Michael Billingsley

OWNER

Michael directs the cider production process and orchard at Western Cider.

He was born and raised in San Antonio Texas on the best Tex-Mex and barbeque the world has ever known.  At the age of 8 he watched the made for television series Lonesome Dove, where two retired Texas Rangers drive a herd of cattle from South Texas to Montana to settle in pristine country.  Michael recorded the series on VHS and obsessively watched the series over and over until his obsession with moving to Montana became a reality in 2005.

Since making the move north it has been a long and strange path to find his passion for growing apples and making cider. He started out as an airplane flight instructor, salesman, wilderness outfitter, sheep rancher, landscaper, and eventually an orchardist, orchard consultant, and finally a cider maker.  

He has never been good at making up his mind, but marrying a Montana woman named Arielle was an easy decision.  They have two little hell raisers named Eleanor and Renata. Together they operate Billingsley Cider Orchard in Stevensville.  After marrying a Montanan, planting an orchard, and having two Montana daughters, Michael finally feels like he has fulfilled his dream of becoming a Montanan himself.

He hates dogs and music, but makes award winning cider - so the lovely town of Missoula seems to accept him.