A Mesa Marine veteran and celebrated cider maker has been named one of 29 national Rising Stars in the food and beverage industry.
Jason Duren, a retired sergeant, received the recognition from FSR Magazine in a piece that identifies up-and-coming foodservice professionals who are changing the industry for the better.
As the co-owner and cider maker of Cider Corps since it opened in 2017, Duren and his brother Josh have been leaders in the U.S.’s emerging craft cider industry.
Their self-described mission for their Mesa cidery and taproom is: “Drink great cider. Honor great sacrifice.”
“Jason Duren’s inspiring story is not only a sterling example of the grit and determination that make the F&B world so special, it is also a testament to the power of small businesses to give back to the communities they serve, just as he has done with Cider Corps,” said Nicole Duncan, editor of FSR Magazine.
Duren started making cider as a hobby while recovering from two traumatic brain injuries sustained in Afghanistan.
He eventually returned to school for a degree in sustainable horticulture and perfected fermentation techniques to create ciders with smooth and balanced flavor profiles.
The Duren brothers honor the sacrifice of those in service with fundraisers for community programs and cider styles like Tropic Lightning and Blueberry Angels that are dedicated to branches of the military.
“There is so much creativity and innovation in the cider industry right now and I’m flattered to be recognized for what we’re doing at Cider Corps,” said Jason.
“Our Arizona community has been so supportive and it means a lot to me to be able to continue to serve my community in a way I never imagined.”
Cider Corps plans to move its
cider production to a dedicated facility in Gilbert this spring that will allow it to triple cider output.
FSR is the go-to news source for full-service restaurant executives, chefs, operators, F&B managers, and other leaders within foodservice. Its Rising Stars report is now in its sixth year and spotlights up-and-coming foodservice professionals under age 40 who are changing the restaurant industry for the better.
“After what has been a most tumultuous year, these 29 Rising Stars embody the creativity, resilience, and heart of the restaurant industry,” said Duncan.