A hard cider company in Alexandria announced Wednesday it will invest $668,000 over the next three years into renovating its facilities and producing cider from apples exclusively grown in Winchester, Va.
Governor Ralph Northam presented Lost Boy Cider with a $30,000 grant from his Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which the City of Alexandria will match in partnership with the state.
Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring presented the check on Northam’s behalf on Wednesday.
The cidery will be the first of its kind in the city.
Lost Boy worked with the Alexandria Economic and Development Partnership to apply for the grant. President and CEO Stephanie Landrum says AEDP worked with Port City Brewing for a grant and knew Lost Boy Cider could share in its success.
“It’s great for us, because we’re creating a new place in Alexandria, and it’s great for the orchards and the communities the orchards are in in the Commonwealth that Tristan’s going to be buying from,” said Landrum.
President and Founder of Lost Boy Tristan Wright says he was recently diagnosed with a severe soy allergy, which is what inspired the company. “If you pay attention to your body, you realize quickly that soy is in everything,” said Wright. “Apple cider was one of the recommended drinks that the doctor said would be OK.”
After a little bit of research, Wright discovered cider was an up and coming trend. That’s when the company and the Lost Boy logo (a silhouette of a Peter Pan-like character stomping on an apple) was born. “We’re a challenged brand and we’re facing some big competition from some bigger boys in the game, and so I wanted him to represent our face of defiance,” said Wright.
Over the next three years, the cidery estimates it will use 1.28 million pounds of apples. Wright says Lost Boy has the capacity to produce 60,000 gallons of juice a year.