Growing Craft Cidery Partners with 150-Year Old North Carolina Apple Orchard to Create New Varieties

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Bold Rock Hard Cider Announces Two New Styles—Carolina Apple and Carolina Draft.

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“We are excited that Bold Rock Carolina Apple and Carolina Draft will be available throughout the great state of North Carolina,” says Jeff Liebhardt, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing.

Bold Rock Hard Cider has announced the launch of two new styles of its popular craft cider, Carolina Apple and Carolina Draft. This marks a significant move in the expansion of the fast-growing, Virginia-based craft cidery that has steadily increased East Coast distribution and is now offered from Pennsylvania through North Carolina.

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Opening in 2012, Bold Rock formed out of the partnership between John Washburn and Brian Shanks. Washburn owned a picturesque piece of farmland in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Central Virginia, and on a whim he reached out to Shanks to see if the New Zealand native and world-renowned cider expert would be interested in working his magic with locally picked Virginia apples. The two fast friends have since put together a rapidly growing operation, using state-of-the art equipment that is run by a hard-working staff to produce delicious craft cider that is being enjoyed throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

Real Apples
Washburn and Shanks don’t like to venture too far from the apple trees near home base in Virginia, but as demand for Bold Rock Hard Cider has steadily increased, the partners decided to cross state lines into North Carolina in search of the state’s best apples. They found what they were looking for in the mountains of western North Carolina, recently teaming up with Greg Nix of Apple Wedge Packers & Cider, a fifth generation family-owned business based in Hendersonville that has been growing apples for over 150 years. Shanks was particularly impressed with the integrity of the longstanding company, and he was eager to use their apples for his cider recipes that were first developed on his family farmland in New Zealand more than three decades ago. The arrangement brings together a century and a half of apple-growing experience with 30 years of international cider-making expertise to produce a delicious craft beverage that exemplifies true agrarian character of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Real Craft
The result is the creation of two new Bold Rock Hard Cider styles. Carolina Apple is a crisp and light craft cider, while Carolina Draft is a smooth and mellow sessionable variety. Bold Rock creates true craft ciders with a hands-on state-of-the-art process that reveals the true fruit-forward characteristics of the Carolina apple. It gives cider lovers a clean, refreshing taste that holds the character of every apple. “We’re producing cider that is really fresh and reflects the quality of the apple,” says Shanks.

On the heels of the deal with Apple Wedge Packers & Cider, Bold Rock will soon set up its own operations near the North Carolina apples being used in production. In the spring of 2015 the company will begin making Carolina Apple and Carolina Draft at a new production facility in Asheville, N.C. “We are excited that Bold Rock Carolina Apple and Carolina Draft will be available throughout the great state of North Carolina,” says Jeff Liebhardt, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing.

Future plans include a North Carolina tap room, similar to the company’s flagship operation in Virginia. There also plans to expand distribution into South Carolina in early 2015.

Bold Rock Hard Cider is one of the fastest growing cider companies on the East Coast. Headquartered in Nellysford, Bold Rock produces four hard ciders. As Virginia’s largest winery, the company is quickly ramping up distribution across the country, now delivering across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast from Pennsylvania through North Carolina.

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Ashely Schneider
Bold Rock Hard Cider
(434) 964-0004 Ext: 19
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