About Us

About Us

Rapid Creek Cidery occupies two floors of a mammoth century-old, gable-roofed barn amongst the apple trees in picturesque Wilson’s Orchard. The restaurant, full bar, and event center offer an extraordinary selection of house-crafted ciders, homemade meals made with ingredients sourced locally, and an experience unlike any other.

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Rapid Creek Cidery’s building was reconstructed using two local barns. The upstairs dining area was once the barn owned by Paul and Diane Hebl, located in Iowa City. The structure was salvaged by Wilson’s Orchard owner Paul Rasch, taken down piece by piece, and reassembled as close to its original architecture as possible. Insulation and modern windows were added to complement a geothermal heating system and make the building energy efficient.

Downstairs, our event space was constructed from refurbished beams and other wood gathered from the Lodge Barn, a magnificent structure in its day. The light fixtures above the bar and the community tables were also made with salvaged items gleaned from barns. These barns already contained decades of stories and we look forward to adding to that history in our “new” building.

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The kitchen at Rapid Creek Cidery is headed by Chef Matt Steigerwald and is known for its curated pantry of local and seasonal ingredients. We aim to take diners on many new and exciting culinary adventures. Our menu changes often, which means there’s always something innovative, fresh, and unexpected. We’re cooking what we’re hungry for, and hopefully what you’re hungry for too. The restaurant at Rapid Creek Cidery is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday and brunch on Sunday mornings.

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Photo Courtesy of Danielson Photography
Photo Courtesy of Danielson Photography

On the lower level, we offer a warm and inviting space designed to provide a customizable and full-service experience for wedding receptions, ceremonies, large private parties, corporate events, and other special events and celebrations. A beautiful blend of rustic and contemporary, our venue features reclaimed barn wood siding and beams with 14 foot ceilings. The space can seat up to 250 guests. All events are catered through the Rapid Creek Cidery kitchen, and we offer a wide range of plated and family style meals.

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Chef Matt Steigerwald

Chef Steigerwald is regionally known and well renowned as the chef and owner of the nationally lauded Lincoln Café in Mount Vernon, Iowa. The Café advocated local and organic food with a focus on the betterment of the community through mutually beneficial relationships with local farmers and producers, as well as rooted investment in the local economy of Mount Vernon and the surrounding area. In addition to praise from countless Iowa and midwestern publications, Steigerwald received positive notices from wide-ranging media outlets, including the James Beard Foundation, the Travel Channel, the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Week Magazine, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Later he purchased an adjoining location where he opened the Lincoln Wine Bar, which soon became a social hub for the community, offering an international wine and beer list, world-class cheeses, and house-cured hams and sausages. In 2012, the Wine Bar remodeled to feature a Stefano Ferrara oven and expanded their menu to include wood-fired pizzas. Steigerwald was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, and attended the University of Northern Carolina at Chapel Hill. Early in his career he trained with iconic southern chef Ben Barker at his now-closed Magnolia Grill in Durham, North Carolina. He later went on to work as a chef at Vertigo in downtown Raleigh and Helen’s in Richmond, Virginia.

Maggie Harris, Front of House Manager

After 8 years in the service industry, it was working for Matt at the Lincoln Café that really inspired Maggie to delve into cooking and start looking at food and the restaurant industry as a career rather than a job. Rapid Creek Cidery perfectly encapsulates everything that she loves about food and restaurants: it is focused on quality, locality, beauty, and subtlety, and on creating and fostering a community of people who value the same things. Before Rapid Creek Cidery, Maggie helped manage the Lincoln Wine Bar in Mount Vernon, Iowa, before moving to Maine to work at Salt Water Farm, a fine-dining restaurant with a similar focus on farm-to-table ingredient sourcing and drawing inspiration from the farm in which the restaurant was located.

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We are located on Wilson’s Orchard where over 100 varieties of apples are grown, ripening each year beginning in August until the end of October. In 2015, Wilson’s Orchard started making their own hard cider using 100% fresh-pressed juice. Rapid Creek Cidery soon followed suit, creating our own small-batch, house-made ciders, using apples grown at the orchard. In addition, we offer several international and hard-to-find ciders in bottles. Whether you’re a novice to cider or want to dive deeper, our friendly and knowledgeable staff is happy to talk more about our process or introduce you to something new.

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Want to work at Rapid Creek Cidery? Open positions are posted below. Don’t see an opening? If you are interested in future employment opportunities please feel free to drop us a line.

Kitchen Staff

For Kitchen Staff inquiries, please email Chef Matt Steigerwald.

Cook

Rapid Creek Cidery, located at Wilson’s Orchard, is seeking qualified individuals to add to our energetic and passionate kitchen staff. Rapid Creek Cidery is dedicated to providing dishes that highlight seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, as well as time-tested techniques. This is an opportunity to gain valuable kitchen experience and work as a team to provide a truly unique experience for our guests. Good communication skills and willingness to bring ideas to the table is a plus.

Front of House Staff

For Front of House inquiries, please email Maggie Harris.

Weekend Host

Rapid Creek Cidery is seeking friendly applicants to fill our available host positions. Please email your resume to maggie@rapidcreekcidery.com to apply.

Event Staff

Cleaning Crew Members

Rapid Creek Cidery has two immediate openings for Cleaning Crew Members. These positions will not be more than 15 hours per week and are ideal for high school or college students as a part-time position. Cleaning Crew Members will report directly to Event Coordinators and are primarily responsible for arranging and maintaining the indoor event space and outdoor ceremony site. Please send your resume to katie@rapidcreekcidery.com.

Hours: 10-15/Week

Days: Thursday – Saturday (subject to change)

Qualifications: Responsible, professional, excellent communication skills, able to lift over 50lbs, good work ethic and ability to work without close supervision.

Areas of Responsibilities:

  • Indoor Event Space – Main floor, entry way, restrooms, prep rooms
  • Storage Room
  • Covered Patio
  • Ceremony Site + Surrounding Grounds

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Restrooms:

  • Clean and disinfect restroom floors by sweeping and mopping
  • Gather and empty trashcans in restrooms
  • Service, clean and supply restrooms
  • Clean and disinfect restroom toilets by scrubbing inside and outside of each bowl
  • Clean and polish restroom faucets and sinks
  • Stock hand towels, toilet paper and soap
  • Clean mirrors

Indoor Event Space:

  • Clean main floor of indoor event space by sweeping and mopping
  • Arrange tables and chairs with supervision of Event Coordinator
  • Set and wipe appropriate amount of chairs
  • Wipe down tables
  • Wipe off window sills
  • Clean and arrange prep rooms

Ceremony Site:

  • Leaf blow or sweep ceremony site + path
  • Arrange and wipe down appropriate amount of ceremony chairs
  • Ensure arch is neatly kept