Åge Eitungjerde

Åge Eitungjerde grew up in the center of Balestrand (Holmen), but was as often as he could with his grandfather in the orchard. He remembers the fruit blossoming as walking between freshly washed sheets. The smell from the crates of Gravenstein apples in the cellar was a childhood memory that would not let go. And in 1989, Åge and his family moved back to Balestrand and took over the orchard in Solsmyri. Åge is a qualified nursing teacher. He later realized that it had to be possible to do something more with the healthy apples than to send them off into the big machinery, where the best still ended up in the shop, but most of them were used as filler in an anonymous household juice. Åge started Balholm Fruktpresseri in 1996 and was the first to press apples into super healthy, cloudy fruit juice in bottles and get them out in stores, and that long before the concept of local food had been invented. He is passionate about the variety of fruit drinks and has managed to make many tasty types of juice, cider and fruit wine. In 2021, he was awarded the national “Ingrid Espelid Hovig” Food Culture Award; for 25 years of efforts to promote Norwegian drinks. He also makes cider with cider that doesn’t turn out quite as planned – and thus it becomes a good apple or plum dram from the distillery.