Where to find Urban Tree cider
• West Egg Café, Midtown
• Georgia Beer Garden, Edgewood
• D.B.A Barbeque, Virginia Highlands
• Hop City Craft Beer and Wine, Westside
Tasting room days and hours
• Wednesday-Thursday, 5:30-9 p.m.
• Saturday, noon-5 p.m.
• Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
*The cidery can also be used as an event space for private parties, by reservation
About this article
This article was originally published in the October/November 2016 issue of The Life-400 North, a publication of the Forsyth County News. To read the entire magazine, click here.
The cool breeze wafting through the orchard carried the scent of fermenting apples, the ground littered with the rotting fruit.
The plumpest, juiciest Rome Beauties rested high in the trees, out of reach of prying hands and snacking apple pickers.
The lower-hanging Golden Delicious, however, remained aplenty, along with the Red Delicious and Stamen Winesap.
Though B.J. Reece Orchards in Ellijay doesn’t make its own hard apple cider, Winesaps are often used to make the alcoholic
drink, whose popularity is growing fast.
While apple and other flavored cider has been a fall staple for decades, hard cider has only recently broken into the mainstream U.S. market.
And though it still makes up a relat ively small part of the craft beer market and less than 0.5 percent of the entire U.S. beer market, according to Chicago-based Information Resources Inc., hard cider sales were up 75.4 percent from the previous year, reaching more than $436 million in dollar sales for 2015.
This increasing number leaves cider with just over 1 percent market share, which may be why cideries are popping up across the country and throughout Georgia.
Though name-brand, bottled ciders such as Angry Orchard or Woodchuck can be bought at most supermarkets, convenience stores and drug stores, Atlanta is now seeing cideries pop up – from no cideries in 2015 to two in 2016 and at least one more expected to open in 2017.
A cidery functions similarly to a brewery or winery, with some offering tours for those interested in how cider is made.
While Atlanta only has one fully open with a tasting room, (Urban Tree Cidery), two others are in the works: Treehorn Cider, which is currently building a tasting room, and Atlanta Hard Cider Co., which is expected to open in 2017.
HERE'S A LOOK AT URBAN TREE CIDERY
Tim and Maria Resuta, owners and founders of Urban Tree, opened the West midtown cidery in March 2016 after years of toying with various locations for such a venture.
Their story begins in their basement, though.
“This was an idea my husband started in our basement five years ago and just grew into this,” Maria Resuta said.
“[It started] with a lot of bad batches of cider, and then a lot of good batches of cider and the idea took a journey from we’re going to do this in the mountains; we’ll open up a rural-type cidery in Dahlonega, and then as we really researched those areas, [we realized] it was a cool place but a little sleepy for us.”
With three kids and work in Atlanta, the couple decided to open Urban Tree in the city, creating the first of its kind there.
And while it took them about a year and a half to find their current location, Resuta said they’ve been doing well and ultimately hope to expand.
They’re on track and recently received their wholesale distribution license. This allows them to take their cider and sell it to retailers, whereas previously, it was only sold on tap or in bottles and kegs from the cidery.