Local craft cider company heads back to its roots - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Local craft cider company heads back to its roots

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Moving in and moving up. The Citizen Cider crew is putting the final touches on its new Burlington location. The hard cider company sprouted three years ago.

"A collaboration between three friends," said Kris Nelson from Citizen Cider.

Kris, Bryan Holmes and Justin Heilenbach -- each one of the friends -- has their own role in the business. Kris is the marketing mastermind, Justin makes it all happen in production and Bryan is the cider maker -- where his PhD in chemistry comes in handy.

It all started when the trio began brewing in a house on Burlington's Pine Street and has come full circle.

In its first year Citizen Cider produced 5,000 gallons of its hard cider. That number more than quadrupled to 28,000 gallons in its second year in its Fort Ethan Allen location in Essex. Business was pouring in so the three friends decided to take it back to its Pine Street roots and opened a new Burlington location. This year it will produce 100,000 gallons of hard cider. "It's kind of interesting we're back on Pine Street here," said Nelson.

Along with a new production facility, the building has a tasting room which will serve food, local brews -- and of course lots of Citizen Cider. "To establish ourselves as part of the community it's nice for us to be here," said Nelson.

Citizen Cider brews between seven and nine ciders all the time. Unified Press is the flagship variety. "It's fun, it's easy. You don't have to think about it too hard but it's still interesting," said Holmes.

"The Unified Press refers to us coming around this press and coming together to form this company," said Nelson.

The company currently gets all its apples from Vermont orchards, but says eventually it may branch out to the Champlain Valley in New York for the fruit. "When we set out we wanted to make a cider that had an appeal to as many types of drinkers as possible and that's what we've done," said Nelson.

Creating a buzz with craft cider that's Made in Vermont. 

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