Name: Hopi James, Annalisa Thompson, Clint Stephenson, and Cole Fishback Title: Owners
Why do people love Fishback & Stephenson?
One of the biggest reasons people love our company, according to the feedback we receive, is our story.
We are four friends who began making cider together in 2013 and just like in an 80’s movie, we spent our summer and fall nights walking through the streets and sneaking into backyards and driving down dirt roads searching out wild apple trees to make hard cider.
We started with a juicer in the kitchen and then saved enough money to buy an antique apple press off craigslist for 40 bucks. We experimented with woodchippers and washing machines and shop presses. We got a custom fabricated screw press through Alibaba that we ran until the hammers broke off. These days our cidery sits on a hill overlooking our home town. The four of us press, ferment, age, and bottle all onsite. Straight from us to you.
We press all of our own apples on site, receiving weekly (if not more) deliveries of apples. Quality is very important to us and making sure we are part of the process form start to finish is a must for us. We aim to create products with a range to hit all palates and preferences. We like to keep our marketing and graphics fun, fresh and original. We do all of our own artwork for our can labels and beyond.
What new or exciting things are happening for you in 2019?
We have been expanding our distribution all over Iowa and are now into Illinois. We have plans to get our reach even further as 2019 continues. We have more cider recipes in the works for distribution and some new releases and small batches making their debut shortly in our tap room. Our tap room is located in Fairfield, Iowa and is on the same acreage as our Cidery.
We have built an events venue in front of our cidery, so when it’s not a taproom we host weddings, corporate events, graduation parties, etc.
Our hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 4-830pm.
What’s so awesome about the Des Moines area beer scene?
While we are cider makers, we love being around brewers and people with like-minded interests and goals. We feel there is always so much to learn and what better way to accomplish this than surrounding yourself with such great people. We love being a part of anything that represents Iowa and keeping it local. We have made so many friends and wonderful connections at the beer/cider/wine/mead etc. festivals and the beer scene is another avenue for that. Being part of the Des Moines area beer scene inspires us to keep expanding our horizons with new ventures, trial and error through experiments, and to keep doing what we are passionate about, which is making delicious cider for everyone to enjoy!