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Tasting Room: Buskey Cider

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Richmond’s newest cidery opened in Scott’s Addition just last month, but they’re already making a big impression. We sat down with Founder/CEO/Tasting Room Director, Will Correll, to talk about what “Getting Buskey” is all about.

How did you get started in the cider industry?
Four years ago I became fascinated with cider, both for its remarkable history and for the amazing variety and creative potential.  I set out to make robust and innovative ciders that were both approachable and affordable.  

Tells us about the Tasting Room - where are you at and what’s on tap?
Buskey Cider is located in the coolest place on earth: Scott's Addition, Richmond, VA.  Our urban environment and proximity to great customers and other craft beverages allows us to be creative and innovative while our close connection to our orchard in Harrisonburg allows us to turn the world class apples of the Shenandoah into a naturally delicious beverage.

Where does the word Buskey come from?
Buskey was a word Ben Franklin recorded hearing in a Colonial tavern.  Since it does not trace back to old English or French, it's an all American drinking word.  Cider is both rich in history but also growing faster than any other sector of the alcohol industry, so we wanted to capture past and present by giving the word “buskey” life. 

Tell us about Team Buskey.
Four years ago when I set out to start a cidery I knew I needed to develop my fermentation skills, but more importantly that I would need both a winemaker and a brewer on my team.  I was lucky to build a relationship with Matthew Meyer, a UC Davis fermentation graduate and the head winemaker at Williamsburg Winery.  We then hired a talented young brewer out of Milwaukee to round out our team.  Our unique style of cider includes practices from the wine, cider, and beer worlds and fits our passion for all things fermented.

What was the vision for your tasting room?
We want the tasting room to be a fun, approachable place where customers help us build our brand, develop our ciders, and create a community. On any given day folks are trying cider, drawing on our slate tables, listening to live music, playing board games and giving us real feedback. 

What role does your tasting room have for your business and Richmond’s cider scene?
We hope that the tasting room environment will come to mind when people see our taphandle at their favorite bars or eventually our cans around town. The tasting room keeps us connected to the taste of our customers while allowing us to share our passion for fermentation and the Richmond community. 

When is the next release?
This Thursday, May 5th, we're having a Cinco de Cider party at Buskey. We're going to release two randall-infused ciders: 45 and Trying Jalapeno Randall'd, and Tart Cherry Lime Randall'd. This is another way for us to test out what the public likes and to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in a uniquely Richmond way.

Where is the tasting room staff enjoying a drink if they are not at your tasting room?
Scott's Addition has some of the best tasting rooms in Richmond including Ardent, Isley, Hardywood, and the Veil. We have some incredible restaurants that serve up everything from coffee to cocktails to craft pints all within walking distance from Buskey Cider.  Richmond is full of amazing beverages!

What can we look forward to at your tasting room in the near future?
We have a nitro tap that was recently installed, and we are very excited to develop a cider specifically for it! Innovations like the Randalls, nitro, hops, and other delicious surprises we are working on will keep the tasting room an exciting place to learn about cider.

Photos: Kate Magee