The past 15 months have been a whirlwind at Buskey Cider — in a good way.
Founder and “Cider Guy” Will Correll won a $10,000 business competition in 2014 by creating a business plan to fund his dream cidery, taking advantage of the cider renaissance of the current decade.
It was during this time that Correll reconnected with his childhood friend Elle; both hail from Franklin, Virginia and now reside in Richmond. Elle caught wind of the entrepreneur’s plans to open a cidery on their second date. Now, the recent newlyweds are a force to be reckoned with in this new generation of cider producers.
The Corrells opened Buskey Cider in April 2016 in Scott’s Addition in Richmond. This historic, up-and-coming neighborhood is home to many craft producers, from seasoned mainstays to fresh faces alike. These producers — including Isley Brewing Co., Blue Bee Cider and Vasen Brewing — are nestled into the eclectic district, essentially within walking distance of one another.
“We always try to be thoughtful of the environment,” says Elle Correll, Buskey’s communication director. “We’re in a 1940s brick building, an old railway drop-off, re-purposed to be a cidery. Our brand is the ‘old meets the new.'”
This type of mentality reflects their lineup of approachable libations, like the sessionable 45 and Trying. But Buskey does not shy away from progressively pushing the envelope, from offbeat infusions, barrel projects and single-hopped lineups. They also boast one of the nation’s only, nitrogen-carbonated ciders.
Don’t forget the the flagship RVA, dubbed as “the one that will turn most people into cider drinkers,” says Correll. “It’s for someone that isn’t really into cider, but their friends brought them. Shortly after, they’ll try it [the RVA] and leave with a six-pack.” The RVA makes its mark as the first 12-ounce, six-pack of canned cider in the state of Virginia.
The production team at the 8,000-square-foot cidery includes a former winemaker, brewer and distiller, each expert reflecting different perspectives of their craft beverage profession. Correll believes these perspectives inspire the final product. “It’s interesting to see them debate their thoughts, bringing different sides to the table,” she adds.
So what’s in a name? The word “Buskey” pays homage to U.S. roots. “‘Buskey’ is a name that Ben Franklin that wrote in a letter, it was something he heard young people saying while drinking around taverns,” Correll explains. “It was used a slang term for ‘tipsy.'” Hence the cidery’s slogan: “Get Buskey.”
The young cidery has limited distribution, only circulating in Richmond and Hampton Road, but growth is in the very near future. “D.C. is the next spot,” Correll says. “We want to make cider more available and expand the customer’s palate — the further we can distribute the better.”
Buskey Cider has already begun to double their production capacity. Keep your eyes peeled for this breakout star.