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  • Cassandra Kyser

Generations of Andrews: Maple syrup, made in WI


A collage of images promoting Generations of Andrews Syrup Compnay, made in Wheeler, WI. On the left is the owner's young son standing on a trailer, behind a tractor. There is a large white container of maple sap in the background. In the center is the company's logo. On the right, owner Jason McDonald and his two young children sort through boxes of glass jars.
As part of our "Made in WI" blog series, we take a closer look at Generations of Andrews Syrup Company in Wheeler. In the above photos, owner Jason McDonald gets help from his children, Beau and Araya.

Tapping maple trees is the first step in producing maple syrup. You can only collect sap during a short window each year, when daytime temperatures stay above freezing during the day, but dip below freezing at night. Tapping season is over when the trees start to bud.


In Wisconsin, tapping usually runs from mid-March to mid-April. But an unseasonably warm spring had local producers working earlier this year, including Jason McDonald, owner of Generations of Andrews Syrup Company.


Maple trees are abundant on McDonald’s property near Wheeler in Dunn County, WI, which his grandfather owned before him. Growing up, McDonald made maple syrup with his relatives. Today, his own children Beau and Araya, help bring Generations of Andrews from the tree to your table.


Generations of Andrews produces two maple syrups — plain and their signature bourbon maple syrup, which McDonald ages in barrels from 45th Parallel Distillery in New Richmond.


Buy Pure Maple Syrup, Made in WI


Generations of Andrews is available in limited quantities at The Grain Bin Butchery & Market in Boyceville, WI.


Call The Grain Bin's retail store at 715-632-2800 to confirm what's in stock or to reserve a bottle. For questions about Generations of Andrews operations, call The Grain Bin and ask for Jason.


Maple Syrup: FAQs


How much sap does it take to make maple syrup?


The short answer is, a lot! 


The longer answer is, it depends on the sugar content of the sap. On average, it takes approximately 40 gallons of maple sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup. 


Sap becomes maple syrup by removing liquid — either by reverse osmosis, boiling, or a combination of the two processes. Generations of Andrews boils sap and does not use reverse osmosis to produce their maple syrup.


How do you store maple syrup?


You can store unopened bottles of maple syrup in the refrigerator or on a shelf away from direct sunlight. Opened bottles should be stored in the refrigerator.


You can also freeze maple syrup, just be sure to put it in a large enough container to accommodate expansion. Be aware that frozen maple syrup won’t freeze solid; it will be more of a slushy consistency.


Is crystallized maple syrup bad?


No. Crystallization happens when the liquid in the syrup starts to evaporate, leaving behind maple sugar crystals. You can prevent maple syrup crystals by keeping opened containers covered.


To dissolve crystals, place the bottle of maple syrup in a pan of hot, not boiling water. If gently reheating the syrup doesn’t dissolve the crystals, add a teaspoon of hot water to the syrup and stir.


You can also just use a spoon to scoop out the crystals and eat them! They're sweet and tasty.


Moldy maple syrup: What to do


Pure maple syrup does not have any preservatives. Rarely, mold can develop. If you see mold on your maple syrup, don’t panic!


If mold develops in an unopened bottle of maple syrup, contact the manufacturer for further instructions.


If you see mold floating on the top of maple syrup in an opened container, you can:

  • Skim the mold off

  • Pour the maple syrup into a pot and bring it to a boil

  • Let the syrup cool down, then strain it into a clean container

You've probably cut mold off of a block of otherwise good cheese before; this is the same premise. (Use your best judgment when removing mold. Remember, when it comes to food, “When in doubt, throw it out.”)


The best way to prevent mold is to store maple syrup in the refrigerator or freezer.


What is the difference between pancake syrup and maple syrup?


We invite you to read the ingredient labels and see for yourself. Often, “pancake syrup” is a mass-produced, ultra-processed condiment that contains artificial colorings and flavors. The main ingredient is usually corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. 


“Maple syrup” is created from the sap of maple trees. It may have natural flavorings, such as vanilla. Maple syrup is the more expensive option, but the price reflects the labor, skill, and craftsmanship that goes into each bottle.


Generations of Andrews only produces 100% pure maple syrup, made in WI.


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