Father and Son Work Together to Open Charlotte’s First Hard Cidery

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- On a blazing hot day in Charlotte, one man is proudly working on a family of products to help people cool down.

“Well it's something I've been doing at home for ten plus years. It's just something that we love to do, and it's a growing part of the industry so we decided to get in,” Jay Bradish, the owner of Red Clay Ciderworks.

Jay Bradish has been doubling up on his job at Snyder's Lance for years to open Charlotte's first hard cidery.

He's still getting his footing, but he's got steady support.

 “Yeah, it's pretty exciting, him venturing off on his own,” said Gerald Bradish, Jay’s father.

Long before Jay was setting up tap lines, he was learning the ropes of business from his contractor father. Now they're working together again.

“I'm having to come down here and put up with your North Carolina heat. I'm coming down here from Michigan and man, is this a killer! Haha,” said Gerald.

Gerald constructed the tap room and has gladly played guinea pig.

 “Yes, I do enjoy cider, and I've drank quite a bit of it, so haha,” said Gerald.

The popularity of cider has been growing pretty hand-in-hand with craft beer, but cider is still a pretty wide-open market.

 “Two years ago there was none. There was McRitchie winery was making cider up in the Yadkinville area,” said Jay.

Bradish thinks there could soon be a dozen.

“This is a trend that's going to continue over the next decade. So it's been equated to where the craft beer was 10-15 years ago,” said Jay Bradish.

 “It's pretty neat actually. I'm glad that he's able to do it, number one. Number two, I'm glad he's got the courage to try it,” said Gerald.

The business is actually a full family affair. Jay's wife and sister are joining up, along with a close family friend.

“Somehow, in spite of me, they both grew up to be fine, young people,” said Gerald.

That is more satisfying to Gerald than a cold cider on a hot day.

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