Jefferson County Cider House

The Cider House in Fairfield, Iowa is the 2015 winner of the Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Beef Industry Council’s “Best Burger Award.” And guess what… it’s 100% Iowa beef – pasture-grazed and corn-finished. It’s not 100% grassfed, but the owners of the Cider House work closely with Adrian Family Farms who produce the meat and manage the grazing, processing, hang-time, and delivery.

In a recent article in the Des Moines Register, co-owner Clint Stephenson tells the story this way - "People would come over to my house and we'd drink the cider and have some burgers. Then they started showing up on random days looking for cider and burgers," Stephenson said. Obviously, that wasn't going to work and so obviously the answer was to open up The Cider House. And so Stephenson, along with friends Hopi James, Cole Fishback and Annalisa Thompson, did.

The four friends have all traveled extensively and eaten burgers around the world, so, when the decided to open the Cider House they did it in search of a particular burger flavor and in a way that would celebrate where they are located – Jefferson County, Iowa. All the meat is produced in Jefferson County and processed nearby. They serve five types of burgers, wings and a handful of sides, much of it made in-house. Their signature burger is signature burger is Das Kraut, a beef patty topped with sauerkraut, pineapple, house-pickled jalapeno, Swiss cheese and spicy brown mustard on a sesame seed bun. It's cooked on a flat-top grill to seal in the juices.

Besides the burgers and house cider, which is a dry, Champagne style, The Cider House also offers a full bar with 43 kinds of whiskies, local beers and other bottled ciders.