Cider news both new and truly old

Try a new cider and an old “cyder”.

First up is RVANews Food Writer Extraordinaire, Stephaine Ganz who has this tidbit about a new cider at Blue Bee.

One of the happiest happy hours in town happens every Thursday in Manchester at Blue Bee Cider. This week, Blue Bee premieres Orchard Potluck, using Gold Rush apples, and made with RVA Yeast Labs Hefeweizen I, a strain of yeast that’s known for producing cloudy German wheat beers. The process results in a taste that Blue Bee owner Courtney Mailey describes as, “mildly sweet with a tart finish, [with] subtle notes of melon while being apple forward.” This is a small batch run available on draft only, so get it (preferably in a squealer) while the gettin’s good.

Secondly we get in the cider powered time machine and go back and create “cyder” recipe from a 1742 edition of The Compleat Housewife, the first known cookbook published in America. This is part of the Virginia Historical Society  “History On Tap” program.  “The VHS hopes this experimental cider will create a thirst for history and stir up further interest in our ‘History On Tap’ program. Recipes in the VHS’s collections are accessible to anyone who wishes to do research on the topic,” said Dr. Paul Levengood, President and CEO of the VHS.

“History On Tap: The Compleat Cyder,” a ticketed tasting event, will be held at Blue Bee Cider on Tuesday, April 21, at 6:00 p.m. The evening will include an informal lecture and discussion about cider and cider-making in colonial Virginia, featuring Dr. Sarah Meacham, author of Every Home A Distillery: Alcohol, Gender, and Technology in the Colonial Chesapeake, and Courtney Mailey, owner of Blue Bee Cider.

Dr. Levengood will speak about the importance of the VHS’s collections. Dr. Meacham will sell and sign her book after the lecture. Tickets cost $18 for VHS members and Blue Bee Cider Club members. Tickets cost $20 for nonmembers. Registration is required. The ticket price includes a glass of “The Compleat Cyder,” a 32-ounce squealer (empty for filling purposes), and light hors d’oeuvres.

If you like “The Compleat Cyder,” you may purchase a squealer-full to take home. Blue Bee Cider will sell a limited number of tickets to the event and donate a portion of the proceeds to the VHS. Visit their website,, to purchase tickets. Tickets will not be sold by the VHS.

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Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

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