In Craft Cider’s Comeback (Grow, Fall 2018), Nicole Miller MS’06 introduced Brix Cider owners Marie MS’10 and Matt MS’10 Raboin at an apple grafting workshop hosted by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at CALS.
Since then, their dream of opening a cidery and restaurant has come true. If you bike through Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, on the Military Ridge State Trail and see a crowd eating local sausage pizza and drinking hard cider, you’ve found Brix. On summer Thursdays, the outdoor stage hosts open mic nights, and on Wednesdays, the Small Batch Science series features CALS graduate students talking about topics ranging from rotational grazing to agroforestry.
After opening in early 2019, Brix survived a rocky first year and had just turned the financial corner when COVID hit. Brix shut down its storefront and pivoted to grocery pickup and delivery for locally sourced produce, meat, and other products.
An unexpected benefit of this new business model: closer ties to local farmers and producers. These new relationships led to The Brix Project, a collaboration between Black Krim Creative and UW to showcase local farms. They’ve produced 12 short documentaries and hosted “Crash the Kitchen” dinners in which local producers and chefs create three-course dinners from local foods they find in the Brix kitchen.
Meanwhile, the Raboin family, which includes Teddy, 7, and Vera, 4, bought the historic Donald farm south of Mount Horeb and are planting a new orchard there. Things finally settled down in 2022, allowing Matt to take a week to travel to Poland as a volunteer cook for Ukrainian refugees with World Central Kitchen.
“It feels like we finally have time to have a normal family life,” Matt says.This article was posted in Fall 2022, Follow-Up, Food Systems and tagged Agroecology, Brix Cider, craft cider, Marie Raboin, Matt Raboin.