NOVEMBER 11-20, 2016

Thoughts on Virginia’s First Urban Cidery

By Courtney Mailey, cidermaker at Blue Bee Cider  | November 4, 2013

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In many ways, being an urban cidery is not all that different from a rural one. In the fall, our press room smells of apples and our cold room smells of cider. We buzz around the tasting room keeping customers’ glasses filled and laugh our way through long days of turning apples into raw juice. Our vistas are a little different than the rest of the Virginia cider family. We have a great view of the city skyline, rather than mountains. But you still have to follow a winding path to find us in our urban wilderness along the James River rapids. And you can still see birds of prey circling the skies, ospreys, bald eagles and the occasional kestrel, hunting for fish.

Though we are some distance from the orchards in the mountains, our urban context in Old Manchester allows us to be close to our customers and to be part of a growing craft beverage revolution in the Richmond, Va. market that includes not just cider, but also beer, wine and spirits. (And coffee roasters too!) Local chefs, watermen, butchers, bakers, and chocolate makers are our partners in spreading the joy of good flavor and good food.

By November, most of our apples have already been harvested, have been placed in cold storage just down the street from us and now wait their turn to meet the grinder.  All the while, we are putting the finishing touches on some new cider releases for the fall. But we won’t be too busy to join the other seven Virginia cideries for the first annual Richmond Cider Celebration at the 17th Street Market downtown. Our cider family will be there. You should bring yours too!

Tickets to the Richmond Cider Celebration can be purchased in advance online or at the door