Mid Atlantic Amateur Cider Championship

Big Fish Cider, Co is sponsoring the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Amateur Cider Championship (MAACC). MAACC is a division of the Highland County Fair. The panel of judges includes cider makers from Castle Hill Cider, Albemarle Ciderworks, and Big Fish Cider. Entries only from amateur cider makers will be accepted.

Entries from outside of Highland County may be mailed to Big Fish Cider, Co, arriving no later than August 24th. Please see complete guidelines below.
Here’s the MAACC Registration Form!

 

Dept. D – Adult Division
Section XV. Amateur Craft Cider Competition (hard or fermented cider)
Each cider submission will require two bottles. Each bottle must have a minimum of 12 ounces in each. One will be tasted by the judges, and one to be displayed during the Highland County Fair. Displayed bottle can be picked up on Saturday night, in accordance with fair rules, or arrangements can be made with Big Fish Cider to hold your display bottle for a later pick-up date.
Ciders will be judged on balance of sugar, acid, alcohol, and tannins (if present). But mainly overall impression of cider flavor. Aroma and complexity of cider will also be judged.
For ciders with fruit other than apples, judges will be looking for flavor of apples as well as added fruit, the cider flavor should be evident so that this same drink would not taste the same if made with a neutral spirit.
For Specialty Cider category, almost anything goes, ice or dessert cider, Spanish style ciders, Ciders with other ingredients such as maple syrup, honey, or other non-fruit ingredients that adds to the flavor of the cider. Other predominant ingredients should be listed for judges understanding of the style.
Top First place winner in each category will be entered into the Best in Show contest, where a winner will be selected for the Big Fish Cider Best in Show Award.
Ciders can be mailed/shipped to Big Fish Cider Company, 59 Spruce Street (P.O. Box 523) Monterey, VA 24465 to arrive no later than August 24th, 2018.
Class 1. Standard Cider (nothing but apples and/or cider chaptalized and/or back sweetened with sugar, or non-fermentable sweetener).
Class 2. Cider with other Fruit Apple cider flavored with another fruit besides apple
Class 3. Specialty Cider – Anything goes cider, (see rules above).
Prizes: 1st $ 10 $; 2nd $7.50; 3rd – $2.50
Big Fish Cider Best In Show Award $50
All Prizes are sponsored by Big Fish Cider Company of Monterey, VA.

 

Spring and Summer Festival Season is getting started for Big Fish

Does a trip to the mountains of Highland County sound a daunting? Find Big Fish Cider and our staff on the road in the coming months at these great Festivals and Cider events. Check back frequently for additional opportunities to meet us outside of Monterey.

 

20 April, 2018 – Saturday: Blacksburg Fork and Cork Blacksburg Virginia, 1pm to 6pm

28 April, 2018 – Saturday: Blue Bee Cider Spring Invitational Richmond Virginia, 12pm to 9pm

9 May, 2018 – Wednesday: Big Fish Cider Tasting at Yelping Dog Wines Staunton Virginia, 5pm to 7pm

18 May, 2018 – Friday: Big Fish Cider Tasting at Corks & Kegs Richmond Virginia, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

26 May, 2018 – Saturday: ValleyFest Beer and Wine Festival Massanutten Virginia, 11am to 7pm

16 June, 2018 – Saturday: Manassas Jazz Festival Manassas Virginia, 12pm to 7pm

21 July, 2018 – Saturday: Valley Pike Farm Market Virginia Cider Festival Weyers Cave Virginia, 11am to 5pm

28 July, 2018 – Saturday: Augusta County Fair Wine Festival Augusta Expo Land in Fishersville Virginia, 11am to 5pm

 

Here we came a-Wassailing

In January, the staff of Big Fish Cider, Co. joined with community members and out-of-town visitors to check in on the dormant apple trees, or going wassailing, in one of the small back-yard orchards of Monterey. “In pre-Christianity England [the community] would go out to scare away the evil spirits and then they would call on the tree spirits to come because it was after the winter solstice (when the days are getting longer). Saying, ‘Hey, it’s time to wake up. Time to start moving your sap in the trees!’”

To read more about this annual event, check out the recent article “Here The Come a-Wassailing” from Blue Ridge Life!

 

Good Food Awards 2018 Winner!

Big Fish Cider’s very own Allegheny Gold is a winner of the 2018 Good Food Awards! The Good Food Awards recognizes high quality foods and beverages that are also produced responsibly.

“Congratulations to the 2018 Good Food Awards Winners and their food communities for leading the way towards a tasty, authentic and responsible food system. Chosen from over 2,000 entrants, these 199 companies are creating vibrant, delicious, sustainable local food economies. Cheers to your hard work and dedication!”
-Good Food Awards

 

Please visit http://www.goodfoodawards.org/2018-winners/ for a complete list of winners, including two other orchard-based cideries from Virginia!

 

“Small town, big cider: Monterey’s Big Fish Cider”

Big Fish Cider was recently featured in the Staunton News Leader with an article by Staff Writer, Laura Peters.

“Tucked in the Allegheny Mountains in the small town of Monterey is a big-time, small-batch cider operation.

Big meaning, they sure do get around and have some great recognition.

Just two years in the making, Big Fish Cider Co. has already racked up a number of awards and has a distribution that reaches Charlottesville, Staunton, Roanoke and Lexington — just to name a few.

Plus, you can’t miss them.

There’s a giant trout on the top of their tasting room’s building, which used to be a theater at one point and a restaurant. The trout dates back to the 1960s — and is the reason the cidery got its name, Big Fish.”

Click Here to read the entire article.

Wassail Season is Here!

The season of holiday spice has arrived and we have the perfect beverage to add to you menu. Big Fish CIder’s Wassail is a blend of fermented cider with mulled fresh cider and includes hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, and orange zest. Pair this cider with your holiday meal or dessert or enjoy it in front of a warm fireplace!

New Cider: Shady Lane Shandy

If life gives you lemons and apples, then make a Shandy. All natural, no concentrate, now available in the cidery and online. Shady Lane Shandy is a perfect summertime cider.  This cider made with Jonagold, Stayman and Winesap apples, is first dry hopped with Cascade Hops, then blended with fresh squeezed lemonade (seriously, we squeeze the lemons ourselves in the cider press).  Then we filter just enough to keep the seeds and pulp out of the bottle, leaving the natural cloudiness of the lemonade in the cider.  Drink it well chilled – the ultimate cider after a day in the sun.

New Cider Release: Mellifera

Stop by this Saturday, April 1st (we promise we’re not joking), to try our new cider, Mellifera! We named this cyzer (a cider fermented with honey) after Apis mellifera, the European Honey Bee. We pronounce it “MelliFAIRa,” but no matter how you do, come by to try it from 2-7pm.

Honey bees are also critical to orchard pollination and apple production, so we are happy to have local beekeepers, like Thorny Bottom Bees, where we source our honey. Let’s raise a glass to the partnership between apple and bee!

More details here!