Category Archives: News

barrel aged series

New Barrel Aged Flavor: CranApple Rye

Our Cider Makers have done it again. This time, Blue Toad Hard Cider partnered with Silverback Distillery, another local Nelson County business, to create an aged cider that is sure to make you lips pucker in delight.

CranApple Rye is our newest barrel aged cider. Using Silverback Distillery’s Award Winning Blackback Rye Barrels, we started by barrel-aging Blue Toad Hard Cider’s Award Winning Blue Ridge Blonde for 100 days. We blended the cider with cranberries, and CranApple Rye was born.

CranApple Rye has a great nose combined with a tartness from the cranberries. The apple flavor comes in on the front and ends with a smooth rye finish. This cider is a limited release and will be available in the Blue Toad Hard Cider Nelson County tasting rooms until the barrels are tapped.

Blue Toad’s Barrel Aged Series started in 2017. Last year, Blue Toad Hard Cider partnered with Silverback Distillery to create two other barrel-aged flavors,ROCBack Rye and Peach Apple Rye. Blue Toad also partnered with Honeoye Falls Distillery in New York to make Cherry Apple Bourbon, a huge hit. By using the same barrels that these distilleries use to age their spirits, we are reducing waste and creating innovative and tasty new ciders for you to enjoy. Have an idea for a new Blue Toad Barrel Aged Flavor? Send it our way!


Holiday Specials at Blue Toad Hard Cider

Still need a gift for that cider lover on your list? We’ve got you covered at Blue Toad Hard Cider! Grab something for them and a little something for yourself as well. Our Holiday Specials include:
  • FREE 64ox growler fill for every $25 gift card purchase you make. Grab a gift card for them, and fill up the growler for Christmas dinner.
  • Reduced 4-pack prices – save $3.00 on 4-packs of Blonde and Amber, Mix n’ Match, or Black Cherry. That’s a 25% off deal!
  • Save $10 on cases! Hosting a holiday party? Grab cases of Blonde and Amber, Mix n’ Match, or Black Cherry for 15% off!
  • Blue Toad Swag – do you have a Blue Toad Hard Cider lover on your list? Or maybe you’re looking to spoil yourself after a long year. We’ve got t-shirts, hats, pint glasses and more. The perfect stocking stuffers!
  • Sign your friend up for Blue Toad Hard Cider Mug Club. Join the club and receive a locally made mug, a free t-shirt, 10% off all merchandise for the year, $1 off pints, $2 off growler fills and free pints on your birthday! Mug Club is just $99 if purchased before January 1.
Happy Holidays Blue Toad lovers! We appreciate your patronage this year and can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.  
three new blue toad hard cider flavors

Three New Flavors at Blue Toad Hard Cider

Our brewers have been quite busy the last few months creating several new flavors for our loyal customers. We love getting creative with new fruits, flavors and our existing hard ciders. There’s nothing better than starting with a tasty hard cider, adding a few ingredients, and making something great. We’d love to hear your feedback! Do you love these new flavors? Are there any flavors you’d like our brewers to try?

Apri-Peach Amber

Just like the name suggests, we used a delicious pairing of peaches and apricots and blended them with our award winning ROC Hard Amber. The peaches and apricots give the cider a fruitful note. Combined with a full-body and a smooth finish this cider is the perfect combination of sweet and tasty. Apri-Peach Amber is 6.6% ABV.

Hoppin’ Cran Grapple

We got really creative with this one. Very limited release for the Hoppin’ Cran Grapple. A combination of three local to New York apples, cranberries and white grapes. A very light flavor and a hit with our regulars. If you’re thinking of converting someone to a cider drinker, this flavor may be the perfect pick!

Winter Fest Cider

Just in time for the holidays, our first ever Winter Fest Cider release. This hard cider is a blend of New York State apples, fresh cranberries, hints of caramel (yes, we said caramel) and cinnamon spice. Try it warmed up on those chilly winter nights. At 6.7% ABV, Winter Fest Cider is sure to spice up your holiday parties.
barrel aged cider

Blue Toad Hard Cider Partners with Local Distilleries for Barrel Aged Series

One of the best parts about making hard cider is the creativity you get to use in order to come up with new flavors. Both our New York and Virginia locations partnered with local distilleries to create some unique flavors made with local ingredients. Not only do we get to create new flavors, but we get to meet some great people in the process. —

In Virginia we recently partnered with Silverback Distillery to create two new cider flavors that are part of our Barrel Aged Series.

Silverback Distillery is located just up the road from our Cider Pub on Route 151 in Afton, Virginia. Like Blue Toad Hard Cider, they are committed to using local ingredients to create fresh and tasty American bourbon, whiskey, gin and vodka. They are committed to using ‘green’ distilling methodologies in order to minimize the environmental impact.

Another way to reduce the waste, is to reuse the barrels that are used to distill the goods – and that’s exactly what Blue Toad Hard Cider! Using Silverback Barrels from their Award Wining Whiskey, we used apples from Silver Creek Orchards in Tyro, Virginia to create ROCBack Rye and Peach Apple Rye.

Both ciders are full of flavor and perfect for the fall season. We can’t wait to create more unique and tasty flavors in partnership with Silverback Distillery. —

In Rochester, Blue Toad Hard Cider partnered with Honeoye Falls Distillery to create a flavor that screams Upstate New York. Cherry Apple Bourbon cider was distilled in bourbon barrels that had been previously used to distill the very bourbon that you can find at Honeoye Falls Distillery.

Honeoye Falls Distillery opened in the summer of 2013 and the tasting room opened last year. They are committed to showcasing the rich agricultural history of the Rochester region.

Be sure to stop by and taste a few!  

blue toad hard cider harvest fest

Seasonal Flavor Alert: Blue Toad Hard Cider Harvest Fest

Can you feel it in the air? FALL! It’s right around the corner. We at Blue Toad Hard Cider understand that Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and football are staples of fall these days, but what goes better with Autumn than apple cider?! Apple picking, pumpkin carving and cider – that’s what this season is really about!

So to celebrate everyone’s favorite season, we are brining back Blue Toad Hard Cider’s Harvest Fest. A nod to The Festy Experience that happens each fall down in Central Virginia, Harvest Fest has notes of clove, cinnamon and spices blended together to create the perfect cold weather cider. We’ve heard our customers describe this cider as “Autumn in my mouth!” and “The Holidays in a glass!”. Harvest Fest is 6.0 percent ABV.

Want to spice it up even more? Try pairing Harvest Fest with a warm apple pie or cinnamon donut all while wearing an oversized scarf or while yelling at your favorite football team to get their act together. When you drink this guy, you really have to embrace the season!

Blue Toad Harvest Fest is now available in our tasting rooms – for purchase in cans, pints, tastings and growlers. Keep an eye out for this season flavor in your local retailers as well.

We don’t want to rush summer out the door but we can all appreciate the fall season. Make it a little better with a Blue Toad Hard Cider Harvest Fest.

blue toad toadally tea

The Perfect Hard Cider for Summer

Looking for a tasty, refreshing, and drinkable beverage for the summer? We may be a bit bias, but we think that our new flavor takes the cake. Now available in cans, our Blue Toad Toadally Tea is the perfect hard cider for summer.

Blue Toad Toadally Tea is a perfect mix of iced tea and hard cider – think Arnold Palmer, but with hard cider instead of lemonade. Toadally Tea is a blend of three apples creating a light and refreshing cider. It is combined with tea leaves that provides a refreshing and smooth hard cider perfect for the summer weather.

Blue Toad Toadally Tea is now available on tap and in cans at local retailers in the Charlottesville, Virginia area.

Here is a list of our retailers who have gotten their 1st load of Toadally Tea Cans! As the list grows we will update you. If you’re not close to one of our retailers, or our two tasting rooms in Nelson County, feel free to shop our website and have a case shipped directly to you in 1 Day, Saturday Deliveries Too Via FedEx at Home.

  • 7/11 Crystal Springs- Roanoke
  • Barrel Chest- Roanoke
  • Beer Run- Cville
  • Clocktower Convenience-Hburg
  • Eli’s Provisions- Roanoke
  • Friendly City Food Co-op- Hburg
  • Kroget 327- Lynchburg
  • Midtowne Bottle Shop-Hburg
  • Shaffers BBQ and Market- Middletown
  • The Wine Cellar- Staunton
  • Throx- Winchester
  • Washington Street Purveyors-Lexington
  • Wegmans Cville
  • Wegmans Alexandria
  • Wegmans Midlothian (On Tuesday afternoon)
  • Wine Warehouse- Cville

    If you’re in the Rochester area, be sure to check out our tasting rooms for our Flower City Lilac and Blue Toadenberry – a blueberry cider!

  • blueberry cider

    New Flavor Alert! Blue Toadenberry

    No, that’s not your eyes playing tricks on you – this cider is actually BLUE! Blueberry cider now available from Blue Toad Hard Cider.

    At a 5.5% abv, this cider is sure to send your taste buds into a tizzy! The cider making process includes 3 full pounds of blueberries. These berries soaked in tank for 14 days. A small amount of blueberry extract was used to jazz it up a bit, too. As expected, tons of blue came from the blueberries themselves in the tank. Its very fresh and fruity. Nice tannins and mouthfeel from the blueberry skins, too.

    While our cider makers were filtering, they found themselves “Singing Toads Blues”.

    The color alone has to have you intrigued, but the taste is sure to keep you coming back for more. Currently Blue Toadenberry is available in our New York tasting rooms.
    lilac hard cider

    New Flavor Alert! Flower City Lilac

    Rochester! Blue Toad Hard Cider recently released a limited edition cider in our Henrietta Tasting Room. We are calling it our Flower City Lilac, and we are so excited to have it ready in time for the 2017 Lilac Festival.

    Flower City Lilac is a session-able lilac flavored hard apple cider that is clean and crisp with a flowery finish. This cider was produced by steeping dried lilac flowers in the cider. The final drink is 5% ABV.

    Be sure to stop by our tent at this year’s Lilac Festival to give this one a try. Until then, we will also be serving it at our Henrietta tasting room.

    hard cider recipes

    7 Delicious Recipes to Make with Blue Toad Hard Cider

    You’ve filled your growler with Blue Toad Hard Cider, and intend to drink every last drop. But then, you start thinking about what to make for dinner and you realize that your favorite cider not only pairs well with a meal, but can actually be included in the prep! Have you ever considered cooking with Blue Toad? What a wonderfully refreshing and delicious way to mix up your meal planning. We’ve put together a list of hard cider recipes. We suggest using our flagship Blonde flavor for these.

    Hard Apple Cider Jelly 

    If you ever needed an excuse to have Blue Toad Hard Cider for breakfast, here it is. Try it on your toast, or on a cracker with some cream cheese. This recipe just calls for four ingredients, so if you are a beginner at canning, this might be your best bet.

    Hard Apple Cider Peanut Brittle

    You are less than 30 minutes away from Hard Apple Cider Peanut Brittle, according to this recipe. You can even add maple syrup and bacon to add to the deliciousness.

    Hard Apple Cider Cupcakes

     There aren’t many foods I like to indulge in more so than cupcakes, and adding Blue Toad Hard Cider to the recipe? I. Am. Drooling. This recipe calls for a whiskey caramel apple filling – can you imagine?!

    Sparkling Hard Apple Cider Sangria

     The perfect summer cocktail: White wine. Apple. Pear. Cinnamon stick. Blue Toad Hard Cider. Mix it into a large pitcher and enjoy.

    Hard Apple Cider Mule

    Think Moscow Mule, but with Blue Toad Hard Apple Cider.

    Slow-cooker Apple Cider Pulled Chicken 

    Slow-cooker recipes are so easy, usually yield a large amount of food, and always come out tasting delicious. This recipe for Hard Apple Pulled Chicken can be used on sandwiches, salads, or even plain. The combination of sweet onion, paprika, and Blue Toad Hard Cider doesn’t just sound delicious, it sounds heavenly.

    Hard Apple Cider Chicken & Dumplings

    I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like chicken and dumplings – likewise, I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t enjoy Blue Toad Hard Cider. So why not combine the two? This recipe for Hard Cider Chicken and Dumplings takes less than an hour and serves four people – or just four meals for yourself.

    The History of Cider

    Hard cider has grown enormously in popularity in the past decade. But did you realize that the fermented beverage has been around since the Romans ruled an empire? There is evidence that dates cider back to 6500 BC in Asian and European cultures. The idea of fermenting apples has been traced back to around 55 BC. Way back then, the water was so unsanitary that people actually drank more cider than they did water. Around the sixth century brewers became a skilled profession around Europe, making beer drinks as well as cider. Rumor is that between the 13th and 17th centuries, Europeans were even paid in cider.

    Normandy became a big player in the cider-making business around the 16th century. It was here that folks started playing around with different types of apples – some, of course, tasted much better than others. In other places in Europe, as well as colonial America, cider became an important part of the culture.

    It is the Pilgrims that are credited with bringing apples with them on their voyage to the Americas. The seeds of the apples were planted and orchards grew. The apples were then purposely fermented to create a cider drink because it was safe and sanitary. In fact, most of the orchards are said to have been planted not for apple consumption, but for cider making.

    Over the years, the popularity of cider ebbed and flowed with the different groups of immigrants who came to America. When prohibition was enacted in the 1920s, apple orchards were cut down in hopes that cider supplies would die with them. When prohibition was repealed, cider was slow to make a comeback since many apple orchards were wiped out.

    Ciders vary by region in the United States. New England ciders are typically simple and sweet or barrel aged for a sharper flavor. California apples are usually more bitter and sometimes even sparkling. While Blue Toad is made in both New York and Virginia, we source only local apples for every batch of cider. That means, if you’re drinking a Flower City Blonde in Rochester, the apples used are from the Rochester area. If you’re drinking a Blue Ridge Blonde in Nelson County, you’re drinking apples from the area.

    In the past decade or so, cider has seen a resurgence – and we are proud that Blue Toad Hard Cider is part of that! Currently hard cider is only about 1% of the beverage market, but is growing faster than any other type of drink out there, and is expected to keep growing. There are typically hard cider drink options in most bars and restaurants these days.

    Be sure to ask your next bartender or server if they have any fresh Blue Toad Hard Cider on tap!    

      Resources: “Cider.” How Products Are Made. . 28 Mar. 2017 <>. Lehault, C. (2013). Go Back in Time with New England Style Ciders. Kerrigan, William (2012).