It’s simple. All cider, all week.
Long lingering in the shadow of that other fermented fruit beverage, hard cider is having its moment in the sun. The preferred libation of American presidents (Thomas Jefferson was a passionate producer, and John Adams an equally ardent consumer) has seen an average national increase in production of nearly 400 percent since 2009.
The Commonwealth will celebrate the craft during Cider Week Virginia Nov. 14-23, with ticketed dinners that pair dishes with cider, free tastings, and cider-making workshops at restaurants, cideries and bars across the state.
And just like cider on the national scene, Cider Week has undergone recent and rapid expansion, says event organizer and Foggy Ridge Cider owner Diane Flynt, who explains that events were at first concentrated in and around Charlottesville, where most of the cideries are located: “But in the last two years we’ve really expanded. Floyd, Abingdon, Roanoke …. we’re really trying to blanket the state.”
Highlights include Richmond Cider Celebration at 17th Street Market, which features tastings from cideries like Albemarle CiderWorks and Blue Bee Cider; a home cider-making workshop in Dugspur hosted by Foggy Ridge; and Cider Fest 2014 at Castle Hill Cider in Charlottesville.
Though Virginia is the nation’s fifth largest producer of apples and hosts the country’s first official cider week (thanks to Gov. McAuliffe), the beverage has not yet reached the same level of popularity as beer or wine, a barrier that Cider Week organizers hope to knock down. “There is something Virginians can do every day …. to explore the world of Virginia cider.”