Home Albemarle County cidery to relocate, expand to meet East Coast demand

Albemarle County cidery to relocate, expand to meet East Coast demand

potters craft cider Potter’s Craft Cider is relocating and expanding its production operation within Albemarle County to meet growing out-of-state demand.

The cidery company is undertaking the adaptive reuse of a vacant, 11,500 square-foot warehouse in the historic Woolen Mills District near downtown Charlottesville that will house the new cidery. The project represents $900,000 in new capital investment, the creation of eight new jobs, and a tripling of production capacity leading to the purchase of an additional 1.5 million pounds of Virginia-grown apples over the next three years.

“Virginia is proud to be one of the nation’s top apple-producing states and operations like Potter’s Craft Cider strengthen Virginia’s apple industry by creating new markets for our growers and raising consumer awareness of both the remarkable variety and quality of the apples grown here in the Commonwealth,” said Matthew Lohr, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. “This second major expansion of Potter’s Craft Cider is a testament to the hard work and dedication of its founders.”

Del. Robert Bell (R-Albemarle County) said the owners of the cidery are role models for the small business community.

“Their resilience and ability to adapt during the challenges of the last few years allowed their operation to not just survive but thrive,” said Bell. “This new expansion will further increase their positive impact on Virginia’s agritourism efforts.”

During the pandemic, Potter’s Craft Cider pivoted to increased wholesale distribution, while also making the most of their large outdoor tasting area at historic Neve Hall in Albemarle County. The strategy was effective, with sales growing by 30 percent and their market presence expanding up and down the East Coast. Now with this new facility, which includes large new production tanks and an expanded canning line, the company can meet this increasing wholesale demand, while growing production efficiencies and achieving ever higher levels of quality control.

“Potter’s Craft Cider’s expansion near the Historic Woolen Mills District solidifies that area’s prominence as a craft beverage destination,” said. State Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Charlottesville). “We are extremely grateful for Potter’s Craft Cider’s commitment to serving this community and for Tim and Dan’s vision and entrepreneurship, which has spurred agritourism and supported Virginia’s apple growers.”

Potter’s Craft Cider was established in 2011 by Princeton graduates Tim Edmond and Dan Potter as one of Virginia’s first hard cideries. Using Virginia-grown heirloom and traditional cider apples, the company is known for producing ciders in the dry, farmhouse-style.

“We are entering an exciting new chapter for Potter’s Craft Cider and are thrilled to be moving into a new production facility,” said Edmond.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services partnered with Albemarle County to secure this project for Virginia. Gov. Youngkin announced a discretionary award of $50,000 from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which is administered by VDACS. Albemarle County and the Albemarle County Economic Development Authority will match the grant with local funds.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.