We are Hinson Ford Cider & Mead—Dave, Dennis and Mary. We have been making great cider and mead for ourselves and for our loved ones since forever. We are cider and mead evangelists, making converts one tasting at a time. We are passionate about what we make, how we make it and what we make it from.
Yet there’s more to it than that. We want to build a viable commercial market for unique apple varieties while they’re still around. Likewise, while we maintain our own apiary, we hope to build a vigorous market for local beekeepers to help encourage them to stick with it through fraught times. We all need the honeybees, and we all need the beekeepers that look after them for us. Mead helps monetize the value beekeepers provide on a scale greater than a bear-shaped squeeze bottle can.
Why Hinson Ford?
Hinson Ford was a busy crossing of the upper Rappahannock River, linking the village of Amissville in Rappahannock County with the village of Orlean in Fauquier County. Bustling with all manner of commerce including a water-driven mill and a host of merchants and traders, the ford was a vital link which intertwined the fortunes of these two rural communities. During numerous engagements of the Civil War, it was a heavily traveled route for tens of thousands of soldiers.
In the 1920s, the opening of the highway connecting Washington, D.C., with U.S. Route 11 at New Market (now called Lee Highway, U.S. 211) dealt a blow to ford traffic, and time eventually left the river crossing behind. Today, all that remains of Hinson Ford are some ghost roads through the forests, scattered ruins along the river’s palisades and the name, which we honor.