By Nick Thomas
Lately, Hollywood seems to have grown bored with building mountains out of its stacks of cash and decided to instead spend said mountains on retelling stories we’ve already heard, but with a crafty new take on the story’s origins. While these origin stories have experienced varying levels of admiration (The Dark Knight vs. Star Wars: Episode I) sometimes the best origin story is the simplest one, much like Noble Cider’s genesis.
“We were all out at a local bar drinking cider and [Noble co-founder and then-recently laid off Trevor Baker] was asking us, ‘What should I do with my life?’ And we jokingly (at first) said, ‘Ahhh! Cider! We should start a cidery.’ And then that suddenly seemed like a good idea,” says Lief Stevens, Baker’s co-pilot at Noble.
A good idea indeed. When Noble was established a mere two years ago in 2012, it was the only cidery in Asheville, North Carolina (a few others have since popped up). This seemed odd to Baker and Stevens, considering the town already has a large craft beer following and that North Carolina is also the seventh largest apple producing state in the US, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture.
But now it’s all uphill from here as Noble is in the process of a major expansion. Stevens, Baker and his wife Joanna started out in a 750-square-foot building pressing 2,000 gallons with a homemade hand press in their first year, but will soon be shedding their tight skin and slipping into a more comfortable 9,000-square-foot building with machinery that should put out 500 gallons per hour. The new space will allow them to bottle their cider and widen distribution, and they’re also eyeing a spring 2015 window for opening a tap room.
Enough dimensions, you’re thirsty! In addition to some limited seasonal flavors, Noble currently offers three cider varieties, each with its own character based on the name “to keep it fun” and distributed via keg to about 60 local pubs and restaurants. Their Standard Bearer is a traditional dry Champagne-style cider, The Village Tart is made with tart Montmorency cherries, and kicking it up a few notches higher, their third cider on tap is a blueberry-honey-rosemary cider called The Blue Bard.
“I really wanted to make the blueberry [cider] different from the cherry [cider]. Blueberries are fairly tart themselves, so I just really wanted to make that one a little more complex and standout from the cherry one,” Stevens says. “And rosemary grows really well here—I have it in my yard!”
Noble’s motto is “true to the core,” which represents the cidery’s stance on using 100 percent natural ingredients and supporting local farms in Henderson County. The name Noble has a similarly solid meaning.
“We wanted a name that wasn’t attached to a place or time necessarily,” Stevens says. “We wanted it to be a nice, strong name where you’d go up to a bar and instead of asking for ‘a cider’ you’d ask for ‘a Noble.’”
Follow on Facebook: Noble Cider
Track on Twitter: @NobleCider
Photo courtesy of Noble Cider