Harvest Ration wins Good Food Award

Blue Bee Cider, Virginia’s first urban cidery, has received a 2017 Good Food Award for its Harvest Ration reserve dessert cider. The Good Food Awards is a national competition and annual review selecting leading American producers focused on responsible practices, high-quality products, and outstanding taste.

From 2,059 entries, Blue Bee Cider was chosen as one of 200 winners across 38 states in 14 categories. Winners were selected through intense vetting and blind tastings by industry experts based on commitment to environmentally-sound agricultural practices, good animal husbandry, sourcing transparency, and responsible relationships throughout the supply chain.

Speaking at the awards ceremony on Jan. 20, in San Francisco, Blue Bee Cider’s owner Courtney Mailey said, “we share this honor with our Virginia Grown partners Silver Creek Orchards, Seaman’s Orchards, Henley’s Orchard, and Coote’s Store Farms, as well as with our distilling partner Catoctin Creek Distilling Company.”

Harvest Ration is a port made in collaboration with Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, a family distillery located in Purcellville, Virginia. Blue Bee sends a custom blend of cider to Catoctin Creek to be distilled into an eau de vie that Blue Bee then ages in five-gallon new American white oak barrels. After about six months in the barrels, the brandy is blended into an early-stage ferment comprised primarily of Winesap apples. The result, Harvest Ration, is a fortified cider with a strong spirituous aroma and layers of honeysuckle, butterscotch, and spice with rich, sweet apple notes in the finish.

Blue Bee’s Harvest Ration is named after the tradition in Virginia of apple harvest workers receiving a daily ration of cider and brandy. Each bottle holds roughly the equivalent of one day’s ration of both cider and brandy, blended together.

In her remarks Mailey said, “This is our vision for good food at Blue Bee Cider: making cider of the highest quality from local fruit, raising awareness about prized heirloom varieties with local origins, building pride in that agricultural legacy, spreading skills for fruit growing among urban households, and creating economic opportunity through skilled job creation tied to traditional cidermaking.”

On Friday, January 20, 2017, the Good Food Award winners were announced at a gala ceremony in San Francisco, California.

The Good Food Awards began in 2011 and are organized by the Good Food Foundation 501(c)3 and supported by the Good Food Retailers Collaborative, an organization of 21 of the country’s top independently-owned retailers. For more information, visit www.goodfoodawards.org.




Blue Bee Cider crafts artisanal ciders on a seasonal basis, with emphasis on Virginia fruit. During the winter season, the tasting room is open Sunday-Friday from 1-8 and Saturday from 1-9. For more information, visit www.bluebeecider.com or call (804) 231-0280.

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