Blue Bee Cider Will Expand Cidery In Richmond, Virginia
Established in 2012 in the Manchester area of Richmond, Blue Bee Cider has been producing cutting-edge artisanal hard cider using a variety of heirloom apples. In addition, Blue Bee Cider will purchase more than 850,000 pounds in Virginia-grown apples and berries over the next three years.
The company will expand its existing orchard, bringing agriculture back to Richmond. In addition, Blue Bee will purchase $257,000 of Virginia-grown apples and berries from Virginia farmers over the next three years, or approximately 98 percent of all its agricultural feedstock. The expansion will enable the company to triple its production of hard cider to over 100,000 bottles per year.
“As Richmond’s food and beverage reputation was rising, two years ago I started looking for a new facility to accommodate our growth. I feel very fortunate that Blue Bee Cider has found a home at such a beautiful place with urban-agricultural roots. The Stables are so wonderful as they are. It is a true honor to be part of its story and rebirth,” added Courtney Mailey, Owner of Blue Bee Cider.
“I have been so appreciative of the leadership provided by VDACS’s AFID program on this project. I also am thankful that the City’s Department of Economic and Community Development gave Blue Bee Cider a fair shake during the bidding process for this property. Having great partners at the state and local level has made it possible for Blue Bee Cider to show what a community-oriented, urban cidery can be like,” she said.
Governor Terry McAuliffe stated, “I am pleased to announce Blue Bee Cider’s investment in the City of Richmond, which marks new opportunities for Virginia’s growing hard cider industry. Blue Bee’s investment bolsters Virginia’s reputation as a top East Coast craft beverage destination and highlights the growing and important link between agriculture and tourism across the Commonwealth. The project, with its capital investment, new jobs, and strong commitment to sourcing locally, represents another economic win for the region. My administration is committed to utilizing fully our diverse agriculture industry, one of the Commonwealth’s greatest assets, to help build the new Virginia economy.”
“Blue Bee Cider’s expansion represents another positive step for Virginia as we reinforce our reputation as a key player in the nation’s hard cider sector,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore. “Sales of Virginia cider increased over 200 percent from fiscal years 2014 to 2015 and national sales rose by more than 40 percent over the same. Blue Bee’s high-quality, Virginia-grown products have won national acclaim and will continue to be a landmark in Richmond. Indeed, these craft beverages and others are contributing positively to cities and rural communities across the Commonwealth, adding to the Governor’s call to build a new Virginia economy.”
The Commonwealth is partnering with the City of Richmond and Blue Bee Cider on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Governor McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist with the project, which the City of Richmond is matching with local funds.
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