I am excited to share my first of many posts on the cideries I visit in person. Along with my reviews on the ciders themselves, I’ll try to shine a light on the history of the cidery, the location, and nearby attractions so you can plan your visit! The first pick may surprise you, but it’s a straight shot from my parent’s house in Bumpass, VA. Yes, that’s right…Bumpass.
Opened in 2017, Coyote Hole serves up a variety of flavored and classic ciders, all made with locally-sourced fruit from Virginia. Only 5 minutes from Lake Anna, the tap room serves up a clientele of sun-tanned, waterlogged boaters, taking a break from wakeboarding to try a flight or grab some cans to take back to the dock. The tap room frequently hosts live music and food trucks, and there’s plenty of space for a corn hole game.
Now onto the cider! I’ve included a ranking below of the 8 ciders I was able to taste this visit, along with my ratings on quality, variety, and experience. The flights come in these great tin trays, with descriptions of each printed underneath. The pours are heavy, so I recommend bringing a friend along (to either share or drive you home)!
- Sangria – This cider is SWEET, but boy is it good. Made by blending their classic Oma Smith’s green apple cider with rosé wine and cran-mango juice, it is a unique floral and fruity taste unlike anything I’ve tried before.
- Bel-Hole – A seasonal whiskey-aged cider made with whiskey wood straight from the tanks of nearby Belmont Farm distillery. You can certainly smell the whiskey, but it adds a nice smooth flavor without overpowering the cider.
- Oma Smith’s – A crisp, semi-sweet green apple cider, this staple is served year-round and featured at many local restaurants around the lake. I describe this cider as very “drinkable” as it’s light and simple.
- HPA – Coyote Hole’s dry hopped cider manages to be hoppy without being bitter. I’ve never been a huge fan of hoppy ciders, maybe because I never adapted a taste having not been able to drink beer, but really enjoyed the HPA that hits a good balance of hops and apple.
- Sparkling Cider – Yes, that’s right. This non-alcoholic option climbs up the list, because I really think Coyote Hole nailed it. Their sparkling cider has a nice light carbonation and is certainly better than the store-bought version we all toasted with as kids. I would recommend buying for any sober, pregnant, or underage guests at your next New Year’s party.
- CranApple – This Cranberry Pomegranate flavored cider had such a light flavor, I would describe it more as infused with cranberry.
- Ciderita – Made by mixing Oma Smith’s with house margarita mix, I like what this cider was going for, but tastes a lot like the neon green Jose Cuervo mix I overdid in college.
- Cherry Pucker – Despite what the name suggests, this cherry cider was far more sweet than the tartness I was expecting. Like the CranApple, the fruit flavoring was very light, making it taste watered-down.
Coyote Hole scores slightly lower on the quality of cider, but they keep things interesting with numerous seasonal blends and collaborations. One other aspect that bumps up their location rating is their incredible swag! I constantly represent Coyote Hole by sporting my “Drink VA Cider” t-shirt around Charlotte. If you ever find yourself at Lake Anna or perhaps visiting your own relatives in Bumpass, be sure to give Coyote Hole a visit!
Cider Rating: 🍎🍎🍎 (3/5)
Variety Rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎 (4/5)
Location Rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍏 (3.5/5)