Join us for Ciderfest 2016
Welcome to the official website of CiderFest NC—North Carolina’s premier hard cider tasting event.
The fourth annual CiderFest NC will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at the new Salvage Station event space along the French Broad River near downtown Asheville at the peak of fall colors and the height of tourist season. We expect this year’s event to draw a record-setting 1,200 people to savor the cider and food tastings, live music and other performers, local arts and crafts, a kids zone and community workshops.
From cider lovers looking to sample sips from some of the nation's best craft cider and mead makers, to families looking for a destination for kid-friendly fall activities along the river, to area residents interested in supporting and learning more about sustainability, CiderFest really has something to offer everyone.
One fresh element this year is our relocation to a different venue: the lovely new riverside event space at the Salvage Station. Being that CiderFest is the largest annual fundraiser for the WNC Green Building Council, we loved the overlap between our nonprofit's mission and the fact that the Salvage Station relied heavily on recycled and salvaged materials in their construction earlier this year. Another upgrade this year is that CiderFest is being held slightly earlier in the season than in previous years, with a date in mid-October rather than November, which will allow guests to enjoy the breathtaking backdrop of falls colors along the French Broad River during the event.
Last year's event drew 800 people to sample sips of cider and bites of food from nearly two dozen cidermakers and food vendors. We are still finalizing this year's list of participants, but those already confirmed include a nice mix of local and national, small and large producers. Local favorites like Urban Orchard, Noble Cider and Bold Rock will join out-of-state pourers such as Virginia-based Foggy Ridge Cider and New York-based Doc's Draft Hard Cider, as well as nationally known brands like Angry Orchard and Original Sin, among others.
Also exciting is the addition of more mead-makers to our lineup, a growing trend in recent years. The delicious fermented honey beverage will be on tap from as many as four pourers, including locally based Bee & Bramble from Fairview and Fox Hill Meadery from Marshall.
As for food, we plan to continue our tradition of offering small bites from a variety of craft food vendors. One of the favorites from across the years is returning this fall as the WNC Cheese Trail will again be offering samples from local creameries. Local farms will also be on hand with samples of various apple products, including pies, jellies and jams.
Beyond food and drink, CiderFest will feature an abundance of fall fun to soak in amid the changing autumn colors with live music and other performers roaming throughout the riverside venue as well as a bevy of beautiful products to peruse from local arts-and-crafts vendors. On the music front, we will feature local bands and buskers from the Asheville area sprinkled throughout the festival, unplugged, allowing attendees to enjoy live music as they are in line for a sample of cider or mead! We also plan to bring back popular community-focused workshops from past years, including educational cidermaking seminars as well as an interactive kids zone with hands-on educational green-living activities and eco-friendly crafts.
Providing more opportunities to learn about hard cider, all attendees will receive a take home Tasting and Festival Guide to highlight differences in cider, ingredients, and origins and to take notes about the ciders sampled. Plans are also in discussion for educational seminars from local experts on the craft of cider-making and tasting.
Well known as Beer City USA, Asheville has long been esteemed for its local brewery scene, and cideries have been riding their own wave and coming to increasing prominence as well. To celebrate that growing tradition, CiderFest NC was launched in 2013 as North Carolina’s first hard cider festival and has easily tripled in size over the three years since its inception.
CiderFest began as a fall fundraiser for the nonprofit WNC Green Building Council with the expectation of serving about 60 people locally produced apples, cheeses and hard cider in 2013. The event exceeded those expectations in its first year by a wide margin as it sold out with 400 attendees! Almost overnight, CiderFest NC became recognized as the very first hard cider tasting festival in North Carolina.
Now its in fourth year, the event remains the WNCGBC's largest annual fundraiser. To donate or learn more about green building and energy efficiency, visit www.wncgbc.org.
PURCHASE TICKETS EARLY! This rain-or-shine event has sold out in past years and is expected to do so again.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED? Email Community Engagement Director Cari Barcas at firstname.lastname@example.org for opportunities to become an event vendor, sponsor or volunteer, each of which offer free admission and great opportunities to connect with the community. We look forward to collaborating with you!