Next week, Bold Rock Cider will become available in Pennsylvania for the first time. This Virginia-based cidery makes a variety of deliciously apple-y ciders, including their Virginia Apple and Virginia Draft brands.
Back in 1985, John Washburn bought a farm on the Rockfish River in Nelson County, Virginia, attracted by the trout river running through the property and the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding the farm. As years passed, nearby wineries began making names for themselves and award-winning microbreweries started to gain fame as the “Brew Ridge Trail.” The idea occurred to John that a cidery would bridge the gap between wine connoisseur and beer enthusiast.
Brian Shanks had been an apple orchardist in New Zealand in the 1980’s and got into making cider after a cyclone did a number on his apple crop. From there he created a cider company at a time when hard cider was practically nonexistent in New Zealand. As an international cider consultant, Brian has helped companies in the United States, Europe, China and Australia.
From their first meeting, John and Brian formed a friendship that led to a partnership with a BOLD shared vision to make a world-class cider in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. And that is exactly what they are doing.