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Food & Drink

Blue Bee Cider named 2017 Good Food Award winner

From 2,059 entries, Blue Bee Cider was chosen as one of 200 winners across 38 states in 14 categories.

RVAHub Staff



Blue Bee Cider, Virginia’s first urban cidery, has received a 2017 Good Food Award for its Harvest Ration reserve dessert cider, the business announced Monday. The Good Food Awards is a national competition and annual review selecting leading American producers focused on responsible practices, high-quality products, and outstanding taste.

From 2,059 entries, Blue Bee Cider was chosen as one of 200 winners across 38 states in 14 categories. Winners were selected through intense vetting and blind tastings by industry experts based on commitment to environmentally-sound agricultural practices, good animal husbandry, sourcing transparency, and responsible relationships throughout the supply chain.

Speaking at the awards ceremony on January 20th in San Francisco, Blue Bee Cider’s owner Courtney Mailey said, “we share this honor with our Virginia Grown partners Silver Creek Orchards, Seaman’s Orchards, Henley’s Orchard, and Coote’s Store Farms, as well as with our distilling partner Catoctin Creek Distilling Company. I drew on my previous career in economic development to make a viable urban farm cidery, one where the apple country and the city could win together by creating jobs and high-quality cider that would highlight the best of both worlds.”

In apple country, Blue Bee Cider works with growers to revive prized heirloom-variety apples that have been out of use for generations but are well-acclimated to Virginia. In the city, Blue Bee Cider turns the apples into cider, teaches others how to work with hearty heirloom varieties, and partners with nonprofits and the park system to raise awareness about tree fruit growing.

Harvest Ration is a port made in collaboration with Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, a family distillery located in Purcellville, Virginia. Blue Bee sends a custom blend of cider to Catoctin Creek to be distilled into an eau de vie that Blue Bee then ages in five-gallon new American white oak barrels. After about six months in the barrels, the brandy is blended into an early-stage ferment comprised primarily of Winesap apples. The result, Harvest Ration, is a fortified cider with a strong spirituous aroma and layers of honeysuckle, butterscotch, and spice with rich, sweet apple notes in the finish.


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