Our Cider

Our approach to cidermaking is straightforward. Experiment; learn by doing, reading, and engaging with the beer, cider, and winemaking communities; use local apples, products and services; love the place we live; support the charities and people that support our community; keep it fresh; keep it funky. We take cidermaking seriously, we don’t take ourselves seriously.

 

Based in Free Union, Virginia, just outside of Charlottesville, we are in the heart of apple country at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  All of our ciders start with locally-grown fruit, cultivated with care and harvested at peak flavor from nearby orchards and family farms. We press fresh heirloom and traditional cider apples such as the Albemarle Pippin and Virginia Winesap as well as modern cider apples such as the Gold Rush to create a cider that would make our forbearers proud. After the apples are pressed, we carefully ferment the fresh juice at cold temperatures allowing each apple variety the opportunity to fully showcase its unique flavor and aroma.  Unlike many larger producers, we don’t add sugar or water to our ciders. Our process is respectful of a long Virginia tradition but we are not afraid to push boundaries to make ciders that stand out.

Farmhouse Dry

Pale gold and effervescent with pronounced fruit aroma hinting of peach and melon. Don’t let the heady nose fool you - with no residual sugars, the flavor is crisp, tart, and exceptionally dry. Uniquely refreshing with a crisp finish that pairs well with a variety of foods including pork, duck, wild game, and aged cheeses. Sold in 750mL bottles.


Guava Galaxy

100% Virginia Gold Rush apples fermented with Pink Guava and dry-hopped with Galaxy hops. The guava and hops perfectly complement the tropical fruit notes of the Gold Rush apples. Intense aromas of citrus, pineapple, peaches, and guava on the nose. The finish is crisp and tart with no residual sugar (0g).


Watermelon Saison

A blend of fresh pressed, whole watermelons and Virginia apples, fermented with a fruit forward Belgian saison yeast. The finish is crisp and tart with no residual sugar (0g).


Oak Barrel Reserve

Patiently aged in oak barrels sourced from a local apple brandy distillery, every batch of this handcrafted cider develops unique character and complexity. Traditional barrel-aging techniques produce a full-bodied cider with intense aromas of caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak. Bright fruit flavors (crisp apple, pear, brandied cherries) give way to butterscotch and toffee with complex tannins in the finish. Sold in 750mL bottles.


Hop Cider

Tropical fruit notes from Albemarle Pippin and Gold Rush apples are complemented by the juicy citrus character of whole-leaf Citra and Amarillo hops. Our unique cold infusion process brings out delicate hop aromas and flavors without the bitterness you would expect in a hoppy beer. This mouthwatering cider appeals to craft beer and cider drinkers alike. Sold in 750mL bottles.


Grapefruit Hibiscus

Pink blush from hibiscus petal infusion complemented by citrus aroma of grapefruit peel. Finish is crisp and tart for a truly refreshing cider! Sold in 500mL bottles.


The Haven

A Belgian Trappist style cider, fermented on dark candi syrup, figs and coriander with a Belgian yeast strain. The color and aroma are reminiscent of a Belgian quad or dubbel, but the finish is dry and lightly tart as you would expect from our cider. This cider was made to raise money and awareness for The Haven day shelter for the homeless in Charlottesville. www.TheHaven.org


Raspberries & Brett

Fermented with 100% Gold Rush apples, raspberries, and Brettanomyces, this lambic-style cider is aged in Laird's Apple Brandy Barrels and then bottle conditioned. Sold in 375mL bottles.


Peaches & Brett

Fermented with 100% Gold Rush apples, Saunder's Brothers peaches, and Brettanomyces, this lambic-style cider is aged in Laird's Apple Brandy barrels and then bottle conditioned. Sold in 375mL bottles.


Concord & Brett

Tasting Notes: Concord jam, charred oak, spicy funk with clean finish.

Cidermaking Techniques: "Brett" refers to Brettanomyces, a separate and more expressively volatile yeast than the standard Saccharomyces used in most wine/beer/cidermaking. This series seeks to mimic the life-cycle of Belgian lambic beers. We first ferment Goldrush apples totally dry with Saccharomyces in steel tanks. This finished cider then undergoes malolactic conversion (see "Highland" above) in oak barrels before receiving fresh fruit and Brettanomyces to referment in the barrel. The cider is a 'living liquid,' continuing to develop in the bottle, and as such it is age-worthy over multiple years.

Local Highlight: Grapes from Wenger Farms in the Shenandoah Valley.


Blackberries & Brett

Fermented with 100% Gold Rush apples, blackberries, and Brettanomyces, this lambic-style cider is aged in Laird's Apple Brandy barrels and then bottle conditioned. Sold in 375mL bottles.


Damson Plum

Fermented with 100% Gold Rush apples, damson plums, and brettanomyces, this lambic-style cider is aged in neutral red wine barrels made from American oak.


Sorachi Ace

The Sorachi Ace is an incredibly unique hop whose character reminds us of the springtime. The grassy, herbaceous aroma profile is accented by notes of lemon peel, light citrus and dill. Sold in 500mL bottles.


Farmhouse Saison

A blend of Jonagold and Empire apples fermented with Belgian Abbey Yeast from RVA Yeast Labs. Early harvest apples low in polyphenols make a great showcase for the fruity ester profiles of this unique Belgian yeast.


Ryesap

100% Old Virginia Winesap apples. Fermented in 2014, then aged in Copper Fox Rye Whisky Barrels for 18 months. Copper Fox uses charred bourbon barrels and smoked malt for their Rye Whisky. These barrels contribute a smokey peat character, reminiscent of a Highland single malt, which is balanced by the full-bodied tannin of the Winesap apple. The combination of apple and barrel has led to a dynamic and interesting cider that recalls old-world European flavors.


Ginger & Honey

This cider highlights the hard work of many of our friends and neighbors. Early season apples from Virginia are fermented with Belgian yeast from RVA Yeast Labs and then bottle conditioned with organic ginger juice from The Juice Laundry and local wildflower honey from Sourwood Farm. The honey ferments in the bottle, leaving a dry cider with a floral nose and the perfect hint of ginger.


  • 9% ABV

  • Sold in kegs, bottles

Cider Nouveau

An homage to Beaujolais Nouveau, a French red wine style that emphasizes the freshness of the fruit.

Tasting Notes: A rosé-style cider fermented on Petit Verdot and Merlot grape skins from King Family Vineyards, then aged in French oak barrels. This cider/wine hybrid combines our favorites aspects of cider-making and winemaking into a truly unique beverage. The grapes bring beautiful color, complex tannins and a light fruitiness to the dry, crisp cider. The oak aging allows the separate components to meld together harmoniously, allowing the different elements to perfectly compliment one another. Flavors of juicy strawberry, with a slight oak bite, and a crisp acidic finish. There's a perception of sweetness from the stickier mouthfeel of the grapes and oak tannins. A truly unique but accessible cider.

Cider-making Techniques: Grape skin tannins and pigments break down and recombine with the apple juice during fermentation, building structure and body in the cider. The cider then mellows and further integrates in French oak barrels.

Local Highlight: The grape skins used are Petit Verdot and Merlot pressings from King Family Vineyards in Crozet.


Pelure De Pomme

This 100% Winesap cider was fermented and macerated on skins for maximum tannin extraction. We then aged it in oak barrels for 12 months to allow the apple tannin to blend seamlessly in with the oak tannins.


Highland Cider

This Goldrush single varietal cider is aged in Virginia Highland Malt Whisky barrels from Virginia Distillery Company. The bright, acidic, fruit character is balanced with aromas of vanilla, caramelized sugar, and a light smokiness reminiscent of single malt scotch.


Mosaic

The Mosaic hop is one of our favorites. A highly aromatic hop with tropical fruit and blueberry aromas.