Vicky Kuharski, Staff Writer~

Bold Rock Cidery has made a name for itself on the Nelson 151 Trail and beyond. They have continued to be a success since their opening in 2010. Bold Rock is celebrating this success with a grand opening for their “new” Barrel Barn on Saturday, Oct. 28.

What started as a production barn several years ago has been converted into an intimate tap room and small batch crafting facility.

The event will be held at the Nellysford location from 5 to 9 p.m. The views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the crisp taste of cider in Fall are enticing enough, but patrons can also look forward to live music from Free Union Music. The band hails from Charlottesville, VA and they focus on themes of justice, love and freedom through rock, R&B and soul. South Fork Food Truck will be at the grand opening, as well. They specialize in southern cuisine using family recipes and local goods.

Bold Rock has quickly become a nationally recognized brand. Less than a decade ago in 2010, a Virginian farm owner named John Washburn had a dream to open a cidery. He decided to contact Brian Shanks, an award-winning cider maker from New Zealand. Shanks agreed to help, and so Bold Rock began its journey.

The first cider barn was built, and in 2012 Washburn and Shanks’ first batch of cider was created—VA Apple Granny Smith. The new barrel barn is in honor of this original.

Photo by Vicky Kuharski, Photo taken February 2017.

This evolution of the cidery will provide a unique opportunity for the cider makers to create innovative ciders. Though they have won over 100 awards for the cider, their story is just beginning. Despite all of the accolades, repurposing the old production barn shows a humble gratitude for the cidery’s roots and origin while still being willing to modernize.

Bold Rock’s mid-Atlantic hold on the cider game does not seem like it will be slowing down anytime soon. It has already been successful enough so far to open a second facility in Mills River, NC, along with various tap rooms located in the Blue Ridge area.

Apples are an integral part of Appalachian heritage. Apples are well-suited to mountainous areas and have remained popular in America since the first English settlers brought their prized apple trees and seeds. With different varieties growing well at different times throughout the seasons, apples are a convenient crop, as well as versatile. Between the numerous varieties of apples, there are a number of ways to cook, eat and use them. They are an important part of American heritage, especially so, throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. That is why so many people are driven to open cideries, wineries and bakeries utilizing the bounty of the land.

Just a short, scenic drive from Lynchburg, Bold Rock’s Barrel Barn Grand Opening could perhaps be the perfect fall activity this Halloween weekend. More information on this event can be found on Bold Rock’s website or Facebook page.

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