There are eight trees, a semi-dwarf golden delicious breed, next to the Alexandria tasting room at Lost Boy Cider. Come the fall of 2020, the harvest will yield a single-estate pressing reserved for club members. There will be classic ciders, from heirloom apples, aged for the better part of a year.
But cider doesn’t have to be so serious; Tristan Wright also wants to have some fun.
His path to ciders was not exactly full of joy. Wright, then a commercial banker, was having joint pain, back pain, headaches, pressure in his chest. He wasn’t dying, the doctors told him, but he was allergic to gluten and soy. Goodbye beer, goodbye whiskey.
“You could try cider,” a doctor told him. “That’s what all the kids are drinking.” It’s also, of course, what Thomas Jefferson and George Washington enjoyed sipping.
Cider is still a niche market in the adult beverage world, and Wright wants to jump in, hoping to churn out 50,000 gallons in the first year, selling cans within the larger mid-Atlantic region. He also has plans for chardonnay (cider is winemaking, swapping grapes for apples), mead (honey wine) and cyser (half cider, half mead).
There’s a tap room with 10 draft lines, pushing out classic ciders and more modern ones, some hopped like beer, some blended with ginger and lemongrass. Another will be Pixie Dust, a combination of Shenandoah apples (Harrison, Stayman, York, Granny Smith), combined with cold-pressed passionfruit and butterfly pea powder imported from Thailand, turning the liquid purple. When Wright squeezes lemon juice on top, it brightens to pink.
The kids will probably like it. // Lost Boy Cider: 317 Hooffs Run Drive, Alexandria