Did you know that Charlottesville is just 15 miles up the road from one of our country’s latest cider makers? Cider, as you will discover when you visit Albemarle CiderWorks, has a long tradition in the United States.
The grains needed for beer did not grow well in our eastern climate, and grapes did not produce acceptable wines. Apples, however, were aplenty. It is said that John Adams attributed his health and long life to a tankard of cider before breakfast—not something I recommend, but there you have it.
Cider is well documented as a drink of choice throughout history and throughout Europe. It is ubiquitous in the Basque region of Spain, Brittany and Normandy in France, and in the southwest counties of England.
Cider consumption is on the rise in the U.S., especially from craft brewers like Albemarle CiderWorks and Foggy Ridge Cider (produced several hours south of Charlottesville in Dugspur, Virginia, but available at Beer Run, Feast, and Market Street Wineshop). And, gossip has it that as many as three more craft cider makers will be showing up in the region in the near future.
Take the trip! The drive is beautiful and the cider is well worth the hour (which is about how long you should plan for the outing, including drive time…unless you decide to take a picnic and sit on their patio or down by the pond, which is what I will be doing next time I go).