Bold Rock Featured in VA Cider Week as Demand Increases

Nelson Co., VA - This weekend marks the end of Virginia's first ever Cider Week, a week full of events across the state to showcase eight Virginia cider makers.

Bold Rock Cider in Nelson County just won the silver medal in an Australian wine and cider competition for their Virginia Draft Hard Cider.

The little cidery nestled along the Brew Ridge Trail has only been open since July, but after less than six months, Bold Rock can hardly keep up with demand.

Bold Rock Chairman and CEO John Washburn says he never gets tired of watching bottling day at the cidery.

"The reception of Brian's and our hard cider has just been so gratifying," he said.

Bold Rock is the first cidery in Virginia to sell hard cider by the six-pack. It's on shelves in Kroger, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and Harris Teeter.

"I had the land, I got a plan, I got the man, we got the brand, and now we've got the demand, and now we need to expand," said Washburn.

The man is Cider Master Brian Shanks. He says Bold Rock is in demand because it's backed by a lifetime of cider making.

"Over 25 years of making cideryou learn a lot of tricks and you learn a lot. Well you just become a better cider maker over the years," said Shanks, Bold Rock president.

Washburn says the hard cider movement is growing and getting roots in Virginia where there are plenty of great apples available.

Bold Rock employs 12 people and will eventually double that when they finish their restaurant and additional cidery next year.

Washburn is confident in his product and says word is getting out that his bold cider rocks.

"Once people give our hard cider a try, they usually take another, get another drink," he said.

Washburn says Bold Rock is also being courted by distributors in West Virginia and North Carolina. But he says Virginia will always be their first love because after all, Virginia is for cider lovers.