Woodchuck Cider kicks off $30M project
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury and Vermont Hard Cider Co. officials gathered on Friday, May 10, for a groundbreaking ceremony at the Exchange Street site of the company’s new, state-of-the-art cidery, slated for completion by next spring.
The $30 million, 100,000-square-foot project is being built less than a mile from the current Middlebury facility on Pond Lane, which will continue to produce the company’s very popular Woodchuck Hard Cider. A post-and-beam barn will also welcome visitors to Woodchuck, with a gift shop, tastings and tours.
“This is a new chapter for Woodchuck,” said President and CEO Bret Williams. “Hard cider in the United States is growing in popularity and this new cidery represents a brick-and-mortar commitment to continue to grow the cider category from Vermont. It’s an exciting step forward at this crucial time in our history.”
As previously reported in the Addison Independent, Vermont Hard Cider has spent the past few years planning a major expansion in Middlebury. The company is in a period of dramatic growth, with demand soaring for its hard cider products. The town of Middlebury has been working with the company to facilitate its new headquarters, which will allow for expanded production that will bring 15 to 20 more jobs at the Middlebury plant.
“Not only does this expansion bring immediate economic opportunity to our community, it also demonstrates why Middlebury is a great place for great businesses,” said Middlebury Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay. “The town and community couldn’t be more excited about Vermont Hard Cider’s decision to expand their footprint and continue their exponential growth. They are a great example of success and we look forward to working with them as the company continues to advance.”
Friday’s groundbreaking represented the culmination of four years of work, Williams said. A variety of expansion options were developed and vetted during that time, according to company officials, who said constructing a new facility was the best fit in the end.
“Vermont is our home and the soul of Woodchuck draws from local community,” Williams said. “After four years, to finally have a shovel in the ground is a proud moment. We are laying our roots down and hope that by doing so, Woodchuck and the state of Vermont will grow stronger together.”
Construction crews are currently doing site work on the 27-acre plot of land. Plans call for the building to be enclosed by winter.
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