Join us at CiderFest NC 2017 to savor ample tastings of hard cider, mead and apple wine as well as artisanal food, while enjoying live music and performances, local arts and crafts, a kids zone, and more, all with a breathtaking backdrop of fall colors beside the scenic French Broad River.
For cider lovers sampling sips from some of the nation’s best craft cider and mead makers, or foodies tasting small bites from some of Western North Carolina’s best local food producers; from families seeking a destination for kid-friendly fall activities along the river, to area residents wanting to support and learn more about sustainability; CiderFest has something for everyone.
As the largest annual fundraiser for the nonprofit WNC Green Building Council, the fifth annual al-fresco event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Salvage Station just outside of downtown Asheville, NC. This year’s event also marks a special occasion as the nonprofit host rolls out its new name, Green Built Alliance, this fall.
The fourth annual CiderFest in 2016 connected a record-setting 1,200 people with 15 cider, mead and apple wine makers offering nearly 50 different varieties of cider and mead. The 2017 event is expected to draw another sell-out crowd to sample sips from an even larger mix of local and national, small and large pourers. In addition to tasting cider and mead, guests can enjoy bites of artisanal food including local cheeses, baked goods, caramels, ice cream, and more.
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, CiderFest features local bands and buskers from the Asheville area sprinkled throughout the festival, unplugged, allowing attendees to enjoy live music while in line for a sample of cider or mead. This quintessential family-friendly fall fest also offers an interactive kids zone with hands-on educational green-living activities and eco-friendly crafts.
A new addition this year, a limited number of VIT (Very Important Taster) tickets offer advance entry to the event a full hour early beginning at noon to enjoy exclusive access to tastings from our cider and mead makers and artisanal food vendors before the crowds arrive. VITs may even have the opportunity to sample some ciders and meads that won’t be available during the regular event. In addition to early access, VITs will also receive free parking on-site at the Salvage Station for convenient access to make the most of your time at the event, as well as a complimentary commemorative CiderFest NC snifter.
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 more than tripled in size over the four years since its inception.
CiderFest NC is a carbon-neutral event and will be offsetting the event’s footprint for each ticket holder through contributions to the Appalachian Offsets program, which is currently fundraising to install a solar system on the roof of Isaac Dickson Elementary School.
CiderFest began as a fall fundraiser for the nonprofit WNC Green Building Council with the intention 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 widely recognized as the very first hard cider tasting festival in North Carolina.
Since the event has sold out in recent years, guests are encouraged to buy tickets early.
ALSO NEW THIS YEAR, extend the celebration all weekend by joining us for a special pre-CiderFest tasting on Friday night, as well as post-event brunches Sunday morning at both Sovereign Remedies and Ambrozia. A portion of proceeds for these partner events also benefits the nonprofit Green Built Alliance.
The rain-or-shine main event has sold out in past years and is expected to do so again. For people 21 and older, admission is $33 in advance and $45 day-of (space permitting), which includes a CiderFest NC tasting glass and four hours of access to unlimited samples of cider and mead as well as artisanal food, shopping from local arts and crafts vendors, live music and an interactive kids zone. Designated driver tickets are $15, and guests 20 and younger are admitted free. New limited-quantity VIT tickets are available for $50, offering these “Very Important Tasters” early event access at noon, free on-site parking and a commemorative CiderFest NC snifter.
Click above to get in touch with Community Engagement Director Cari Barcas for opportunities to become an event vendor, sponsor or volunteer, each of which offer free admission and great opportunities to connect with the community. Let’s collaborate!