The story of Bold Rock Hard Cider starts with the unlikely partnership between two guys from different sides of the world. Virginia native John Washburn long owned a scenic piece of farmland in Nelson County, Virginia. It’s an idyllic place where rolling green hills rest against the peacefully rolling Rockfish River, while the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains tower above. As John contemplated how to put this special piece of land to good use, he was eventually struck with the idea to produce craft cider from the bounty of apples being grown in nearby orchards. During his time living in New Zealand he learned about the man who could help fulfill his ambitions. Brian Shanks grew up farming in the New Zealand countryside. After he bought an apple orchard, a fortuitous cyclone cleared his trees of fruit so he started making small batches of hard cider. Brian’s Harvest Cider eventually became an award-winning phenomenon across his native country, but it was really just the beginning of his career. This New Zealand cider pioneer eventually became an acclaimed international consultant, helping established companies like Strongbow and Woodchuck and working across continents with cider makers in the United States, Europe, China and Australia. In 2010, though, Brian received a phone call about a new opportunity that could bring him back to his roots.