Wild State Cider + Bowlz N’ Thangz Food Truck Is The Perfect Summertime Combo

Mike Busche

DD EAT & DRINK DULUTH REVIEW - Wild State Cider | Bowlz N' Thangz Food Truck

It’s finally summer here in Duluth. And in this edition of Eat & Drink Duluth, we present a super unique summertime treat for you: Craft cider, paired with eats from a food truck!

We recently visited Wild State Cider, where we enjoyed several varieties of delicious hard cider. We even sampled a refreshing cider slushie – the perfect summertime treat. We also tried one of Wild State’s yummy soft pretzels, courtesy of their partnership with Duluth’s Best Bread.

We paired this refreshing cider with some tasty options we nabbed the food truck bearing the chef’s-kiss-perfect moniker, Bowlz N’ Thangz. They offer several unique and flavorful bowls. And an equal amount of … well … other thangz.

Please join us for this edition of E&DD, where we enjoy a summery, Duluth-themed collab of food and drink.

Wild State Cider

After writing a full-length feature about them a while back (Wild State Cider brings cheer to the Lincoln Park Craft District - Destination Duluth), I was excited to get back to Wild State Cider.

The Wild State Cider Logo dresses the side of their taproom at 2515 W Superior St. Photo courtesy of Wild State Cider Facebook page.

The taproom, which also features a dog-friendly outdoor patio, is located at 2515 West Superior Street. The business was founded in 2019 by Adam Ruhland and Andrew “Drew” Price.

Wild State Cider creates its product from a custom blend of fresh apple juices. Wild State prides itself on the fact that they add no additional sugars or other sweeteners to their product, other than apple juice.

The cider is also sorbate- and gluten-free. And, Wild State utilizes pasteurization, rather than chemicals, to keep its cider fresh.

Wild State Cider, at 2515 West Superior Street, has many varietals to sample. Photo by Mike Busche.


Ruhland describes the taproom’s vibe as “Scandinavian modern.” I couldn’t describe it better if I tried.

“We have maple wood tones, lots of natural light, vertical lines, and a color scheme of black and white,” he explained. “We also have a plant wall, which was installed by Duluth Living Walls, which provides a lot of breath and life.”

The taproom also features lots of unique touches, including twinkly lights, exposed ductwork, and even a large overhead garage door that can be opened when the weather allows.

In addition to simply being a cool place to hang out and enjoy a cider, Wild State also hosts a variety of events at the taproom, too. Events include trivia nights, bingo, plant exchanges, Sunday markets, and more. Wild State Cider also offers plenty of merch; sweatshirts, hats, hoodies, glassware and more are available for purchase online and in the taproom.

The business has a small kitchen, too, so a few food options are available, including hot pretzels, Vermont-style soft serve ice cream, meat sticks, and chips and salsa. Customers are encouraged to bring in outside food, as well.

Our fellow patrons covered pretty much every demographic: from families with young kids, to couples, singles, and elders.


Mike and I each opted to order a “flight” of cider, featuring five, five-ounce pours of cider. Our wonderful servers, Tom Fondow – Taproom Operations Coordinator, and Ellery Deschamps – Bartender, also included a small sample of their newest concoction: a refreshing hazy pink pineapple cider slushie!

Ordering a flight is a great way to sample several types of cider. Photo by Mike Busche.

Below is a list of the varietals we tried, plus some short blurbs about them all.

Raspberry Hibiscus:

Notes: Fruity, tart, floral

Ingredients: Fresh-pressed apples, raspberries, hibiscus

6.5% ALC/VOL

Juicy Pear:

Notes: Refreshing, sweet, well-balanced

Ingredients: Fresh-pressed apples, pears

5.6% ALC/VOL

Hazy Pink Pineapple

Notes: Tropical, juicy, unfiltered

Ingredients: Fresh-pressed apples, pineapples, dragon fruit

5.8% ALC/VOL

We also sampled this as a slushie!

Imperial Hazy Honeycrisp

Notes: Bright, bold apple with notes of honey

Ingredients: Fresh-pressed apples

8.0% ALC/VOL

Blackberry Mint

Notes: A hint of fresh mint and rich blackberry flavor, perfectly balanced

Ingredients: Apples, blackberries, fresh mint

6.3% ALC/VOL

Imperial Peach Mango

Notes: An explosion of fresh peach, rich apricots & juicy mango

Ingredients: Apples, peaches, apricots, mangos

8.3% ALC/VOL

Berry Jam

Notes: A bold jammy blend of blackberries, raspberries, and tart cherries

Ingredients: Fresh-pressed apples, blackberries, raspberries, and tart cherries

6.3% ALC/VOL

Peach Basil

Notes: This cider supports Reclaim!, whose mission is to increase access to mental health care for queer + trans youth in MN

Ingredients: Fresh-pressed apples, peaches & basil

6.3% ALC/VOL

Strawberry Rhubarb

Notes: Bursting with bright fresh strawberry, balanced by tart rhubarb

Ingredients: Apples, strawberries, and rhubarb

5.4% ALC/VOL

Blueberry Maple

Notes: Maple-forward and perfectly sweet, balanced with juicy blueberries

Ingredients: Fresh-pressed apples, blueberries, maple syrup

6.8% ALC/VOL

Our ciders were served up by Wild State’s friendly staff members, Tom Fondow – Taproom Operations Coordinator, and Ellery Deschamps – Bartender. Photo by Mike Busche.

Honestly, there wasn’t a bad pour in the mix. The fruit combos are all thoughtfully chosen to pair well with the delicious flavor of fresh apples. I was partial to the “herbal” varieties (peach basil and blueberry mint), while Mike really liked the raspberry hibiscus.

We also tried a fresh hot pretzel, made by Duluth’s Best Bread. The pretzel is soft and chewy, and served with ramekins of creamy Dijon mustard, apple butter, and Top the Tater.

While Mike was partial to the apple butter, I loved them all. But I must confess that my heart is with Top the Tater … “the Midwest’s Legendary Dip.” If you know, you know.

Bowlz N’ Thangz Food Truck is at Wild State Cider on Thursdays

Bowlz N Thangz food truck frequents Wild State Cider. Photo by Bowlz N' Thangz Facebook page.

Wild State Cider is thrilled to have Bowlz N' Thangz Food Truck on Thursdays throughout the summer from 4-8 pm.

The options on their menu ranged from classic comfort food (mac & cheese; filthy tots) to a variety of ethnic delights.

The food truck cleverly known as Bowlz N’ Thangz has a rotating menu, and makes regular appearances at a variety of businesses. Photo courtesy of the Bowlz N’ Thangz Facebook page.

We vacillated on several choices until we landed on a few:

Red Thai Chicken Curry (Bowl) - The curry was savory and flavorful, with more than a little kick. The generous serving of chicken was rich with flavors of coconut and red curry. Chopped green onion and fresh cilantro surrounded the dish. A large mound of fluffy white rice absorbed all the flavors from the delicious sauce.

The Red Thai Chicken Curry Bowl was savory, with a satisfying kick of heat. Photo by Mike Busche.

Bang Bang Shrimp (Bowl) - The fried shrimp in this bowl was crispy and delicious, and surrounded by thinly sliced cucumber and avocado. The sauce was creamy, salty, and also had a little kick. Toasted sesame seeds gave the dish extra flavor, and a pretty contrast. This dish was also served atop rice.

Bowlz N’ Thangz’ Bang Bang Shrimp is creamy, crispy, salty, and savory. Photo by Mike Busche.

Lumpia (Thang) – This Filiipino delicacy - a savory fried roll filled with ground pork and veggies - was deliciously hot and crispy. It was served with a side of yummy sweet and sour sauce.

The Lumpia was served up hot and crisp, with a side of delicious sweet & sour sauce. Photo by Mike Busche.

These three choices were all delicious, and we’d definitely order them again. Although I’d also like to try their other options. It was so much fun to blend a flight of cider with a tasting menu of delicious foods.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a summertime adventure, we’d highly recommend this amazing Duluth combo. Wild State has so many delicious ciders to sample, and Bowlz N’ Thangz offers choices for every palate, too, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free fare.

And, by choosing a local cidery alongside a food truck, you can casually enjoy several varieties of both, imbibing either inside or outside.

For more information about the history of Wild State Cider, please check out this story:

Wild State Cider brings cheer to the Lincoln Park Craft District - Destination Duluth

Or visit wildstatecider.com to learn more.

And stay up to date with Bowlz N’ Thangz by finding them on Facebook or Instagram @bowlznthangz


About Andrea Busche, Eat & Drink Duluth Editor

Andrea Busche is a Duluth and regional freelance writer credited with over 1,000 bylines in local print and digital publications. Her food column, Local Pairings, was first featured in Duluth.com magazine, and later published in the Duluth News Tribune from 2016-2018.


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