Cidery plants seeds for Jackson Ward tasting room

Four months after opening in Roseland, Bryant’s Cider is adding a tasting room in Jackson Ward. (Mike Platania)

A cider maker with roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains is looking to sprout in Richmond.

Bryant’s Small Batch Cider is planning a satellite tasting room at 308 N. Adams St., near the street’s intersection with Brook Road.

Owner Jerry Thornton confirmed that Bryant’s is finalizing a lease for the 780-square-foot space that most recently housed a marketing firm. Documents have been filed with the city for a change of use at the site to allow for the tasting room.

The new location will add to the company’s flagship site that opened in May in Roseland, about 16 miles south of Wintergreen Resort.

Thornton said there won’t be a production area in the Jackson Ward outpost and that it’ll have a maximum occupancy of about 15.

Thornton, who splits his time between Richmond and Roseland, said he initially looked around the Fan and Museum District for a spot to no avail, and contacted Councilwoman Kim Gray, who recommended Jackson Ward.

“I just kind of explored and wandered around for a while. It’s different, and it’s real urban,” Thornton said. “It’s also not Scott’s Addition; I had no desire to go in there.”

(Courtesy of Bryant’s Cider)

Bryant’s Roseland facility is housed on a roughly 60-acre farm that Thornton’s family has owned for six generations. The majority of the apples used for making Bryant’s cider are grown on the farm.

Since opening in Roseland, Bryant’s has been distributing kegs and 750-milliliter bottles to Richmond, Charlottesville and Lynchburg.

Thornton said Bryant’s most popular offering is its “Unicorn Fuel,” a dry cider made with rosehips and hibiscus. He said the company is preparing to release a bourbon peach and a gin-inspired cider.

The Jackson Ward space should be open sometime in November, Thornton said.

The space formerly was occupied by marketing firms Odd Group, which since has rebranded to Predxion Media, and A For Adventure. One South Commercial’s Ann Schweitzer Riley handles leasing for the building.

Bryant’s will be bookended by consignment shop It’s A Man’s World and tutoring nonprofit Born To Be Great, which expanded into Idle Hands Bread Co.’s former space next door after the bakery moved to the Fan.

Bryant’s will be the second booze-maker with roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains to open a Richmond outpost. Last month, Basic City Brewing Co. out of Waynesboro opened in the former Twisted Ales Brewing space at 212 W. Sixth St. in Manchester.

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Nathan Hughes

Congratulations, Jerry! Glad to have you as a neighbor, and I’m glad that we were able to find you the perfect spot. Always great working with a client that knows what they want!