NOVEMBER 10-19, 2017

Meet Big Fish Cider, Co.’s Cider Maker

Kirk Billingsley, a lifelong resident of Monterey Virginia, founded Big Fish Cider, Co after making cider as a hobby for over 20 years. Kirk grew up making sweet fresh pressed apple juice, with apples made from 8 old majestic heritage apple trees that grew around his family’s home right outside of Monterey. Upon purchasing “store bought sweet cider” on his way back from college to share with his father, he became acutely aware that the sweet apple juice made from the trees around his house was special. That started a lifelong passion for apples. Kirk and his team at Big Fish grow over 20 varieties of apples and are constantly experimenting with wild varieties growing in the mountains of Highland County, Virginia.


Big Fish Cidery is located in the town of Monterey, Virginia, in an old restaurant and theater building that is adorned with a 20 foot Rainbow Trout on the top. Kirk, an avid fly fisherman (or was, prior to starting a cidery) used the fish in the name of his business.
Big Fish Cidery has won multiple awards for their ciders. They primarily use heritage apples but by utilizing modern cider making methods, they emphasize the aromatics of the apples to make some wonderful blends.

Ciders Available

Big Fish produces four pure juice ciders, utilizing nothing but apples. In addition they also produce an award winning raspberry cider, a barrel aged maple cider, and a cyzer (honey and cider fermented together). Their newest offering is a desert cider that Kirk made with a long time friend who is a local maple syrup producer.