Nation’s #2 Cider Brand Continues Rapid Growth by Expanding its North Carolina Footprint with New Asheville Location Set to Open in 2021

Asheville, NC – Bold Rock Hard Cider, which began selling its cider in Nellysford, Virginia in 2012, and has grown to be the country’s #2 cider brand, is expanding its taproom footprint to Asheville, North Carolina. The new 8,000 sq ft. cidery and taproom will be located at 39 N. Lexington Avenue in Downtown Asheville, a space formerly occupied by CANarchy’s “The Collaboratory” concept. The new taproom will feature a small batch cider production system, scratch kitchen, and a private event space.  Bold Rock established a local North Carolina presence in 2015 when it opened a cidery and taproom in Mills River, North Carolina.  The new location will extend Bold Rock’s North Carolina presence into downtown Asheville.

Brian Shanks, Bold Rock co-founder said, “We are fortunate that the North Carolina community truly embraced us when we arrived here in 2015.  Now, we look forward to bringing the successes and popularity of the Bold Rock brand and of our Mills River experience to the heart of Asheville.  We believe, this summer will mark the return to on-premise consumption channels and we also see a rebound occurring in the adult beverage related tourism industry.  With Asheville’s rapidly rising reputation of being the US top city for adult craft beverages, the timing for the project couldn’t be better.” 

The story of Bold Rock Hard Cider starts with a partnership between John Washburn and Brian Shanks. John had a vision of bringing people together over a sustainably crafted alcoholic beverage while Brian dreamed of sharing his highly drinkable style of hard cider with the US masses. The duo launched Bold Rock Hard Cider in June 2012 out of a humble barn nestled in the Virginia foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Bold Rock has grown since those early days to become the #2 best-selling cider brand in the country and the same commitment to quality and great taste has never wavered. The refreshing line of Bold Rock products includes a wide variety of hard cider styles like Granny Smith Apple, Sangria, Watermelon and Pineapple ciders as well as recent innovations into neighboring craft beverage segments such as hard tea, hard lemonade, hard seltzer and ready-to-drink craft cocktails.

The new Ashville cidery and taproom will complement its other popular locations in Nellysford, VA, Mills River, NC, and its seasonal location at Carter’s Mountain, VA.   The design will reflect the brand’s rustic roots and its connection with its heart and soul – the Blue Ridge Mountains. The location will have a full-service menu that will be heavily influenced by local tastes and will feature locally sourced ingredients.  It will also serve as an innovation center for new Bold Rock ciders, seltzers, teas and lemonades, while also having a full bar and craft beer selection from Bold Rock’s sister brands – Southern Tier Brewing Company, Victory Brewing Company and Sixpoint Brewery.   

“Asheville is the perfect place for Bold Rock to branch out with a stunning new cidery and taproom,” said co-founder, John Washburn.  “In 2015, we were welcomed as part of the North Carolina community when we located our hard cider production and taproom in nearby Mills River.  At my family’s home outside of Asheville and as a boy at summer camp in Hendersonville, I drank fresh cold apple juice in the orchard every morning.  The Mills River location allowed us to take advantage of the high-quality apples from local orchards in the Blue Ridge mountains.  Now, with the thriving craft beverage scene in Asheville, this is obviously the place for us to be.  Locals and tourists alike can join us for a hard cider and a wonderful North Carolina experience.”  

The renovation of the space will begin immediately and is projected to open in the latter half of 2021.


Founded in June 2012, Bold Rock crafts a variety of hard cider styles from apples harvested in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. The leading regional cider brand in the United States features two cidery locations: the original Bold Rock Cider Barn in Nellysford, VA, featuring an innovative cidery and tasting room overlooking the Rockfish River, and a second, larger production facility and industrial styled taproom, nestled in the bucolic farm country of Mills River, NC.

Bold Rock’s award-winning line of hard cider varieties includes the flagship Granny Smith Apple, favorites such as Pineapple and Premium Dry, and the best-selling seasonal cider assortment in the country. In addition to hard cider, Bold Rock has innovated across a wide spectrum of craft beverage to incorporate hard tea, hard lemonade, hard seltzer and ready-to-drink cocktail products which all feature the trademark Bold Rock commitment to refreshment and robust flavor.

In November 2019, Bold Rock joined the Artisanal Brewing Ventures family of brands which also includes Southern Tier Brewing Company, Victory Brewing Company and Sixpoint Brewery. Collectively the company is a top 7 regional craft brewer in the United States and has a leadership position in eight of the country’s top 50 markets for craft beer. Artisanal Brewing Ventures is headquartered in Charlotte, NC, and has operations in Brooklyn, NY, Lakewood, NY, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and metro Philadelphia.