A Scott’s Addition cidery soon will be giving its apples a homecoming of sorts.
Buskey Cider has signed a deal to expand its distribution to Southwestern Virginia beginning in April.
Buskey will start its westward excursion through distributor Blue Ridge Beverage with accounts in Harrisonburg and Charlottesville, not far from where the cider maker it gets its apples at orchards in Nelson County.
Founder and CEO Will Correll said he’s bullish on college towns as a launch pad for his cider to build long-term repeat customers.
“(College towns) won’t be our biggest sellers but they’re a good way of getting the word out,” Correll said. “They’re an exciting option for getting to customers when they’re young.”
The new deal with Blue Ridge Beverage is expected to eventually take Buskey to areas like Roanoke and Salem. That growth, along with existing distribution deals in Hampton Roads and Richmond, will give it coverage across most of the state.
It expanded to Hampton Roads last year through Chesbay Distributing and sells to about 100 locations around Richmond through Loveland Distributing.
In 2016, Buskey upped its brewing capacity with new tanks at its facility and taproom at 2901 W. Leigh St., just months after opening. In 2017 it began canning its flagship brew, RVA Cider, and its Tart Cherry cider.
Buskey distributes cans and kegs, and sells crowlers – 32-ounce cans filled from taps – at its taproom where it pours more than 10 types of cider.
Correll said Buskey sells about 90 percent of its cider through distribution, with the rest through its taproom.
He said he’d like to continue expanding its footprint, but is nearing brewing capacity at the Scott’s Addition facility.
One of Buskey’s neighbors grew its distribution operation recently as well. Last fall, Ardent Craft Ales upped its brewing capacity as it began sending its beer to Northern Virginia and D.C.