Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced the arrival of Lost Boy Cider to Northern Virginia as the region’s first Virginia Farm Winery-licensed production facility. The urban cidery has already taken root in Alexandria’s Carlyle neighborhood with an onsite orchard and renderings for its city tasting room.
Lost Boy owner Tristan Wright has had quite the journey with cider. He fell for the apple libation during a trip to Ireland in 2010, but abandoned the fruity beverage for beer and whiskey upon his return to the states. A devastating soy and gluten allergy ultimately forced Wright to give up alcohol all together. Once cleared by a physician, Wright took small steps to reintroduce wine and other cocktails into his diet, but they almost always fell short, thus leading him to pursue a career in cider making. The D.C.-based crafter is now certified by both Cornell University’s Viticulture and Enology program and Oregon State University’s cider production school.
Earlier in May, Wright received news that Lost Boy is the recipient of an Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development program grant. Gov. Northam approved the grant after working closely with both the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership.
Renderings for Lost Boy tease a spacious warehouse-style tasting room equipped with a tapped bar, communal seating and exposed ceilings. Adjacent to the tasting room will be Alexandria’s first apple orchard in which Wright will plant several varieties of semi-dwarf golden delicious apples. Once matured, the self-pollinating tree should reach 9 feet in height and will help to produce approximately 80 gallons of juice.
Wright’s line of ciders includes modern dry ciders infused with hops, cranberries, pineapples and spices low in residual sugar. Also on the menu are heritage ciders aged in tequila, gin and Kentucky bourbon barrels. Regardless of their flavor, Wright hopes to source 100 percent Virginia-grown apples.
The inaugural harvest is set for Fall 2020, during which Lost Boy Cider members will receive the first taste from the crop.
Lost Boy Cider is located at 317 Hooffs Run Drive, Alexandria.