With the resurgence of hard cider throughout the country, the Glovers, a Franklin, WV, family, knew the state did not want to be left behind. They decided to help grow this trend in the Mountain State with the opening of the new hard cider company, Swilled Dog.
“We are thrilled to bring our ciders to the marketplace,” Brad Glover, one of the owners, said. “This has been something our family has wanted to do for quite some time. We have received such a great response from everyone, and we can’t wait to launch this brand in West Virginia.”
This new family owned and operated company is the second cidery for the Mountain State. Brad said his family grew up enjoying hard ciders in the region, and with the revitalization of the popularity of this adult beverage, he knew this was the opportunity to provide something to West Virginia that is unique while also making an impact in the place his family calls home.
“We’ve visited a lot cideries in New England and have been to festivals in Colorado and in the Pacific Northwest where cider was prevalent,” Brad said. “We really want to get involved in this business, and we really want to bring that to West Virginia.” There’s a need for it in the state and especially our take on hard cider, not just in the state but around the country. We think there’s an opportunity for that.”
With the family’s strong roots in Franklin, it’s the perfect place to set up shop.
“We decided to focus in Franklin mainly because that’s where I grew up. That’s where my family is currently located, at least my mom and dad. It’s become a central meeting spot for all of us for quite some time,” Brad said. “We have our family farm back home where we are actually growing heirloom variety apple trees, so it just made a lot of sense to locate in that area. Where it takes us to is unknown, but starting here is what’s important to us.”
While Swilled Dog will not actually have a tasting room right away, people will quickly recognize the brand and product as it pops up at different events, bars and restaurants around West Virginia. Swilled Dog will also be holding launch parties—fun events featuring their products on tap and in bottle—in cities where their target market is located to make a direct connection with consumers.
“We want to hit different regions and really get our brand out there and start building some community around our brand,” Brooke Glover, the company’s director of sales and marketing, said. “And the launch parties—we are talking about with owners of different establishments, and they are really excited about giving us this platform to be able to launch our brand.”
The Swilled Dog brand is built upon transparency. The team is very open about their cider-making process and the ingredients of their product lineup, which includes the 2016 limited edition West Virginia Scrumpy, Apple Bottom, Bunny Slope, Pumpkin Patch and Caramel Apple.
“We take great pride in our blending of new cider-making techniques and traditional processes we have grown accustomed to enjoying,” cider-maker Mike Gallaher said. “We think that the cider industry has come a long way in bringing new styles to the market. From flavored ciders using hops and other natural flavorings to making more traditional artisanal ciders, we will continue to embrace the trends that move the category forward. We also make sure that the majority of our apples and juice are sourced directly from local West Virginia orchards and farmers. Even with our own orchards being planted with cider-specific apples, our goal is to only increase our percentage of locally sourced ingredients.”
While the Glovers are excited about producing a real and distinct West Virginia product, they are also reveling in the opportunity to make an impact on local communities through agriculture, education and championing their favorite animal cause. Because of this desire to give back, Swilled Dog has committed to give at least 1 percent of its annual sales to local communities and charities.
“As a family, that’s the primary thing we want to do with this brand. It’s really just an ideology across the family of giving back and wanting to make that impact,” Brad said. “It’s nice to have a business and make hard cider, but what are you really accomplishing? And that’s what we really want to focus on—what we can do to really make a difference in and around the state.”
To learn more about the company and its launch events, contact Director of Sales and Marketing Brooke Glover at (304) 481-4527, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the website at www.swilleddog.com.
Blair Dowler is the Communications Specialist for the WVU College of Business and Economics. She is a lead writer and manages all social media for the College. As well, she helps to coordinate all marketing projects for the College of B&E. Blair is native of West Virginia and a two-time graduate of the WVU Reed College of Media with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications.