Blue Mountain Cider was founded in 2001 by the Brown family of Milton-Freewater, commercial apple growers who have been farming in the Walla Walla Valley since Earl E. Brown and his wife settled there in the 1950s. Always the entrepreneur, Ron Brown, Earl’s son, started making fresh pressed hard cider as a way to eliminate waste from the apples that didn’t make the cut for grocery stores. Ron’s son Andrew, Blue Mountain’s head cider maker, quickly realized that the apples they were sending to grocery stores, or “dessert apples” as they are known in the business, were too sweet to make a traditional European style of cider. Under the oversight of his brother Jared and Uncle Leonard Brown, who still manage the farm today, 60 acres of cider specific apples were planted in 2008 and 2009, with the pledge to grow only the highest quality fruit using sustainable and wildlife safe farming practices and use that fruit to make the best craft cider in the country.
A partnership with another apple growing family in 2016, the Foreman’s from central Washington, meant increased access to capital and to the other amazing tree fruits in the region such as pear and cherry to use in their cider production. Today Blue Mountain Cider is a medium sized producer of more than 15 different types of cider with a variety of flavors and levels of sweetness.
The cidery continues to keep the spirit of the Brown family alive, by only using fresh pressed apples grown by Jared and Leonard Brown in the Walla Walla Valley and keeping the roots of cidery in craft and quality.