Inspired by the amazing history of cider but also by the lack of quality cider readily available in the market, founder Will Correll started dreaming of opening a cidery. Will Correll started making his first batches in his college dorm room while a senior at Hampden Sydney College.
Will Correll won Start!Peninsula 1.0, receiving a $10,000 grant and mentorship access to assist in opening Buskey.
While working a part-time job as a teacher, Will Correll and a high school friend started making hundreds of test batches using different yeasts, different Virginia apple varieties, and other fruits and flavors.
While developing ciders and a brand were exhilarating, the process of finding capital for such a huge project was a daunting one for a recent college graduate with no resources.
Will signed the lease at 2910 W. Leigh Street to begin building out Scott’s Addition’s first cidery. He begins dating a long lost childhood friend and future wife, Elle (Street) Correll. Alcohol licenses were applied for. This was an exciting year!
Buskey Cider opened on April 23, 2016 with four ciders, RVA Cider, Unfiltered Cider, 45 and Trying, and Citra Hop Cider. We had our grand opening with only 4 ciders and barely had the space completed in time, but despite sparse furniture and decorations we were blown away by how many Richmonders came out to try our unique ciders and celebrate with us. We immediately started distributing around Richmond, partnering with Loveland Distributing (now Premium of Virginia). We joined some amazing craft producers in Scott’s Addition, namely Ardent Craft Ales, Isley Brewing Company, Reservoir Distillery, and Black Heath Meadery, but 2016 began the great boom in Scott’s Addition of people walking from alcohol producer to alcohol producer to enjoy the best Richmond had to offer.
We launched and started distributing our first packaged product, choosing the RVA Cider, our flagship, to be the first 6-pack of 12oz canned hard cider made in Virginia. In the fall we started canning the always popular Tart Cherry Cider and continued to be asked for even more packaged options. We hired more people to join our startup crew and continued pushing forward into other parts of the state beyond our hometown, starting with Hampton Roads and partnered with Chesbay Distributing.
Overwhelmed and thrilled out of our minds with the demand for Buskey around the state we signed on with two new distributors, Wendell Distributing on the eastern shore and Blue Ridge Beverage for the western part of Virginia. We packed in as many tanks as we could to our building to keep up with growth and still sent batches straight out the doors to our distributors as fast as we could make them and were immediately asked for more. In order to give fans that variety they were on the hunt for, we crafted limited release cans that were available in the tasting room while we discussed our plans for expanding capacity for distribution.
Right before the summer started, Buskey opened a small space on the eastern shore in Cape Charles, VA an iconic small Virginia town where Will Correll had family history and where both tourism and the local craft market were about to take off.
Quietly, we took over a lease and assets of a failed coffee company on the other side of The Diamond a few days before the New Year, and proceeded to move a 60BBL brite tank and other equipment over to our original location.
We announced our acquisition with the new building and began moving over items that weren’t necessary for day-to-day production in Scott’s Addition.
Buskey Dry was released in 6-pack 12oz cans, giving cider fans who like cider with zero residual sugar an affordable and approachable option. .…… and the rest is yet to come.