Let’s face it – Virginia wines are not outstanding. Thankfully, Virginia produces fantastic beer and cider. Cider was a popular beverage in 18th and 19th century America – including in Virginia. After all, apples were some of the first crops grown in colonial America. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams drank it as did many others.
Virginia Cider Week was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 2012 to recognise cider’s past and future. In Virginia, there are more producers of cider, more bars that serve it, and more people who drink it all the time. Forget about the sickeningly sweet cider you drank in college – there are many different styles of cider produced in Virginia. I’ve visited a number of cideries and been impressed.
In Alexandria, local establishments whave a number of cider-related events planned. Fontaine Cafe and Creperie will have Cobbler Mountain and Foggy Ridge flights on Friday, November 10th from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM and again from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM. Cheesetique in Del Ray will host a Virginia cider tasting on Saturday, November 11th from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Birreria Paradiso will hold a “Virginia is for Ciders” tap take-over event on Sunday November 12th. On Saturday, November 18th the Lloyd House will host a special cider festival from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM hosted by the Office of Historic Alexandria and the Virginia Association of Cider Makers. Featured cider makers include Albemarle Cider Works, Blue Bee Cider, Bold Rock Cider, Buskey Cider, Castle Hill Cider, Courthouse Creek Cidery, Foggy Ridge Cider, Old Hill Cider, and Potter’s Craft Cider. For additional information, please visit Alexandriava.gov/historic.
Cider Week in Old Town will be fun but it is also a good chance to explore cider in other towns and cities throughout Virginia. Take a look at the Virginia Cider Week event list as well as a map of all cideries in Virginia and beyond. There are also a few noteworthy cideries in Maryland – try Millstone if you are feeling adventurous. In Washington DC, many bars and restaurants serve cider – the best amongst these is ANXO which is a cider festival every single day. Have a cider, support the Virginia economy, feel patriotic, and have a great time!