Alexandria, Virginia, resident Tristan Wright was diagnosed with serious soy and gluten allergies four years ago and had to give up beer and whiskey, but had fallen in love with hard cider on a trip to Ireland five years earlier.
That’s when the light bulb went on. Wright decided to pursue the business of making hard cider in his hometown.
Thanks in part to help from the city and state, he is weeks away from opening Lost Boy Cider in a 6,000-square-foot Alexandria warehouse in the Carlyle neighborhood, near the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Wright is investing more than $668,000 on renovations for the warehouse space for the new hard cider production facility, which will also have a tasting room.
Lost Boy Cider will produce a variety of traditional and nontraditional hard ciders, and has pledged to source 100% of apples used for production from Virginia.
“My wife Katie and I have spent nearly three years preparing for this project launch,” Wright said.
“We have developed an exclusive blend of Virginia orchard-based apple juice with local cultivators and plan to apply the funding we received through the Agricultural and Forestry Industries Development Fund program toward building stronger relationships with Virginia-based growers.”
Lost Boy Cider will receive a $30,000 grant from Virginia’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which the city of Alexandria will match with local funds.
Wright has spent the last two years or so researching hard cider production, and has certificates from Cornell Viticulture Center and Oregon State University’s Cider Production School.
Pending permit approval, Wright told WTOP that Lost Boy Cider will open for business in about three weeks.
Lost Boy Cider is at 317 Hooffs Run Drive.