NOVEMBER 10-19, 2017

Meet Blue Bee Cider’s Cider Maker

Photo by: Brandon Hambright

Courtney Mailey who lives in Richmond with her husband, Liam, founded Blue Bee after a previous career working in economic development. The genesis of her cider venture goes back to her high school days and a career aptitude test. Many of her classmates tested as engineers or lawyers, but as Mailey puts it, “I came out as a farmer.”


Blue Bee Cider is Virginia’s only urban cidery, located in the historic Manchester district of Richmond. On the fall line of the mighty James River, Blue Bee is a blend of old and new. The Aragon Coffee Building, established in 1904, houses the cider operation – part of the revival of a once-bustling manufacturing neighborhood. Freight trains lumber along the railway spur adjacent to the property, while apple trees, planted on the grounds in early 2013, bear fruit in the shadow of the downtown Richmond skyline.

Ciders Available

Charred Ordinary is semi-sparkling and made from heirloom variety apples to create an old-fashioned Virginia cider, dry and sharp.