives to create a sweeter, syrupy product that is more like a liqueur, but that is not what we produce on our farm.
How long is your brandy aged?
It is aged several years before it is offered for sale.
Is the brandy aged in wood or non-wood containers?
Most of our brandy is aged in glass containers though our apple brandy is also aged in oak barrels where it develops an amber color and picks up oak flavors.
What is the best way to drink brandy from Corey Lake Orchards?
Enjoy brandy straight, on the rocks, or mixed into cocktails. Serving brandy at room temperature is generally the best method. Brandy is an excellent cocktail ingredient and is one of the most common base spirits for classic cocktails, often lightly enhanced with just a few other ingredients.
What are some ways of using Corey Lake Orchards’ brandy?
There are many ways to use brandy. Our favorite way is adding our apple oaked brandy in a mug of our hot sweet cider for a warming autumn treat. Another, option is to substitute the water in a traditional pie crust with the brandy flavor that matches the fruit filling like cherry brandy in a cherry pie crust. In food, brandy is often used like a cooking wine in sauces, incorporated into desserts, and used to make brandied fruit.
What flavors of brandy do you offer?
We have two apple brandies (oaked and unoaked), pear, cherry, peach, and a variety of grape brandies. The traditional, Oaked Apple, is our most popular brandy.
Is it possible to sample the brandies?
Yes, you can sample some of our various brandies during occasional tastings at the market or during festivals/special events at the farm.
Is it possible to visit the ‘brandy house’ and see the brandy still?
Yes, we hope to resume our brandy house tours post-pandemic.