Since the Hendersonville area is known nationally as "Apple Country", it's only natural that it's becoming one of the top places for craft hard cider. In fact, it's the 7th largest apple-producing county in the country! Visit two cideries that offer very different flavors and "orchard-to-bottle" experiences. Visit the cideries year-round, located a short drive short from Asheville. Find several wineries nearby also.
Appalachian Ridge Artisan Ciders (749 Chestnut Gap Road, Hendersonville) are our top pick for their passion and old-world approach to cider making. Their converted historic two-story barn is surrounded by an orchard with 14 varieties of French apple trees (both photos above). Learn about their Normandy-style cider making. All of their apples are grown, pressed and bottled on site. The big outdoor deck overlooks the orchards that include apple trees recently transported from France. Try their Brandy and Pommeau too. Take home six ciders only available at their location. Their small-batch ciders are not sold elsewhere, so stock up! Live music on weekends. Bring a picnic. Bike or hike through the orchards (loaner bikes available). Also visit their nearby winery, St Paul's. Coffee shop downstairs. Open Sunday-Thursday 12-6 PM, Friday & Saturday 12-7 PM.
Bold Rock Hard Cider (72 School House Road, Mills River) is located between Asheville and Hendersonville - photo at top. In just a few years, it has become the largest craft cidery in the United States. Its rural setting has plenty of room with an impressive taproom, daily tours of the production floor, garden picnic area, outdoor music venue, and on-site food truck that serves barbecue and Southern fare. Sample eight seasonal ciders including the Rosé, Pear, Peach, IPA, and Carolina Apple. They have special happenings every night of the week, including live music Friday-Sunday. Hours vary seasonally. For most of the year, they are open Mon-Wed, 1-9 PM, Thurs-Sat 11 AM-10 PM, Sunday 11-8 PM. It's 20 minutes from downtown Asheville.
Jeter Mountain Farm (1126 Jeter Mountain Road, Hendersonville) ups its agritourism offerings by providing a hard cider taproom on-site. Six hard ciders are on tap. Two, Original and Pink Lady, are made from Jeter Mountain apples grown and pressed right on the farm. The taproom also serves four rotating ciders from Flat Rock Cider Company. Open July-October on Saturday 9 AM-3 PM, Sunday 10 AM-3 PM.
Hendersonville's Cheers Trail Passport
Earn cool swag with a Cheers! Trail Passport, which guides you to 23 tasting experiences at breweries, wineries, cideries, and a meadery along the Hendersonville Cheers! Trail. The trail is the only one in North Carolina to feature beer, wine, cider and mead. Once your passport is stamped at 12 venues, it can be redeemed for Cheers! Trail merchandise at the Hendersonville Visitor Center. The passport, which makes a neat gift, is just $10 and may be purchased online or at the Visitor Center, 201 S. Main St.