The sixth annual CiderFest NC fundraiser is poised to welcome more pourers and guests than ever before to sample hard cider, mead and apple wine as well as local food, live music, arts and crafts, a kids zone, sustainability education area, and more, all with a breathtaking backdrop of fall colors along the scenic French Broad River.
As the largest annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Green Built Alliance, the al-fresco event will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Salvage Station, 466 Riverside Drive, in Asheville.
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, to area residents wanting to support and learn more about sustainability; CiderFest has something for everyone.
The fifth annual CiderFest in 2017 connected a record-setting 1,500 people with 18 cider, mead and apple wine makers offering nearly 80 different varieties of cider and mead. The 2018 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 has an abundance of fall fun to soak in amid the changing autumn colors with live music as well as a bevy of beautiful products to peruse from local arts-and-crafts vendors throughout the riverside venue. On the music front, CiderFest is bringing back Zimbabwean-style marimba band Chikomo Marimba for the second year and welcoming Latin-influenced swing band Queen Bee and the Honeylovers new for 2018.
This quintessential family-friendly fall fest also offers an interactive kids zone with hands-on educational green-living activities and eco-friendly crafts. For adults also yearning for some learning, this year’s event offers an educational area with screenings of short films, interactive demonstrations and mini-workshops on topics related to sustainability and green building. 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 to weave into the education area several brief talks from local experts on the history and craft of cider-making and tasting.
Back for the second year, a limited number of VIT (Very Important Taster) tickets offer guests 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 specialty, small-batch or limited-release ciders and meads that won’t be available during the regular event. In addition to early access, VITs also receive free parking on-site at the Salvage Station for convenient access to make the most of your time at the event, and a complimentary commemorative CiderFest NC snifter.
CiderFest NC is a carbon-neutral event and will offset the event’s footprint for each ticket holder with contributions to the Appalachian Offsets program, which is currently wrapping up 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. The event is now in its sixth year as the largest annual fundraiser for the nonprofit now known as Green Built Alliance.
Since the event has sold out in recent years, people are encouraged to buy tickets early.
The rain-or-shine main event has sold out weeks in advance 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, an interactive kids zone and sustainability education area. Designated driver tickets are $15, and guests 20 and younger are admitted free. New limited-quantity VIT tickets are available for $55, 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!