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Vermont Hard Cider Co. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ireland-based C&C Group plc, announced that construction is under way on its new, state-of-the-art cidery in Middlebury, Vt. The $30 million project is being built less than a mile from the current Middlebury facility, it says.
The new cidery will provide 100,000 square feet of production, warehouse and office space, according to the company. A post and beam barn also will welcome visitors to Woodchuck, hosting a gift shop, tastings and tours, it adds.
“This is a new chapter for Woodchuck,” said president and chief executive officer Bret Williams, in a statement. “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.”
The current 62,000-square-foot cidery will remain online. When both are up and running, Vermont Hard Cider’s capacity will more than double, the company says. The expanded production will add 15 to 20 local jobs as well, it adds.
After four years of considering a variety of expansion options, the company says it decided that building 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 in a statement. “We are laying our roots down. To finally have a shovel in the ground is a proud moment.”
Construction crews currently are doing site work on the 27-acre plot of land. The hope is to have the building enclosed by winter, and the project should be complete by spring 2014, the company says.