Governor announces kickoff of Blue Bee Cider relocation, expansion project

The cidery is moving from Manchester to Scott’s Addition, investing $1 million in the former City Stables property.

Manchester-based Blue Bee Cider announced plans to move to the former City Stables in Scott’s Addition after the City of Richmond determined the cidery was the best use for the property. A total of seven businesses vied for the site in the burgeoning neighborhood.

Though news of the move was widely announced last year, Governor Terry McAuliffe today officially announced the project will soon get underway. He revealed the company plans to spend more than $1 million to renovate the historic property, allowing Blue Bee to triple production of its award-winning hard cider, creating four new jobs in the process. In addition, Blue Bee Cider will purchase more than 850,000 pounds in Virginia-grown apples and berries for use in cider production over the next three years.

“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,” McAuliffe remarked at the announcement Thursday morning. “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.”

Established in 2012, Blue Bee Cider has been producing artisanal hard cider using a variety of heirloom apples. The company will expand its existing orchard, bringing agriculture back to the city proper. In addition, Blue Bee announced its intention to 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 increase its production of hard cider to over 100,000 bottles per year.

The Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund is providing a $50,000 grant for the project, which will be matched by the City of Richmond to total $100,000 in grant funding.

“I am extremely pleased that Blue Bee Cider has chosen to not only remain in the city of Richmond, but expand its operations here at this unique and historic property in the heart of the dynamic Scott’s Addition neighborhood,” said Mayor Dwight Jones.  “Richmond, and Scott’s Addition in particular, has always been a place of makers – creators of innovative and high-quality products that are valued and used all over the world.”

Work on the new cidery at West Clay Street and Summit Avenue is expected to begin soon.

Photo: Blue Bee Cider

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Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

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