“We wanted something that was going to be an extension of the farm,” says Eric Cioffi, who co-owns the Goochland County farm cidery with his wife, Liza. “We don’t do a heavy amount of distribution, and we prefer more intimate, direct contact with the consumer.”
Located at 3300 W. Broad St. in the former Sea Dream Leather building, the tasting room will always have “at least five ciders on tap for flights.” Cioffi says that will typically include at least two traditional, or “just apple” ciders, a hopped variance and an infusion of some sort. There will also be a “cherry on top,” which, much like a shandy or a radler, will feature a fruit juice poured over a traditional cider. Small-batch, seasonal ciders will also make their way from the farm to the cheerful-looking purple building. Locally-made Mountain House Honey is available for purchase at the tasting room, along with goose, duck and chicken eggs from the Cioffi family’s farm. Freshly-grown produce may also be for sale throughout the growing season.
One of the ciders currently on tap (and available by the bottle) is the Samurai Sour. This pale pink Asian-pear-and-apple cider infused with coriander, hibiscus and sea salt is funky and not too sweet, and the flavor is reminiscent of a gose combined with kombucha. Cioffi recommends pairing it with spicy or fatty foods. For something a little more classic there’s the much dryer, sparkling, bottle-conditioned Rustico.
Virginia is now home to more than 20 cideries, and Cioffi says producers and consumers alike are still learning and defining cider’s role in the world of craft beverages. Whether it’s sweet, sour, fruity or dry, it seems there’s a cider for just about every occasion.
“The beauty of cider, and what makes it distinct and something different from beer and wine, is that it can act like both,” Cioffi says. “You can dry-hop a cider and have it be reminiscent of an IPA, or you can drop in some grape skins and have it really act like a very dry white wine sparkler. That’s the beauty, in my mind, of cider.”
Courthouse Creek Cider RVA
3300 W. Broad St.
Tuesdays through Thursdays 4 - 9 p.m.
Fridays 4 - 10 p.m.
Saturdays noon - 10 p.m.
Sundays noon - 7 p.m.