The Northland's Very Own: "Cider Man"

By KBJR News 1

October 15, 2010 Updated Oct 15, 2010 at 9:07 AM CDT

After his first taste of fresh home-made apple cider, he knew he was hooked.

This prompted Paul Steklenski to begin making his own apple cider.

And it didn't take long for others to catch wind of his new hobby.

Neighbors and community members soon began stopping by to help out.

"It's nice to know that word is getting around and people are excited about making apple cider," says Paul.

Paul was eventually given the nickname "The Cider Man" by Duluth poet Laureate Barton Sutter, who was inspired to write a poem about Paul after making apple cider with him.

But for "The Cider Man" it's teaching kids something new that makes it all worth it.

With the spread of "the Cider Man's" legend over the years his list of guests has grown, but he has a steady stream of return visitors as well.

"They come back 20 years later and they say I remember when I did that when I was only 5 years old. So it's something that sticks with people and it's a wonderful way of meeting people and being part of the community," says Paul.

With three decades of making cider under his belt, Paul plans to maintain his title as "The Cider Man" for many more years to come.

"I'm 61 now and I'd like to think I could do it into my 70s at least. But I might need help picking apples," says Paul.

When Paul does decide to retire as "The Cider Man" he plans to give away his cider press to a worthy Northlander to keep the tradition going.