Second Annual Virginia Cider Week Kicks Off Friday

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If you're not a fan of beer or wine, there's a beverage in between and it's growing in popularity in central Virginia. Friday kicks off the second annual Virginia Cider Week - a chance to celebrate apples at their finest.

This year there's an emphasis on pairing cider with food. NBC29 hit the kitchen of a Charlottesville restaurant to try it out.

Brookville Restaurant in downtown Charlottesville is participating in Cider Week. The owner and chef Harrison Keevil prepared a special meal made with cider and paired with more cider on the side. It was a slow-roasted pork belly with cider apple sauce, fried onions, and cilantro, washed down with a dry cider from Foggy Ridge.

"We use it, well the first thing is just drink it straight up delicious on a hot day, a cold day, it doesn't matter when, it's delicious year-round. We cook with it in our sauces, we braise with it, make vinaigrettes with it and pretty much incorporate it any way we can," Keevil said.

He said when he opened his restaurant three years ago he was partnering with only one cidery. Now several more have popped up in the region. Diane Flynt, the owner of Foggy Ridge Cider, said in 2012 there were five cider makers in the state - now, there are eight.

Virginia Cider Week features tastings, pairings, cider dinners, cider making classes, and other events. It starts Friday and goes through November 24.

For a full list of events and participating bars and restaurants throughout the state, click here.

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