With the growing popularity of alternative cocktails including hard seltzers and infused vodkas, alcoholic cider is a very popular choice. And hard cider rules in Western North Carolina! Yes, even in Asheville, aka “Beer City.” Although it’s not clear when or where cider was first made, this ancient beverage is suspected to have originated somewhere between the Near East and northwestern Europe. Modern ciders are made from culinary apples and are lower in tannins and higher in acidity than older cider styles. In addition to an abundance of apple orchards, the greater Asheville area also has a host of craft cideries, some of which are spotlighted below.
Asheville, NC 28806 Asheville’s first hard cider company, Noble Cider started in 2012 as the project of three friends who noticed that, despite the proliferation of apples in the area, there wasn’t much of a hard cider presence. Noble has paired together Western North Carolina’s history of agriculture with the region’s growing craft beverage industry, and the end result is a product line featuring not only hard cider but also mead, spritzers, and wine.
- Tap Room Location: 49 Rankin Avenue, Asheville
- Hours: Wed-Fri from 2-9pm; Sat from Noon-9pm; Sun from 2-7pm
In just a few short years, Bold Rock is now the largest craft cidery in the United States, and they have several locations in Virginia in addition to their main cidery in Mills River, NC. They have a large taproom, offer tours of their production floor, and regularly offer live music and food.
- Cidery Location: 72 School House Road, Mills River, NC
- Hours: Vary seasonally, but typically Mon-Wed from 1-9pm; Thu-Sat from 11am-10pm; Sun from 11am-8pm
Urban Orchard features two taprooms in two very unique parts of Asheville, West Asheville and South Slope. Cider enthusiasts can expect a variety of choices including four flagships, and their rotating seasonal/experiential batches, all made on-site. Urban Orchard also carries wine and a selection of Asheville’s local beers on tap and in bottles and cans.
- South Slope Location: 24 Buxton Avenue
- South Slope Hours: Mon-Thu from 2-8pm; Fri-Sat from Noon-10pm; Sun from 2-8pm
- West Asheville Location: 210 Haywood Road
- West Asheville Hours: Mon-Thu from 2-8pm; Fri-Sat from Noon-10pm; Sun from Noon-8pm
Black Mountain Ciderworks crafts dry ciders and sessionable meads from local apples and honey in an old furniture factory in the charming town of Black Mountain. Their cider is brewed in small batches blended from heirloom apples, resulting in cider that is real, never filtered, pasteurized, or tainted with added sugars, concentrates, or manufactured flavors.
- Cidery & Taproom Location: 104 Eastside Drive, Unit 307, Black Mountain, NC 28711
- Hours: Thu-Fri from 3-7pm; Sat from 2-7pm; Sun from 2-6pm
Flat Rock cider is made with apples hand-picked from the oldest orchards in Henderson County (the largest apple producing county in North Carolina). They blend their matured cider with different fruits including blackberries. All hard ciders are bottled, canned and kegged by hand. Flat Rock’s cidery is not open to the public, but their products are sold throughout Western North Carolina, as far East as Yadkinville, and as far West as Murphy, near the Tennessee state line.
All of these locations are an easy drive from your stay at Wildberry Lodge, where you can bring a newly purchased 4-pack onto our spacious deck for some crisp autumn “happy hour” sampling. We invite you to also sample the wines from our own well-stocked cellar. Book a room, and we’ll help you plan your own Hard Cider Tasting Tour!