RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmonders have seen their fair share of breweries open in the area over the last few years. Now, the city can boast a cidery, as well.
Blue Bee Cider kicks off its grand opening this weekend with a series of events the whole family can enjoy.
Taking its name from a common moniker of a native Virginian bee, the blue orchard bee, Blue Bee Cider is Virginia's first and only urban cidery and is located in the heart of Richmond's Old Manchester district.
The cidery specializes in making three different varieties of hard cider: two semi-sparkling ciders and a dessert cider fortified with brandy distilled from a blend of bittersweet apples.
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While hard cider is Blue Bee's specialty, they also produce juices on occasion throughout the pressing season, in the fall and winter. The juices are raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized and patrons can find out when these are being produced through social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) or through a direct email list.
Blue Bee Cider's tasting room is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. However, if you happen to be craving their hard cider outside of their operating hours, there are currently 20 vendors and restaurants in the Richmond area that carry Blue Bee ciders. For a complete list of the establishments carrying Blue Bee, visit their website.
To kick off their entrée into the Richmond brewing scene, Blue Bee Cider has planned a series of weekend long events that serve to showcase their three hard ciders. On Friday, Blue Bee gets their Grand Opening started with their Weekend Warm-up. This event begins at 2 p.m. and features a live broadcast with local disc jockey, Tamo, and XL102. There will be outdoor games on hand and the tasting room will stay open until 7 p.m.
Saturday's Grand Opening event, The Big Pig, features local chef Andy Howell of Camden's Dogtown Market as he roasts a pig. Local CSA, The Farm Table, will also be on hand selling produce, meats, cheeses and bread. Two ciders will be available for adults to sample and kids can enjoy sparkling apple juice. There's no cover charge for this event, just a fee for food and cider tastings. Don't worry if you're not a meat-eater, there will be vegetarian options on the menu, so stop by with a lawn chair or blanket and an outdoor game to play. This event begins at noon and lasts until the roasted pig runs out.
Sunday's Grand Opening event, Sunday Funday is designed so patrons can enjoy a leisurely Sunday afternoon at Blue Bee Cider before beginning their week. The event features food from Mosaic's food truck and live music from the Richmond based group, Flight of Salt. The tasting room will be serving hard cider and sparkling apple juice.
For more information about Blue Bee Cider's Grand Opening events or for a list of vendors carrying their products, visit www.bluebeecider.com.