New Style Blends Locally Picked Blue Ridge Apples with New Zealand Pears

November 24, 2014


Bold Rock Hard Cider has announced the launch of a brand new style, Bold Rock Pear. This is the seventh variety in Virginia-based Bold Rock’s expanding roster of locally crafted hard ciders, which are now being distributed throughout the East Coast from Pennsylvania through North Carolina.

This marks the first time Bold Rock is using an additional fruit in a recipe for its freshly crafted hard cider. To make Bold Rock Pear, company co-founder and internationally acclaimed cider maker Brian Shanks blended Bold Rock’s standby locally picked Blue Ridge-grown apples with New Zealand pears. The result is a golden pear hard cider that features a hint of tannins followed by a pleasant residual sweetness for exceptional balance and body.

gI_95821_PearFor Shanks, making Bold Rock Pear takes him back to his roots. Before working with companies around the world, Shanks learned the art of making hard cider on his own orchard in his native New Zealand. For his new style, Shanks sourced pears from the Hawkes Bay orchards of his homeland. While other Bold Rock flavors always use locally picked Blue Ridge apples, pears have not thrived as well in the eastern United States. But as Shanks explains: “In New Zealand the relatively drier spring and fall weather produces very flavorful pears.”

To make Bold Rock Pear, Taylor’s Gold, Packham and Doyenne du Comice pears were chosen from selected orchards and freshly pressed in New Zealand. Then the juice was shipped to Bold Rock’s production facility. Shanks continues:

“Pears contain a fruit sugar called sorbitol, which does not ferment out and thus the resulting cider retains a soft natural residual sweetness. This nicely balances the more crisp taste of the local apples chosen for this unique blend.”
Opening in 2012, Bold Rock formed out of the partnership between Shanks and John Washburn. Washburn owned a picturesque piece of farmland in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Central Virginia, and on a whim he reached out to Shanks to see if the New Zealand native and world-renowned cider expert would be interested in working his magic with locally picked Virginia apples. The two fast friends have since put together a rapidly growing operation, using state-of-the art equipment that is run by a hard-working staff of 32 local Nelson County employees to produce delicious craft cider.

Bold Rock Hard Cider is one of the fastest growing cider companies on the East Coast. Headquartered in Nellysford, Bold Rock produces five hard ciders and two wines. As Virginia’s largest winery, the company is quickly ramping up distribution across the country, now delivering across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast from Pennsylvania through North Carolina.