By Chris Heagney
Hard cider is making headlines in Asheville. From the West Asheville Cider Crawl last month to the expansive CiderFest NC in October, there is always something cider-related going on in our apple-rich region. Tree Rock Social is constantly offering local and exotic ciders and meads, Urban Orchard has opened a second location in South Slope and even Burial Beer is making cider now.
One of the latest developments in the cider world is Noble Cider’s new bar and restaurant: The Greenhouse, currently under construction at 49 Rankin Avenue in the Tyler Building. Owner Trevor Baker describes how their ambitious project will encompass all things cider, from kitchen to bar. “Noble Cider Downtown will feature a modern American bistro providing a Michelin-inspired dining experience using local ingredients, creative techniques and bold flavors from around the world,” he says. “The full bar will highlight Noble’s award-winning ciders, creative cider cocktails, along with calvados, apple brandies and a bevy of other quality spirits.” The kitchen staff is likely to be using cider and brandy as often as the bartenders.
Gavin Baker, Trevor’s brother, will oversee The Greenhouse restaurant. With roots as a culinary graduate from A-B Tech, Gavin brings 20 years of international culinary experience to the project. The brothers will aim to achieve global flavors while using ingredients from local producers.
The space itself will be an aesthetic departure from the industrial feel of Noble’s production facility on Leicester Highway. “The Greenhouse will be an elevated cider experience overall,” says Baker. “The space will have a polished, tropical-glam-meets- indoor-garden-room vibe, with lots of natural, filtered light coming in due to the whole front of the building being glass.”
In a city known for its quality and quantity of brewing, Baker believes cider fits into our local landscape better than beer. “Our main ingredient—the humble apple—is literally grown just down the road,” he says. “Noble is part owner of Blue Ridge Pure, along with our primary orchard partner Lewis Creek Farms. Noble uses all fresh-pressed apple juice for fermentation, which is supplied by Blue Ridge Pure. It’s hard to imagine another product with more local pedigree from start to finish than Noble’s ciders.”
The Greenhouse is expected to open its doors later this month. For more information on their ciders and building progress, visit NobleCider.com. Christopher Heagney is the owner of Daidala Ciders, located in Asheville at the Historic Cotton Mill Studios at 122 Riverside Drive, Unit G.