Bold Rock Hard Cider Begins Production in Western North Carolina


NELLYSFORD, VA — Bold Rock Hard Cider announces production has started at its new cidery in Mills River, N.C. In mid November a hard-working team of skilled cider makers started crushing and crafting fresh local apples to make Bold Rock’s awardwinning hard cider. This marks a significant move in the expansion of the regional craft cidery that has steadily increased East Coast distribution and is now offered from Pennsylvania through South Carolina.

Like Bold Rock’s flagship cidery in the Blue Ridge mountains of Central Virginia, the operation on School House Road in Mills River, NC, is crafting cider from local apples picked at nearby orchards. In North Carolina apples are sourced from Hendersonville-based Apple Wedge Packers, a fifth-generation family-owned business that has been operating for over 150 years.

By producing an array of cider styles the cidery has won over 60 awards in its three short years in existence. Bold Rock’s popular Apple and Draft styles have recently been joined by the newer styles Pear Cider and the dry hopped IPA (India Pressed Apple). Bold Rock was started in 2012 by partners John Washburn and Brian Shanks. Washburn owned a scenic piece of farmland in Nelson County, VA, and he contacted Shanks to see if the New Zealand native and world-renowned cider expert with more than three decades of experience in the industry would be interested in working his magic with locally picked Virginia apples. The two fast friends have since put together a rapidly growing operation, turning Bold Rock into one of the fastest growing craft cider companies in the country. Access to premium apples in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina has made moving into the state’s western mountains a seamless extension for the company.

“Finding such a rich resource in Henderson County made this area the perfect fit for Bold Rock’s southern expansion,” says Shanks. “This region has some of the best-tasting fruit in the world.”

The tasting room will be open to the public in late November at the new Mills River cidery.


Bold Rock Hard Cider is one of the fastest-growing craft cider companies in the country. A winner of more than 60 awards in the past two years, Bold Rock produces numerous hard ciders, all made from apples locally grown and handpicked in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. As one of the nation’s largest independently owned cider company, Bold Rock has production facilities in Nellysford, VA, and Mills River, N.C., and is quickly ramping up distribution throughout the East Coast, now delivering across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast from Pennsylvania through South Carolina. Additional company information can be found at

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